Interview: Nicolas Vaudelet

Nicolas vaudelet joan dark cortado

After the brief story on this French designer now based in Spain we give you an interview with the man, following the presentation of his Spring/Summer 2014 collection Joan Dark this month in Madrid , a collection where he digs deep in the Middle Ages heraldic and in the 60/70’s rock imagery – Joan of Arc meets Joan Jett.

Your collection is called Joan Dark. French inspirations? Is Jeanne d’Arc a reference for you?In fact, Jeanne d’Arc is a reference for modern women but it was also a pretext to include the medieval aesthetics and the heraldic in the collection.

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Joan Dark refers also to Joan Jett. Music and rock are important for you?“Joan Dark” is a fictitious name, like a new heroine, a mix of Jeanne d’Arc and Joan Jett e hence a mix of Middles Ages and 70-80’s rock. Music comes up often, as is the case in this collection, before the first sketch and can be heard in the studios during the creation months.

What kind of woman do you want to reach?
A strong self-assured woman with character and personality.

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You dress TV presenters, women for galas, rich women in Kuwait? What about the common women in the street? Are they a target too? How do you get to them? Through shops? Can you tell us your commercial expansion plans in Spain and abroad?
I still do not have points of sale in Europe but we are at it. The truth is that my clients in Kuwait help me a lot. They are very modern, they travel a lot and I dress also their daughters.

You have worked with major fashion designer, you then “revolutionised” a conservative brand and you now present a collection for rebel women. Do you see yourself as a rebel?
No, not at all! Even when I want to create a collection for “rebel” women with “trash” outfits, dresses with burned effects, metallic purses and bags… I end up making something BCBG (bon chic bon genre!). Hence, rebel-rebel is something I am not.

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How would you define your fashion, your style?
Like new classic, with hints and nods to phantasy.

You present your collections solo. Do you consider going back and host fashion shows in major catwalks like Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week or others?
I may probably start staging my shows closer to international fashion weeks calendar, but at the moment I do not intend to come back to that fashion circuit. I like to have my one freedom, and to host my fashion shows in my home (West Park Studios) has its advantages; I can personalize the rooms,”.

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What do you like to do most in the atelier?
“To play with the dummy” as we like to say in the studio. To look for the right volumes, proportions, to try effects with bits of fabric or leather on the mannequin.

As for the materials, how do you choose them?
A great deal of the fabrics and materials I used are Spanish, but I use also French and Italian. I choose them in trade fairs or with agents. It all depends. Sometimes the material is chosen before the actual sketch. And there are times when a garment needs a specific fabric to create the desired result.

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What are your plans for the future?
Aside from fashion, I am increasingly asked to do costumes for dance or theatre plays. I have worked this year with the Ballet Nacional de España for the play “Sorolla”, for the cabaret play “The Hole” and for the theatre play “El diario de Adán y Eva”. As for the future, it holds new surprises which I will let you know in due time.

Thank you for this interview, Nicolas.

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