Cross Cultural Constructions: As Smooth As Silk

Posted by Sarah de Castro on

During the most recent Kreateur’s pop up store, which was held in Paris’ chic 1st district, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with a pretty special designer.

Lucie Brochard was presenting  a selection of her latest collection, and took the time to explain the unique cultural mixity and diverse work experience on which she draws to propose a style shaped by what she dubs, a collective vision of  Paris, as idealized by different cultures around the world.

“I was born in Korea, my mother is Vietnamese and my father is French. All my pieces are very worked up, very detailed, that’s a reflection of my very Parisian side, at least in terms of the look. It’s an interpretation of the way foreign women envisage or imagine Paris, and the idealized Parisian woman. Paris is seen in a very specific ways from the outside … and my brand all started with this the Parisian is glorified by foreign women.”

Lucie’s second collection, Vol A264 (Flight A264) is based around orange color tones.

Lucies’ own-name brand, brings this ideal Parisian to life for her very international fan-base, yet there is a distinctly Asian touch.  While, the detailing, finishing, structured cuts and volumes are mostly in line with European styling, these forms are incarnated in Asia’s hallmark fabric, silk.

Following her studies at Paris’ école syndicale de la couture parisienne and a stint in San Francisco working at Nice Collective. She went on experince China’s Shenzhen garment district, before turning to France to make her mark  in the ateliers (workshops) of luxury houses Christian Lacroix and Paul Ka, as well as the jeans brand Freeman T. Porter.

“All these experiences really gave me a 360° vision of the industry.This is what allowed me to create my brand. If not it would have been very difficult.”

A range of experiences that lead her to a pivotal moment in her life:

“I’d read a few articles about Vietnam, my mother’s country, and I thought why not go and have a look at what’s happening over there, so I left for just a month at the beginning. I met a lot of “tailor-mades” people who sew, basically those make made-to-measure suits- there are loads over there, some good, some not so good. And in all this, of course, there is a huge choice of materials, but it was silk that I found to be the most attractive.”

“ I love cut and form, so typically  I’m more drawn towards more “masculine” fabrics, more rigid, like wool, or the fabrics that made up a suit. I started to play with silk, the fall, the transparency, to get creative with volumes and details in this material, which is in fact very fluid, it was very exciting. I wanted to push the concept further than the silk square with three holes and a belt.

“So my one-month turned into two-years. It was Vietnam that offered me silk. It’s produced there and it’s the noble product by excellence and you have the little silk hands, they are the artisans who work the material for years and years. But to have good quality that’s really another question,  it’s not easy. I worked over there for two years and I taught help to refine the skills of a group of women with whom I still work, I thought them European finishes, pattern making, draping in a little workshop, These women are sublime.

I came back to Paris with my mother three years ago, and developed my first three collections. Silk had become my speciality, so I prepare everything here and over there (in Vietnam) they assemble, I live between the two countries.”

“Paris has an image of being very chic. It’s an image of elegance and refinement. Paris is elegance, the women are seen as sensual and subtle.”

“My brand? It’s all about the cut, the detail, with a touch of color, a certain complexity. It’s about finding the balance of the silhouette. I’m inspired by this vision of a Parisian women, she is of the shadows, rather than a madonna. She is discreet, yet charismatic, with a touch, a touch from elsewhere...

Lucie is slated to be part of our next Designer Roadshow in Paris’ Saint Germain district. Stay tuned for more information.

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