I’ve loved designer Gilles Montezin ever since I saw Sarah Jessica Parker in one of his gorgeous coats during the filming of the Sex and the City movie two years ago. The French designer who studied under the helm of fellow country man and haute couture extraordinaire Christian Lacroix has been making quite a splash since his main stream debut a la SJP. His designs, all fit for the girl with a discerning eye for the best and well made clothes perfect for work and a night out at high society events, in pages of magazines, on movie stars and in the upcoming movie Confessions of a Shopaholic staring Isla Fisher.
Gilles and I became friends last year when I reached out to him regarding scheduling a meeting with him at his studio in New York City. At that time, he was so swamped with press inquiries but that didn’t stop him from corresponding with me and eagerly awaiting my trip to New York City. We discussed trying on every single piece in his wonderful collection of Parisian chic clothes that many women dream of but never really get a chance to wear. One look at Gilles’ collection and you will know why his collection is one of the most coveted among high society ladies and starlets. He has a keen eye for details and can transform the simplest black dress into a masterpiece. Gilles knows that clothes do not have to be over the top to be in order to make a statement. His designs are the height of sophistication. I got the chance to interview this charming designer for the Glamazon Diaries because I knew my readers would fall in love with his designs as well as the man behind the brand just as I have after.
On my lust list is an original Gilles Montezin coat and a dress for my birthday. His pieces are timeless and worth the splurge. Think family heirlooms – something that can be passed down to your daughter or granddaughter one day.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
I think of something fresh and light weight. I wanted to give a very modern touch to the clothes without taking away the luxury
Take us through your creative process? How do you decide what to include in your collection?
I always start with fabrics and mood. I know. Yes! it can be compatible!
Colors, textures and moods!
There are so many unique pieces, how do you narrow your selection to the final collection and how do you choose which ones to showcase?
You are right on, you pinned my very essence. I like unique pieces. Well, it all depends on the use of them. I cannot do all the coats I would like in one collection. I have to select just a few for all kinds of event and stop there. Same for every pieces. Believe me, sometimes it is hard!
What type of woman do you create for? Do you have a specific muse in mind when designing? If so, who?
I just think of my dear friend and writer Laren Stover all the time. She is the perfect artist who loves clothes and has a very modern chic and discrete sexiness to her.Just like a modern Audrey Hepburn. Really!
What is most important to you when designing, style, trend, fashion or wearability?
I try my best to create luxury clothes that are flattering and bring out the confidence of anyone who will wear them. I work for my clients: I think of how they would feel in each piece. Of course, I also like a little touch of drama, I can’t help it!
What influenced you to get into design? Did you have any mentors?
I worked 8 years in Paris with Christian Lacroix for his Haute-couture collections and clients…It was the best years of my life! I learned so much with him.
He is a true and humble artist that will use at its best everybody’s talent and competence to mix it all in his work. He has the best sense of color and texture and drama!
How can those who purchase your brand incorporate pieces from your collection into their everyday look?
Everyone that bought pieces from my collections have a great opportunity to break the suits with other pieces and mix with other designers very easily. I am always touched to see how my clients use the clothes with their own sense of aesthetic. I really like that!
What would you say was the must have piece in your collection and why?
I have to say I like very much that black coat made of wool jersey and duchess satin for evening…I saw it worn all kind of different ways, and always it looked good. There is a band of beads under the bust that is very flattering for a coat!
What is in store for the next season?
I am still working on some of the pieces but for now I must say I like very much the ball gowns. Let’s see where it leads.
Wearability and durability are very important to most women. Especially if they are going to be splurging on an expensive item. How do you ensure that women are getting the bang for their buck? Is your target audience someone who has the disposable income to splurge and not worry about the clothes? If so, is it not wasteful, especially in this economy?
Luxury clothes are always difficult to choose. You really have to select the pieces accordingly to the use you intend to do. Whether it is a coat that you will wear almost every day or a cocktail dress you want to seduce your new date with and will probably not wear again!( Not with him anyway!) So it is before all a question of how you will use the piece that determines the budget allowed to it.
What is your number one style advice on maintaining the classic and chic image?
So far what always worked according to my observations is selecting classics but with certain twist (not too boring pieces,please!) and accessorize with “it” bags or scarfs or else of the season. It allows you to wear pieces you love for more than only one season( because they will not go out of style!) and reduce the clothing budget to a reasonable expense by updating the whole wardrobe with only accessories.
It is style and budget friendly! There is nothing more chic than a fantastic black dress with a Hermes scarf or a great pair of Louboutin. So simple and elegant.