A Conversation with Julie de Libran

janvier 27, 2022
Courtesy: Julie de Libran

Passion and workmanship: these are Julie de Libran’s dual motivators season after season ever since launching her namesake label in 2019. The designer, who has held senior roles at Versace, Prada and Louis Vuitton before taking the creative helm at Sonia Rykiel for several years, shows her collections on the Haute Couture calendar as an invited member whose approach is made-to-order with workmanship by hand. Another point of differentiation: many of the fabrics are sourced from archives or deadstock to minimise waste. And while many of her dresses seem destined for special occasions, she also takes a broader view of a woman’s wardrobe, delivering pieces that bridge the values of couture with the ease of every day. De Libran recently opened an atelier boutique in the 7th arrondissement where she will welcome clients by appointment.

What would you like us to know about this collection?
I would like you to know how passionate I am and how my dream is realised every day. As a designer, I wake up doing exactly what I have been dreaming about doing all my life, something I am passionate about. This collection is about classic values, about a wardrobe of pieces you can wear in very versatile ways with extraordinary couture workmanship made by hand. These pieces all have a story and are seasonless and timeless. They must be cherished and shared.

Are you a dreamer?
Yes, so much! I even dream and wake up and continue making my dreams during the day.

How do you distinguish sleep dreams and life goal dreams?
I feel my day dreams influence night dreams and my sleep dreams influence my life goal dreams. When I have an idea in a dream, it becomes an obsession and I do everything I can to work hard to realise that dream.

Had you dreamed of becoming a designer?
No, I really didn’t know it could be my profession and become a business. When I was 14, I was just very passionate about clothes, design and the making of beautiful clothes in an artisanal way. 

Why do you think people dream of working in fashion?
It looks very glamorous from the outside…

Have you ever translated a dream into an actual design?
Yes, I dreamed of a complicated dress and found the solutions in my dreams. I woke up and adapted my sketches and pattern to those ideas. It was quite an incredible feeling. I hope this can happen often.  

When was the last time a dream came true for you?
I dreamed about having my own atelier/boutique and now it’s come true.

To what extent do you think fashion is about proposing/selling dreams?
It’s about the story of how passionate we are as creatives and the workmanship that is done for something to come to life that is all a dream. 

Do dreams help us make sense of reality or do they help us escape?
I believe they do both.

What is one dream you would like to achieve this coming year?
I would like to travel with my collections to countries I don’t know well to be able to present my work, my values, my passion and to explain how all of this keeps us dreaming! 

Lastly, what does this photo tell us about you/your collection ?
It’s about celebrating craftsmanship, working on classic pieces that adapt to what we like to wear today – a certain comfort but with beauty. It’s about designing and making in a responsible way with as little waste as possible. It’s about making a little black dress or coat dress into something new that you want to wear often.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

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