Hands-Up: Christophe Josse

January 27, 2022
Courtesy: Christophe Josse

Christophe Josse, In his Own Words

I need to draw to establish a starting point which evolves throughout the fittings. Occasionally, we will edit the sketches. After, everything materialises and the dresses spring to life in our minds. If we feel we’ve lost our way, we start over. Then there is the fabric, followed by the first fitting in fabric. The technical constraints emerge, and you just deal with them and spin them in a positive way. The garment emerges. There is the play of colours thanks to houses such as MD Teinture that bring vividness to each piece.

The hand is key. Without it, there is nothing. Hands vary from one person to another. Some craftsmen have a magical dexterity to enhance a dress. Just observe the way someone brings you a cloth, puts it back on the hanger, shows respect or not. It’s all in the gestures. These people who never let go, who never give up on time – they are the heart of haute couture. The première d’atelier has the capacity transform a drawing into 3D, imbuing it with magic.

This season, I opted to work with gazars, guipures. One is like a carapace – an embossed architecture, unbleached, slightly metallic; the other is old with a singular colour that I rarely find amongst the lacemakers I work with. I like its rough yet delicate aspect in the thread work. It’s not ecru, nor chalk, nor beige; it’s something else, I like rough fabrics – a bit rustic – as much as the big leather satins which are very dense, very sensual, like skin. When you work with these, you achieve very distinctive volumes. The gazars allow you to structure a garment, with lightness. Sometimes you spend even more time on these. Sometimes reality catches up with us. A garment is finished when the result corresponds to the idea we had at the beginning. We leave it alone. Otherwise, when overworked, tortured even, they end up disintegrating.

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