It has been already 3 years. Time has flown since our last meeting with Delphine Delafon! The fashion designer and her son moved from a house to an apartment, a sort of den with adjoining rooms. The house share with family and friends is over. More intimate, warmer: now, it will be them. Just the two of them. And then Paris left bank. Delphine Delafon is deeply attached to it. She likes this part of Paris where habitations have Versailles wooden floor and moving volumes. A beautiful ceiling hight, an aristocratic touch, a paved courtyard: the fashion designer chooses well. True to her education, even in her furniture. Through this piling up of family pieces, Delphine Delafon tells stories, souvenirs and her love for manufacture. The one which made her famous. Yes, Delphine Delafon is first of all a name. A garantee of quality and accepted difference. Well-known for her bucket bags, the designer comes back – after five years of leather goods – to her first love. Fashion. Her style? Introspective, firmly rock’n’roll and with a leather scent. An incontrollable love for skins she examines and goes through together with Camille, her son, her assistant. Delphine Delafon will soon collaborate with a key player of embroidery, Maison Hurel. A story that will be told in the future months and that we were lucky to see from the main room, sometimes a creative laboratory, sometimes a living room rethought as a bedroom. It’s a mix of vintage objects and of the world of her brand where Delphine Delafon hosts, a lot. Exchanges, intensely. And gets inspiration, of course. Everything is there.
Delphine, can you introduce yourself?
I am a fashion designer. I was born in the United States and I grew up in Paris. I’ve loved fashion since I was very young. I was first passionate about the photographers, and then I started to link my love for manual work to my interests. So, I have started making clothes and bags when I had free time since my adolescence. I come from a family where 90% of the members are artists (painting, cinema, etc.). It was fully part of the house to express ourselves as we wanted on this theme. I am more of an autodidact since I stopped studying after having tried 3 different schools. Today, and after having designed handbags for 5 years, I included ready-to-wear in my collections. I like to offer a complete world but also a silhouette, while keeping the must-haves, leather goods, handmade, fine materials and, of course, the French savoir-faire.
How would you define the spirit of your new collection?
Once more, it’s a mix of everything I love doing: working with my hands, handmade and artisanal goods. I’ve always thought that an object, a cloth or a bag has a stronger identity when we know where it comes from, where it has been made and when we know its story from its birth to the sale. So I always design while think about this, with a thematic I love for every season. I’m a real leather lover, whether it’s for a bag or a cloth, and even on a piece of furniture. I like the idea that this material has no limit.
What’s your favourite piece? The one you prefer wearing?
It depends on the occasion. To go out, I like the velvet dresses from winter 2017 with a little handbag we hold with the hand or by a handle like a minaudière. During the day, I like being more “casual” and these days, I often wear a very seventies sleeveless coat from my summer collection. As I move in scooter, I also have a leather down jacket that I love, from winter 2017. Otherwise, I love jewels. I wear mines but also a lot of vintage pieces I buy on markets.
What’s the colour of the moment for you?
I have always been a total fan of black. That said, for next summer, I want pale colours (pink, light grey, beige).
What would the object of your craziest dreams?
A Venetian mirror table who is at my parents’ place in the dining room. It’s completely dilapidated and brightened, but it is what makes its beauty. The top is made of a lot of mirrors dotted by time and decorated with golden patterns and the feet are sculpted wood. Unfortunately, it’s fragile and I’m not sure it could suit to my Parisian lifestyle. Moreover, it’s really massive. My apartment would have to be 4 times bigger than now.
What’s missing in your place?
Walls. I love my apartment but it’s only one room. The only bedroom is for my son. The volumes are big but my bed (which I turn into a sofa during the day) is next to the sofa, itself next to the table on which we dine and where I often work.
Where do you when you are looking for a piece of furniture?
At Emmaüs or at my parents’ place in the countryside. I only like pieces of furniture which have a history and a sheen. I have trouble buying new pieces of furniture. Well, actually, I think I never did it.
What’s the last book you read?
Journal pour Anne, by François Mitterrand.
What inspires you in your work? An iconic woman? A period?
I’m fascinated by women with a strong personality and who succeed in imposing who they are in a modern way, in their time. Freedom and independence of women affect me a lot. The idea she can live by herself and impose a style without caring about what society is going to think about her. IT goes from Françoise Sagan to Patti Smith and MIA. I like commitment of a women. And style comes with it. I’m interested in women who help others to feel more free in their time by being a model. The ones who don’t care about the imposed codes.
What are your next creative projects?
I just started ready-to-wear to go with my bags. I also included capsules of shoes and jewels. So, the idea is more to set this in in the long term rather than start something new. That said, I worked on a movie after having met Julien Bachelet (a director) and Irina Lazareanu (a model/singer). The three of us worked on it, it all went naturally and each of us brought something strong and personal to the movie. I like the idea of working with people who bring their world and personality. I like the idea of collaborative creations.
Do you have a restaurant to recommend us?
Even two! In Paris, Chez Fernand and Roger la Grenouille.
Photography : Constance Gennari – Text : Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily