Garance Dore’s State of Mind

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Published September 9, 2010

 

PHOTO BY GARANCE DORE

 

Garance Doré is the ultimate blogette parisienne. Clean, honest street style portraits, elegant illustrations, and brief but poignant musings about everything from clothes to flowers to the café around the corner have made her blog, Une Fille Comme Moi (“A Girl Like Me”), a part of two national lexicons. So it’s no surprise that Jil Sander asked her to capture its easy, simplistic and attractively priced spring capsule collection, Navy, with her fine-tuned lens. The new line, which offers crisp, minimal looks—bold, color-blocked trenches, drapey silk handkerchief dresses and smart skinny twill pants—is not set to hit stores until December. But during Fashion’s Night Out, those who visit Sander’s Soho or Madison boutiques for cocktails and a DJ set will be treated to both a sneak peek at the collection and the debut of Doré ‘s exclusive photographs. Our blogger du jour who, it should be mentioned, moved from Paris to New York just last month, featured Teen Vogue‘s Laurel Pantin, model Marymeth Dupain, and stylist Diana Lunt, among others, in her  candid shots. The photographs epitomize Navy’s philosophy of effortless sophistication and, as Doré  reveals in our interview, bring the collection to life with a signature personal touch.    KATHARINE ZARRELLA: How are you enjoying your new life in New York?  GARANCE DORE: I love it! New York has treated me very well. I’ve wanted to move here for a long time so it’s a great moment for me. I’m very happy.  

ZARRELLA: How do you feel the street style in New York compares to what you were shooting in Paris?

DORE: I think what I love about New York is the variety of neighborhoods and also the sense of freedom that people show in their style. It’s either crazy good or crazy bad but people really do whatever they want to do.   ZARRELLA: Your blog is a wonderful fusion of street-style photos, illustrations and personal thoughts. How did it all come together?  DORE: I started my blog as an illustrator. I just wanted to post my illustrations and hear what people thought. But then I realized that I wanted to talk a little bit about what I was drawing, so I started writing and it created more interactions. Then I started talking a lot about fashion, and I didn’t know a lot about fashion, but I was very interested. And after a few months I realized that with fashion, you want to show the fabric and you want to show the people and so I grabbed a camera and that’s how I started. A few months ago I also started including videos. It’s just about creating a better experience for the people who come to my blog.   ZARRELLA: Do you feel that one medium is more expressive than the other?   DORE: No I think they compliment each other and actually it’s really funny because my dream was to be an illustrator and I realized when I was really trying to do that, I was so lonely! I would never talk to anybody! And when I started doing photography I realized that it was the complete opposite. You need to have somebody there. You need to have a team and a subject and you need to have a lot of people around you. I love that. And then, when I’m too tired, maybe after finishing all the fashion weeks where I have a lot of people around me, I can relax and go back to illustration and that makes me super happy, so it’s a great to have them both.   ZARRELLA: How did you get involved with Jil Sander?   DORE: Well, I’ve been talking to Jil Sander for a long time about a collaboration. I love to shoot very natural girls and I like to imagine them in real life, so I think my vision of the modern woman fits with their Navy collection, which is an easier, more relaxed urban line. And I am very happy because I really love Raf Simons’ vision. I wanted to wear a lot of the stuff. It has that minimalistic touch but there’s always a little bit of sophistication, like a simple pink T-shirt that is beautifully draped in the back and when you see the girl moving you see these beautiful details. I love that it’s understated and the clothes are easy to work with.   ZARRELLA: Did you incorporate any of your illustrations in this project?  DORE: No, it’s just photography. But I did write on the photographs. The girls I shot inspired me. I always take pictures of girls with whom I feel a connection. Instead of just being models, each of these girls does something or has a story to tell so I tried to, in a few words, sum up their relationship with the City. I really wanted to show New York: the taxis and the buildings, but I also wanted to show the relationships these girls have with New York. And I didn’t use a stylist. I really let the girls style themselves because I wanted it to feel intimate and personal.   ZARRELLA: What is your secret for remaining effortlessly Parisian chic in New York?  DORE: [Laughs] Well, that’s a very good question. New York is so crazy and speedy that you just want to be comfortable and wear flat shoes so you can runaround. And I love that, but if I want to stay a little bit Parisian, I’ve got to keep my high heels on.