Bucket list check I did upon putting the following four at four p.m. to iconic fashion designer HERVÉ L. LEROUX when he popped into our fair city this summer for a sold out appearance at the prestigious Festival Mode & Design. Enjoy the Diary Vol. 6 exclusive:
As one of the globe’s most respected and gifted designers, you’ve dressed legions of stars and acclaimed figures like Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Selma Hayek, Dita Von Teese and Monica Bellucci. Who stands out to you and why? Any other dream clients or muses?
Monica Bellucci stands out because the first bandage dress I ever made was photographed on her. In fact, she wore my clothes in the first ever shoot for an American ad. Dita also stands out because when she comes in, we have the best time. It’s really more of a collaboration. That said, I’ve had the chance to dress many celebrities and women throughout my career as Hervé Léger and Hervé L. Leroux, so I cannot complain. It’s much easier for me to say who I didn’t dress! But when it comes down to it, I don’t have or want a muse. I don’t want to be obsessed with one woman I dress because I find it very unfair for all the other women I have dressed, and for the women who want to wear my clothes. It’s too straight and limited.
Here’s the scene: It’s almost 5 p.m. on a Thursday after work and a stylish girl boss is en route to a swish 5 à 7. What’s her best go-to ensemble for an unforgettable entrance?
To make a memorable impression at a 5 à 7, a woman needs to have the best skirt; a tight black skirt that goes to just the end of the knee. She also needs a fabulous pair of shoes, the right shoes. In fact, it’s better to save money on the whole outfit and splurge on the perfect pair of shoes and bag.
Throughout your career, you’ve used myriad media to express your creativity and design prowess and are well acquainted with the power and pop of accessories. What are your best recommendations on that front for party attire?
That’s very difficult for me. I know accessories very well, having worked at Chanel and Lagerfeld. But, as noted earlier, it would have to be the shoes; for the shoes and bag are the most important components of any look or outfit. Also, it’s very important to simplify and remove things that are unnecessary. Fashion today is very overdone. It’s always important to take off, rather than to add on, with respect to all items of clothing, including accessories.
So then Mies van der Roh was right, I presume? Less is indeed more! 😉 Hervé, for each edition of the magazine, we embrace a unifying theme. This edition boasts a technology theme. How has the rapid-fire world of innovation and science affected your métier?
The bandage dress is still my creation. The effect of the bandage dress on the body is still my story. I’ve been doing the same thing for years, but it is always different. It’s an obsession. Very recently Vera Wang came into my shop. She bought three of my dresses. When she tried them on she said, “there’s something happening here that I have never experienced before.” I’m not a typical designer — I’m not a rack designer. The technology manifests in the way I create.
For more magic and inspiration from the legendary frock master, go to hervelleroux.com.
Photography ALI MAHDAVI