The fashion-month circus finally came to an end last week. It’s time to breathe, recharge one’s batteries, and ponder how the real world is doing. This season was as intense as last, if not more, and I came out of it a little fatigued and looking for less temporary inspirations than nice dresses on models. However, my week in Paris was fun and delightful, especially when I took a break to gather with fashion friends from around the world, all complaining about their tough schedules. Garance Doré was one of them, minus the complaints. The queen bee of fashion bloggers was launching her stationery collection at Claus, a charming local bakery and teahouse. I meant to pop in for five minutes, but ended up staying the entire afternoon and viciously attacking all baked eatables on display. Between two mouthfuls, I managed to squeeze few questions out for Garance. As always, and with grace, she delivered the goods.
Illustrator, photographer, blogger, businesswoman—you are multitalented and basically multitasking constantly. Do you have a favorite of your vocations, and why?
I don’t really have one favorite; I found balance in these different ways of expression. When I’m out shooting with a team for too long, I miss being in and illustrating on my own. Same with writing—and for the business side, it’s amazing how creative that is. I would never have thought it could be so fascinating.
The Internet and digital media have forced the fashion industry into embracing new ways of communication. Meaning information becomes disposable faster and there’s a constant hunger for novelty. Do you find that it’s almost going too fast, or do you like the speed of it all?
What I find is that now different speeds can coexist. Instagram and Twitter give a version of the information, but then telling a story visually or with words can be a different kind of interesting. You can see that now, with magazines becoming more like books that tell the story of the season (Hello, Style.com!), and the Internet getting you the info you need in a second. There is room for everyone, so it’s really about providing great quality of content, be it fast or slow.
When you started, you were a pioneer in the art of fashion blogging. Now there is an enormous quantity of [these blogs] around. What does it take, in your opinion, for a blog/blogger to last?
Will! Desire! I think to last you have to want to last; be curious about the world changing around you; never get comfortable, never say “Ooh, I’m a pioneer, that’s it! I’ve arrived!” We’re in an age when we just have to get accustomed to change, because it will keep on coming. My blog was never a way to get somewhere, to land a job or become a celebrity—the blog is really the project itself, and exploring how to develop it is the most fascinating thing I’ve done.
What were your favorite shows this season?
I loved Sacai, Miu Miu, Haider Ackermann, Dior…and Chanel, of course. That show was pure genius.
You are French with a Corsican background. Does that influence your work in any way?
I think my background grounds me; I grew up in a very hippie place, very close to nature, to animals. I think my vision of beauty and my sense of sharing have something to do with my Mediterranean roots. Corsicans are also people who are very proud (too proud, sometimes!) and don’t really get crazy around celebrities or fame or things like that—which is why a lot of celebrities like to come visit. We just leave them alone! So that really helped me while building my blog; I think people could tell that I would behave the same way with an intern as I would with an important editor in chief.
How would you compare the fashion industry in the U.S. to that in France? Can you name positive points and negative points on both sides?
I think the industry is the same; it’s the same people, but it’s maybe less social in Paris. New York is crazy, with dinners and social events. You could spend your life doing that, [and] it’s an important part of the business. But it can get exhausting after a while, though I love the enthusiasm you find in New York—it really gives you wings and it’s so wonderful for young designers and creatives. You don’t have that in Paris—doors take ages to open if you don’t know the right people.
You just launched your stationery brand. It’s so refreshing that you have not chosen to do a fashion brand, for instance. Where did the idea come from?
I’ve always loved and collected stationery, so it’s been my dream for a long time to explore that. It’s also a great way to give a new venue for my illustrations, and I love what it says about a more intimate, secret, thought-out way to communicate. Almost the opposite of what we see on the Internet today! Which is why I thought it would be a wonderful thing to create.
How long did it take you to make the project happen?
Not a long time; I found the best partner ever in Rifle. They know exactly what they’re doing and they’ve been very successful with their brand—and that’s the reason why I was the one who called: I love their line so much, so I thought they would be the perfect partner to help me launch my brand!
Running your own business doesn’t give you a lot of time to rest. What do you do to relax in your downtime?
Read. I always go to bed with a good book.
Could you share three of your favorite places in Paris?
Claus for brunch, of course.
Hotel Thoumieux, for everything.
The Dries Van Noten exhibition!! [My] favorite place in Paris right now!
For more information, visit riflepaperco.com/garancedore.
Photos: Courtesy of Mimi Xu