I am obsessed with lingerie. That’s it. I talk about it, read about it, pin it (find my Lingerie inspirations here), blog it, and buy it. Lingerie a la Francaise is just something else. No…I am not saying that because I’m French! Although, just like food, wine, and women, lingerie a la Francaise reflects high quality standards– a culture of beauty and refinement that no one else can brag about.
Now, here comes the part where I tell you one of my dirty little secrets… My mum is the one who has bought all of my lingerie sets for the past 3 years since I left my country. Why? Because there is no way I am giving in to any other “savoir-faire” when it comes to my best parts…Simply the best!
To talk to you about hot stuffs, I HAD to bring you the hottest, most talented, new French designer of sexy and chic a la Francaise. I met this amazing young woman on a shoot about 2 years ago. She hand made and tailored to my exact measurements a full lingerie set…What a first impression!
CLEM: Bonjour Charlotte ! Tell us more about you … What’s your story, how did you end up making lingerie in Paris? Was that your dream?
Bonjour Clementine, I’m very glad to answer this interview. I’ve been living 10 years in Paris now, and when I came here, I wanted to study Fine Arts; discovering this beautiful fashion city, I changed my mind and learned fashion design. My dream was to work in the Arts, but I always loved everything about corsets and lingerie. I worked a lot to learn corsetry, then all the complexity of lingerie, and started to do made-to-measure. I’m really satisfied with working for all kind of morphology and sizes, and adapt my designs for every woman. Lingerie is a very important thing in a woman’s life in order to be self-confident, have a great appearance, and feel beautiful. It’s very gratifying work.
CLEM: Anything in your life (family, friend, movie…) that influenced your career choices?
When I was a child, my mother taught me how to hand-sew and do some embroidery; we were often doing clothes for my dolls. I was captivated by historic movies– the reconstruction of XVIIIth and XIXth century atmosphere like the Kubrick movie Barry Lyndon.
My mother always tried to keep me away from Fashion studies, but at 17 years old, in Paris, I switched from graphic designer to stylist. Then I learned corsetry on my own. Today my mom works with me and she’s grateful to make a living with her passion.
CLEM: How do people (Women and Men) react when you tell them about your job?
The reactions of the people are quite strange, especially since what I do has almost disappeared. Most of the time I have to explain first what my job is about. Then, I usually get smiles from the ones who see an amazing profession and some that wonder why would someone choose to do that for a living… Men in general have a very positive reaction; they see the highly erotic side of the job. It’s funny!
CLEM: What is you favorite piece of Lingerie to make? To wear? What are, according to you, the best lingerie brands in the World… are they French?
The one piece that I love to make is the corset. It’s a technical one where measurements have to be taken very precisely in order to be perfect. There is a 1,000 ways to make a corset with different shapes and materials; I will never be tired of it! Wearing a made-to-measure corset is a real treat and a forgotten level of comfort.
That said, for an everyday use for myself, I would go for high waisted panties! Far from the “grandma panties,” these are made of stretch silk and sheer mousse-line… perfect, sexy shape wear!
Some of my favorite brands are Triumph and Gossard, which have perfect fits and shapes, as well as the creative French brands like Rosy, Fifi Chachnil or Chantal Thomas! They have this Parisian spirit, tres tres chic!
CLEM: Why do you think la lingerie a la Francaise is such a reference? Where does that come from? Any History of la lingerie to share with us?
La Lingerie was born in Paris, it’s a tradition that never went away and was always renewed by numerous artists through the ages: painters, photographers, stylists and cabaret dancers. The Parisian Fashion doesn’t have to prove itself to the World anymore, and we all know the “allure” a woman starts with her lingerie…
The bra was first invented by Hermine Cadolle for the Exposition Universelle of Paris in 1889. She split the corset in 2 to get more comfort: the waist part and the top part. Since then, so many variations of the corset saw the light, and all of them were based in Paris.
There’s an amazing book, Au Bonheur des Dames, by Emile Zola that talks about the creation of the first department stores like Galeries Lafayette. In the book he describes how the aisles full of lace were creating such a desire towards women, and nowadays lingerie still has the same effects in almost all of us!
CLEM: A day in Charlotte’s life. . . What about your creative process? How do you come up with such amazing ideas, where do you find inspiration?
I just see the World with wide open eyes, every single detail attracts my attention. I am often outside, going to expos, movies, reading the press, watching people passing by, everything and anything is an inspiration.
I also spend a lot of time studying the history of fashion, fits, and anatomy; it’s so important to know all the basics to be able to create better. I collect a lot of visuals, and I draw my ideas in little notebooks that never leave my side. When it comes to creation time, I am ready to start with all my inspirations and ideas gathered in a one and only place.
CLEM: What are you working on right now, what is your new collection about? What is your favorite piece?
I am actually researching for my 2015 collection. It will be a “20.000 leagues under the sea” collection, for which I will be working on swimwear, ornaments, and technical fabrics. Very complex work. I can’t wait to start drawing, that’s the creative part, my favorite part!
CLEM: What is your dream project? Who would you want to collaborate with in the future? Why?
I would love to be able to please women of every type with my creations. I have been working on gradation for a while now: I want all my collections to go from size 4 to 28 with an option of make-to-measure as usual. This work is really hard and complex because of the very wide size range. I spend a lot of time on it, but the results should be amazing, and everything will be available for shipping on my e-shop coming soon!
When I speak collars, the first thing that comes in mind is the work I am doing with the photographer Le Turk. He understands perfectly the spirit of my creations and knows how to translate it into film for any theme. We are a very efficient duo, complementing each other very well, and that is something rare I cherish! I am so happy to be able to plan my next project with him by my side. I am also lucky to work with amazing models. And of course, I can’t wait to finally work with you for one of my upcoming collections!