Hands Up: Charles de Vilmorin

March 2, 2022

TO THE LETTER

“Everything begins with a drawing, always. I can’t imagine a collection without it. I draw every day. It’s a kind of writing. Now, when I draw a silhouette, there is always an illustrative element, but these are real clothes,” says Charles de Vilmorin, who divides his time between his namesake couture label and his role as creative director at Rochas. Two seasons into the latter, he says, “I discovered a whole other world in the workshop. I talk to the model-makers so I can examine the fabrics again, cut them, modify them – all without having to deal with a finished prototype. A dialogue starts, a relationship is built. It is founded on trust. I always need to touch. I draw all the patterns, all the prints, the placements, the embroideries.” 

He goes on: “I like to play with the fabric, to feel the hand on a pleated muslin, a velvet dévoré, a slightly crunchy taffeta. In a drawing, I try to give the spirit of movement, the allure. Then there are constraints, the details that we must consider for commercialization.  When I draw an abstract silhouette, a body on a silhouette that doesn’t exist, I make sure to keep the technical drawing next to it. My drawing is at once free and controlled. I draw with ink and coloured pencil. Since last year, I have been drawing with an iPad. I bought it to draw everywhere, without having to unpack the material and because I travel more and more. But for the past few months, I’ve been able to enjoy myself creatively.”

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