On Aura Tout Vu loves to play with fashion and glamour! Their Haute Couture never ceases to surprise and strike the imagination. And with their sequins and jewels, crystals and shiny materials, the Bulgarian designers, Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov continue to confirm that On Aura Tout Vu truly makes your life sparkle for real. We’ve decided to go behind the scenes on their creative process.
I often hear people saying that French fashion, especially Haute Couture, is not for everyday wear, but rather for show, for the so-called ‘striking effect’ – what do you have to say in regards to this?
Yassen: French Haute Couture is of course made for single, custom made orders, but we personally work with show business a lot, and our dresses are quite theatrical as well. So for On Aura Tout Vu it’s both: Fashion and Performance.
Livia: We actually do both: casual outfits as well as something absolutely spectacular for certain special occasions like big gala receptions, and even various music video clips.
Yassen: Haute Couture is still rare to see on the street, except maybe in the United States, where true fashionistas easily mix, say, Haute Couture with jeans.
What’s your driving force while creating a concept for a new collection?
Yassen: Everything starts with an idea and then we try to develop it according to the mood of the collection. After the first sketch is done, we fine tune the materials and the selection of the shapes.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Y: Mostly certainly always from art, and quite often from our social environment. We always try to transmit a concrete message concerning actual political or ecological issues, and sometimes, why not, even our own political views.
L: And of course our own enthusiasm! Creating is a way to express ourselves, and this is also the best way to show what we think and who we are.
When a Couture designer is first starting out, what do you think is most important for his success?
Y: I will advise young designers to be honest with themselves and to think about the company’s strategy.
L: Be yourself, stay original, and defend your creative ideas.
The fundamental design rules for On Aura Tout Vu are?
L/Y: Be unusual, always surprise, and never be afraid to make mistakes.
So what’s the future of Haute Couture? Back in the day it was all about dressing wealthy, famous, very select women. What’s changed? What are we to expect now?
Y: What’s changed today, is that the previous generation was mostly wealthy and used to buying custom made dresses for social appearances. Nowadays, a new generation (coming from Silicon Valley for example) is young and rich and can easily buy Haute Couture. But at the same time, Couture is a state of mind, and this new generation is still learning how to wear it. What we can also say is that the younger generation wants to be unique and no longer wants to buy something luxury in prêt-à-porter. That’s why, if there is enough money, they prefer the higher level goods.
Tell us about Madonna’s taste? Do you create any special dresses for your star clients, or do they choose from your collection themselves?
Y: We have many world famous clients living in Los Angeles. We stay in close touch with their stylists. As for Madonna, it took us several months of work to define the idea. First we signed a document, promising to keep this project top secret. It was an amazing experience to work with B.Arkelund, Madonna’s stylist, who asked us to develop some designs according to her specifications and especially in accordance with the mood of her new single.
L: We had to follow a special “direction” which led us to the complete mood of the album, it helped us to be close to the spirit of the new up-coming song. We made several sketches of the future gown. As many other famous fashion houses were asked to do the same, we happened to be in a sort of a fashion competition with Armani and Givenchy. Madonna and her stylist selected some pieces to be used in the video and for our great honor we were in.
Congratulations! It was a fair contest! You do collaborate with many stars from Asia as well. Do you think that Asian clients are more experimental and express more originality than conservative European women?
L: We work with Ivana Wong a lot, one of the most popular and important Mandarin singers. She is also a very talented actress. We elaborated exclusive and original gowns for her last album and for her last concert in Hong-Kong. Last month she received three awards during the Hong-Kong film festival (one of them is for best actress) and it was absolutely amazing to create her custom made dress for this event.
Y: We have to work from a distance, as she has no time to come to our atelier in Paris, but we are used to this practice, so everybody is happy with the result.
I know that Conchita Wurst is a very good friend of your fashion house.
L: Oh yes! And Conchita is never afraid to choose the most original of our dresses and accessories.
What are you planning at the present moment? What kind of new style shall we see in the near future?
L: We are preparing a lot of interesting things, it is a normal working process for our great team. We shall start with a small men’s accessory collection, i twill come up in a few days in the end of June. We are also working at women’s accessory collection for the Spring/Summer 2016. And we are equally launching a new t-shirt collection to accompany these new accessories.
Y: We are proud to continue our collaboration with two ballets. One show is for 30 years of Monaco Ballet, on stage next December. It will be Ravel « L’enfant et les sortilèges » (The Child and the Spells: A Lyric Fantasy in Two Parts). And the other one is “Carmina Burana” in the Geneva theater. We have more than hundreds costumes and details for the scene decorations to produce.
L: It’s our second collaboration with both Big theatres in Monaco & Geneva. In Monaco we are being invited by Caroline de Monaco, who has been our godmother from the very beginning of our collaboration. She suggested we work with the truly professional and highly talented young choreographer Jeroen Verbruggen. He performed and seduced the public at our last Couture show in Paris.
Y: We’ve produced a new accessory collection with famous French cabaret Moulin Rouge. We have been working together for 5 years now. It’s been 5 years since we’ve been creating a special luxury line of bottles and boxes for legendary French perfume house Caron (established in 1904) as well.
L: And we shall soon start to prepare a new Couture collection for A/I 2017. There will be no fashion-show this summer. We‘ve decided to keep our focus on our projects! There are so many interesting challenges coming up! Our motto is “ Do everything in the best way you can!” I think it’s enough of a “to-do-list” for the next two to three upcoming months!!! (laughing)
Spy: Olesya Okuneva, Paris
Photo credit: Olesya Okuneva, and On Aura Tout Vu