I want to know where is that committee in Switzerland that sits to decide what is in and what is out. I don’t listen to the formula makers. I think maybe I have a selective hearing disorder.
I certainly can’t complain. I work six days a week, if not seven, and eighteen hours out of twenty-four – fortunately, with a great deal of pleasure. Why? Because I only do something if I want to do it; I need to feel a desire, to find pleasure in moving forward, creating, moving, inventing.
Why not touch things that we hate and turn them upside down and inside out?
If I am in a beautiful place, but I don’t like the people, I am miserable.
If I wasn’t a designer, I would love to be a doctor. That is my fantasy, my dream. A doctor will give you a tablet if you have a headache, and I will give you a dress, and we both make you feel good.
Run away from laziness; work hard. Touch intuition and listen to the heart, not marketing directors. Dream.
When I was either 7 or 8 years old, I did a sketch every day of my teacher and what she wore. At the end of the year, I gave her the sketchbook. For me, the sketching of dresses was about fantasy and dreams.
We are being accused that some models are anorexic. But we as fashion designers cannot be blamed, because you know, when I talk to women around the world, rich and poor and young and old and intellectual and not, what they want to be is skinny. You ask them, ‘What is your dream?’ It’s to be skinny. That’s all they want.
For me, the sketching of dresses was about fantasy and dreams. In my little room at home, I felt that I was somewhere else. In Paris, for instance.
I think that if you want to pass emotion, you have to write a letter. Emotions do not pass in SMS or in e-mail.
Fashion is not always about what’s new, it’s also about what’s good. And I think if you need to see what’s good, you have to be there.
My dream is to be a doctor. I’m almost working in a laboratory, because I’m trying new techniques, new directions and fabrics, new weaving.
To be a fashion critic is easy because you just say, ‘I love it, I hate it,’ but life is more than love and hate.
Fashion doesn’t look good only on models; it can look good on different people of different ages and different body shapes.
If you take something out of the freezer, it’s cold, but what happens when it melts? It’s a cool party, a cool person, a cool collection. What does that mean? I’m more interested in things that are uncool, things that have a certain individuality, a certain soul, a certain longevity, emotion, fragility.
Our logo for Lanvin is a mother and a daughter. I’ve always said, ‘It’s not a lion, and it’s not a horse. It’s a mother and a daughter.’ I find the logo very emotional.
I am very much a people person.
I hate the word ‘cool.’ It gives me a rash.
Almost every collection I do has 200 different references. I don’t have two of the same coat, two of the same dress. I have it in one color, in one fabric. I’ve tried to adapt the culture of couture, and the know-how and the heritage, but I try to update it.
I work on fittings, mostly. You know, I sketch less and less in my work. I sketch for the show sometimes, but then it becomes more conceptual. But when I don’t sketch, it becomes more pragmatic.
One woman told me that every time she wears Lanvin, men fall in love with her. Another told me she wore Lanvin to face her husband’s lawyer because she felt protected. If I can make men fall in love with women and if I can protect women, I think I can die peacefully.
I wanted to go out of fashion, to study medicine. I thought, you know, who needs fashion? How important is it if you wear a red dress and an orange jacket? It’s not, really.
I love to see old women. I love wrinkles. I love gray hair.
I’ve always said fashion is like roast chicken: You don’t have to think about it to know it’s delicious.
I like having the freedom to dress as I desire.
For me, Lancome was more than just a brand. There was something very nostalgic about the name, about the whole story.
Many, many times I find that whatever is looking good on the screen doesn’t always look or feel good on the body. So who do we design for – do we design for the screen, or do we design for women?
I hate bridges. I’m always very insecure on bridges.
I adore women, and the one thing I want to do more than anything is to see a transformation of personality when someone puts on one of my dresses.
I barely finish one pre-collection before I must start on another. Sales start, but I am already elsewhere creatively. The men’s show is being prepared, but we also need to think about accessories, perfumes and other items. In sum, I never stop.
The worst thing that can happen is if you’re stuck within a bubble and you think that is what life is all about. It’s great to see other people and hear from people of different ages and opinions.
I don’t think that you can write music if you don’t know how to play an instrument. You have to know the basics, then you can go forward.
I never think people should do things for me. I think I should do things for others. That makes me more comfortable.
Our clothes are not always beautiful on the hanger, but put them on, and they fit like bathing suits.
In fashion, the time is so short, and even with pre-collection, there are not only dresses, shoes, bags, and furs but now raincoats and T-shirts. It’s just an endless amount of work that we have to produce in no time.
There is always a reason why, and I need to tell the stories.
I like dresses for night; I like after-party more than party. I like the mystery; I like the dream, like fantasy dresses. I think, also, that you make women dream.
Women can dream at 9 in the morning and at 10 o’clock at night – it doesn’t matter.
I always wear a dinner jacket. I never have this definition of what goes for the morning or the evening or what works for the weekend.
I don’t go out to parties because I’d look terrible in pictures. My escape is television – it’s like meditation to me.
At Yves Saint Laurent, I felt like the son-in-law – like I was part of the family, but not quite. When I was fired, I felt like the widow.
I thought, ‘It doesn’t matter what that woman is wearing,’ but then I realised actually it’s our job as designers to make women smile; to bring them the chocolate without the calories.
In high fashion, we’re always accused of doing things that are not very relevant, not the real world. I know that it’s important sometimes to do fantasy, but I felt like touching people and going back to different women and men, especially the idea of different ages and body shapes.
I’m not a plastic surgeon, and I cannot change the DNA of a person, but when I see a woman try on my clothes and she feels beautiful, I know I am doing my job.
Women try to be the best everywhere, and it’s impossible. I want my clothes to give women the freedom to just be – I want them to put on my dresses and shine.
I was a fat child; I was asthmatic. No wonder I’m a hypochondriac.
All I want is beautiful. I mean, I like grey hair, I love wrinkles. But this is me.
I’m always looking for a story.
I used to hate L.A., but I met such a great group of people there that I fell in love with it.
When I’m traveling the world, I don’t ever look anymore at the geography – just enough to catch galleries and paintings.
I think a good designer can exist everywhere and anywhere and all the time. It’s all about being good, and I think that our job basically is to make women and men look good.
It’s a major job to help men and women look beautiful.
The designers, photographers and models I work with, they are really hard-working people who are devoting their lives to fashion. They’re kind of like nuns of fashion.
Fashion is not enough anymore. It’s not just about what you wear. I mean, I don’t know how many women can afford to take the time to come to Paris for three fittings.
The problem with couture is not designers; it’s what happens when the couturier will no longer be there.
I always say that women are very strong and men are powerful. But beauty gives you both strength and power. I never think of it. It’s just one of those natural things. It’s the only thing I know how to do.
I do sport at the gym a few times a week, but I hate it. Work is my only remedy. I feel so twisted and horrible in the morning, but then I go to the office and I start feeling better. Work is my Tylenol. Extra-strength.
If you change a woman’s look, you change her persona.
Nothing is ever enough for me. I’m always thinking what is wrong, what needs to be fixed.
I am always trying to put myself inside: Every dress I do, I think, ‘If I were a woman, would I wear it?’
My father, who was a hair colourist, died when I was young, so my mother had to work very hard. But at the same time, I do believe that if you have everything, it is easy to make a dinner. When you only have flour and water and olives and potatoes, you have to be much more creative, and that’s what my mother is all about.
A singer can quit once he or she has made ten great songs; a director can finish once he or she has made five amazing films; a writer just needs to write three great books.
I spend my time backstage at the Lanvin shows, and when I come out at the end, all I see are people’s eyes.
The nature of fashion is family.
My job is to do. My job is to make women beautiful. What do I have to say?
I don’t think you can be a designer if you don’t care.
I love women. I get along with women more than men, and I have more women friends.
How do you stand out as a fashion ad campaign? By using people off the street; it does generate buzz.
I am not interested in perfection, and neither are the women who wear my clothes.
Stay big in your work and small in your life.
I’m not a religious person in the regular sense, but in the Bible you’re not allowed to steal, you’re not allowed to lie and you’re not allowed to feel you’re above other people.
I live many lives at once.
Mine is a job that never ends, a function where it is almost impossible to set aside time to rest or take a breather.
Me, as a designer who is not exactly skinny, all I want is comfortable clothes.
I love and respect women. I work mostly with women.
‘Commercial’ is not the word that has to be said only by CEOs. It has to be something that is maybe the essence of design, because design has some sort of art in it and creation, but it’s also some object that you have to use. There is also this pragmatic end to it.
When you come into a house like Saint Laurent, or Chanel, or Lanvin, and you go into a place that existed before you were born and will exist after you die, it takes some time to get in, to get to people, and to get the energy of the place.
I always think, if I were an editor, and I was invited to a show, and I would have to wait for 45 minutes in the dark or in the cold or in the heat, maybe I would like to have a fresh drink or a piece of chocolate.