A Take On Fashion: Camille Bidault-Waddington

juillet 6, 2022

Camille Bidault-Waddington has been passionate for fashion for as long as she can remember. Upon turning, she moved to Paris from Rouen, and then headed to London in the late ’90s. While there, her French intellectual chic clashed with a strong, underground British vibe, which ultimately contributed to a unique fashion viewpoint that was soon being expressed through styling for numerous magazines including Vogue, 032c, Love, Purple, Dazed & Confused, AnOther, and Self Service. She has also worked alongside brands such Marc by Marc Jacobs, Schiaparelli, Max Mara, Fendi, Sonia Rykiel, Chloé and Esprit. Bidault-Waddington’s recognisable style – soigné and sophisticated with a trace of toughness – continues to shape fashion editorials and ads across the industry today.   

Courtesy of Camille Bidault-Waddington

In what ways is exploration such a natural part of the design process?
It is a big part of the process, as intuitions and ideas are travelling through accidents, reactions, technical possibilities, the actual human body, and a certain personal taste. I think that the human factor is very connected to design in fashion. You can probably create though algorithms if this is your preference, or to explore scenarios through marketing department analysis; but in my experience, it usually generates the poorest interest results. Exploration is a trip of the mind that helps the designer to gather ideas, compose and collage them to create a unique work. 

What are some of the themes and ideas that you would like to see designers exploring through the next few seasons?
In the future, it would be great to see designers exploring ideas of volumes. These years in the virtual world are turning everything into a two-dimensional feeling. It’s all about online shopping on a screen which generated desire for a lot of easy-to-understand basic pieces with a logo made with fabrics often of low quality. But to me, fabrics, textures, movement, and anything that adds a sensual feeling are very important in fashion, it would be interesting to explore a new sexiness. Moreover, quality in fabrics or a beautifully made shoulder should not be considered too conservative. I feel that today fashion is divided in two territories: the very boring bourgeois and the totally bonkers full of strings.

Courtesy of Camille Bidault-Waddington

How do you explore what’s new and exciting in fashion?
I explore through fashion [moving like] a spiral. What’s new in fashion it’s weirdly already old. So new stuff triggers desires to search for the sources and start again – in a kind-of loop. This goes through books, memories of an image that is not on internet, and actual life events. Fashion has its way of moving in cycles and seasons, but it is amazing to see how you can always find new angles to observe it if you keep your mind open and dig beyond Google.

How have the past few years shaped how your exploration through social media and the virtual world?
Social media is very important. At the beginning it was fun because I used it as total random postcards. It felt very organic and was a great way to discover photographers, models, designers. Now, when I cast models for a shoot, I check their Instagram to see their personalities, which sounds a bit intrusive. Things have become a bit too brash. It’s all about being effective, catchy, liked. So I don’t find it very inspiring anymore. I love hidden things more. I can’t spend two hours on a phone trying to go somewhere in the virtual world, it just numbs your eyes. Life is the biggest source of inspiration, real life, and past fun, loves, experiences. People should remember to try reality!

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

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