“When you’re young and French, buying A.P.C. jeans was a big deal!” So says Vanessa Seward, the fashion designer who at the age of 21 started her career. His curriculum vitae includes concerts with Tom Ford at Yves Saint Laurent and at the helm of Azzaro. Now she has her own capsule collection in alliance with A.P.C. creative director Jean Touitou. He showed off their designs by boasting, “These clothes are my answer to the little black dress lie. It can’t solve all of your problems, it’s a myth.”
Irony of her Chanel years aside, Seward seems okay, and her latest print-laden dresses prove it. We spoke with the designer, stylist and native of Paris about her Fall 2013 line, her stylish adolescence and Lena Dunham’s outfit.
ELLE: When did you first meet Jean Touitou?
Vanessa Seward: I met him at least 10 years ago. But I already loved A.P.C., I mean, I loved him since I was a teenager. The first thing I bought from them – the first thing all my friends also bought – was a pair of A.P.C. jeans. I must have had them, and I remember that feeling. So when Jean and I started discussing a collaboration, I wouldn’t have said no. I have always worn this brand.
ELLE: Do you want to speak about this season?
VS: Obviously, there are still prints, because everyone answered them very well, and I like them too. And then I got really interested in lace, because when was the last time A.P.C. already made something with lace? In fact, I asked Jean, and I was determined to put some lace in [this collection], to show him that it can be done in an A.P.C. path. And I played around with the black and tan color combination a lot.
VS: Looks like it could be a really cool jumpsuit to wear at night. It’s cool in a classic way. And I’m from Argentina, so now we have shoes based on tango shoes.
ELLE: Do you know tango?
VS: Well I can form shoes based on tango shoes!
ELLE: What’s the best part about designing this particular collection that’s different from your other work?
VS: I see young girls in many countries wearing these clothes everywhere, and that’s the best compliment I can get as a designer. They wear them at work, at school or with their friends. These clothes are part of their life and it means a lot to me.
ELLE: Funny story: last year we ran into Lena Dunham in the street. She has worn one of your dresses and she said she saw it in the A.P.C. the window. During her lunch break after filming Girls, she ran off the set and bought it – straight through the store window – because she loved it so much.
VS: That’s why I’m doing this! Because of stories like that. It’s a delight when I see girls wearing these clothes on the street! It’s a race.
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