Capturing that joie de vivre: Garance Doré x Kate Spade New York
Garance Doré loves sport, and since she’s only arrived in London a day ago, it’s definitely not because of the city’s Olympics fever. “I’m very sporty,” she says in her charming French accent. “I love sports and I like snowboarding and like mountain biking and like hiking and all this kind of stuff. Maybe that’s not something you would expect from somebody in fashion…”
It’s not, but it’s precisely this sort of unpretentious, un-fashion-y behaviour that has the ragtrade industry falling in love with her, and that Kate Spade New York have tapped into. For their autumn/winter 2012 collection, the US label’s girly-polished dresses, skirts and patent-leather beauty cases have been tagged with the fashion illustrator, photographer and blogger extraordinaire’s vivacious drawings, handwriting and of course, her impish sense of humour. After all, meeting Doré is like running into your best friend from when you were 12 who has turned out to be impeccably stylish and successful, but, thank goodness, still has that same sense of mischief, making for a potently wicked good time. Case in point: she whips out her iPhone to show her favourite piece in the collection, a case covered by her own tongue-in-cheek illustration of a chintzy cocktail party. Mostly, this is her favourite because she really, really loves her iPhone. “Once you have one, you can’t go back, it’s so addictive, like a toy!” she says, suddenly noticing my woefully scratched Blackberry-wannabe Nokia. “What is that?” I don’t know, I say woefully and we both laugh.
Indeed, nothing could sum up Doré more appropriately than the collection’s sartorially oxymoronic ‘slouchy-chic’ sweater featuring the words ‘joie de vivre’ scrawled in her elegant lettering. Her love of fashion is enthusiastically infectious - “[Fashion is] part of the things that make life more… fun, more light, more easy; it’s one of the pleasures that we have in the morning, like food,” - and despite being inspired by the graphic grandeur of the Cour d’Honneur at Paris’ Palais Royal for the collection, she turns the notion of the haughty parisienne completely on its heels with her endearingly unpolished manner.
Indeed, unlike some of her countrymen, she openly professes a love for those on this side of the channel - “People have a really great sense of humour [in London], and they are not too serious about too themselves, which I really really love.” She would like to stay longer, but must head back to New York - she has work to do, she says. Does the unofficially crowned Miss Globetrotter have any travel tips or better yet, any travel rituals she would like to share then? “I, um, what do I do?” She pauses to think. “I buy a ton of magazines. Uh…any magazine! There’s a moment when I will buy any magazine, even the one that you don’t wanna show in your apartment, because I’m a magazine freak.
“The gossip ones, Oprah magazine, all the stuff! Like everything. So I’m very happy you know…” she says, then with that oh-so-charmingly guileless laugh adds, “and then I leave it all on the plane.”
Kate Spade New York stores are located at Covent Garden, 104 Langley Court, London WC2 and Sloane Square, 2 Symons Street, London SW3 2TJ; www.katespade.com
p.s. When asked if she had one last thing to add, she wanted to say, “Scott, I miss you!” Sweet, no?