In honor of Haute Couture Fashion Week (July 1-5), Relaxnews talks to French creative Julien Fournié, who will present his Fall/Winter 2012-2013 collection in Paris July 3. Here, we delve into the designer's creative process, where he recalls a particularly extravagant request from a beautiful Arabian princess and reveals the inspiration comic books provide.
Relaxnews: If you could create a custom gown for anyone who would it be and why? Describe what it would be like.
Julien Fournié: I would love to design a dress for Ellen Page. I think she is a gorgeous young woman and there is something fresh about her. I love her sporty side which you can see in movies like Drew Barrymore's Bliss. But what I like most is her youthfulness, this nonchalance and vulnerability that one sees in girls these days.
To flatter both her body and stay true to her spirit, I would choose a cut-out dress in neoprene. It would be figure-hugging, giving her a lot of freedom to move, and also very short to show off her legs.
Relaxnews: What has been the wildest design request you have ever received? Did you say yes and can you reveal who asked?
JF: It was a magnificent red dress, very sheer, with strategically placed cutouts, entirely covered in crystals and lace. I created it for a princess from the United Arab Emirates, a very beautiful woman...
Relaxnews: Which famous piece of literature would you associate with your latest collection and why?
JF: Comic books -- especially Marvel's X-Men. I have this crazy fight scene in mind in which Ororo Munroe (aka Storm) teams up with Kitty Pryde, Phoenix and Dazzler. All these women band together to re-establish order in NYC, it's a very powerful moment. I think the artwork for the bodies is sublime and the colors are surreal. They catapult us into a world that is quite similar to fashion, in that the lines are extremely stylized and refined. I'm extremely taken by this crazy fantasy world.
Relaxnews: With the Olympic Games approaching, imagine being an athlete...which sport would you choose and why?
JF: I would have without a doubt chosen diving, a sport that requires athletic qualities (gymnastics, especially) as well as an artistic and aesthetic sensibility. What interests me is the ability to express grace and agility during the dive, and just seconds later being able to swim perfectly in troubled water...I think the comparison is rather appropriate.
Relaxnews: Do you have a particular ritual before the start of a fashion show? Describe it.
JF: I want my team and everyone who worked on the collection to be around me before the start of the show. It is an important moment for everyone who took part in making the show, no matter what their role was.
Relaxnews: Do you have a good luck charm? What is it and why?
JF: Yes, I have this silver pendant in the shape of a toreador's jacket, studded with rubies. I wear it every day around my neck on a chain. It's a bit like a shield -- which is something I think you can't live without in the fashion world. I think you have to create a kind of armor around oneself to keep going and not be affected by the attacks of certain people.