Vanessa Bruno interview: the Parisian gives us a dressing down
women aren't getting more difficult, women are difficult!' – fashion designer Vanessa Bruno tells us what she likes about dressing London women
Vanessa Bruno doesn't really need to market her brand – her own look epitomises it. She has that ineffable French insouciance, that cool, that je ne sais quoi... but these are clichés, and Bruno's style is anything but.
Her clothing brand is a go-to line for many a sophisticated woman. Lou Doillon, daughter of Jane Birkin, and the actress Kate Bosworth have both fronted campaigns. From the classic Vanessa Bruno Cabas bag to this season's Victorian collar lace shirts, the collections are always chic, always wearable. She might share initials with Victoria Beckham, but the laid-back chic is all her own.
A Parisian, Bruno grew up surrounded by fashion. Her Danish mother was a model. She founded her eponymous brand in the late Nineties.Though she praises London style – 'English girls dare' and 'London girls are pioneers' (you flatter us, Vanessa) – we can't help but think: blast, Brexit, a French connection is what we crave this season.
From 27 April until 7 May, Culture Whisper readers get 30% off on uk.vanessabruno.com! Scroll to the end of the article for more information
To help us along, the Vanessa Bruno spring/summer collection is a breath of fresh air. Never think that French dressing has to be conservative. The silver sequins on the Georgette dress (below) – 'because we are girls and we like to shine' – show that sparkle doesn't have to mean diamante-breasts-out-at-Coachella. Intrigued, we coaxed out some more stylish secrets.
The sequin Georgette Garris dress
How would you define London style?
London style has a free spirit. English girls are far more daring than Parisian women…
What do you think are the differences between the Parisienne and the Londonienne as style tribes?
London girls are pioneers. They will try and adopt new trends – any new trend – without prejudice... In a way, French girls are more conservative…
What will you be wearing this summer?
I’ll be wearing a pair of shorts, feminine lace blouse and flat sandals. It’s the perfect outfit for both day and night. It’s comfortable, but chic… laid-back, but stylish.
The Cabas was such a hit bag – how did it come about?
The Cabas was born when I realised, as a young mum, that I need a practical bag to carry all the stuff that you need during the day with a baby. You need something simple, large and strong. At the same time I wanted something feminine and well-made.
Finally, I designed the simplest bag you could imagine: a large basket, in cotton because it’s lighter, with sequins because we are girls and we like to shine.
Who would you most like to see wearing your designs – and where?
Real girls, in the street, on the beach, in the countryside or at the office. I built my own brand on offering simple designs for every moment of your life.
When you showcased your SS17 line, you said you wanted to 'keep doing simple clothes for difficult girls'. What did you mean? And, do you think women are getting more ‘difficult’?
No, women are not getting difficult, they are difficult! Difficult because they are particularly demanding. When they choose an outfit, they want everything. They want good design, they want something trendy but timeless, and they want good fabric. But they also want something easy to take care of, and, finally, they want something well cut that suits every shape.
The SS17 collection was all about holidays – which destinations inspired you?
For me, real holidays are in the south of France, but I also love the historical, laid-back and easy-going vibe of Ibiza.
Where do you like to go in London?
I really love The New Craftsmen shop in London. It’s a beautiful space with an amazing selection of outstanding handmade pieces.
Cross-Channel chic: The New Craftsmen, London, and La Perle, Paris
Do you have a secret place in Paris where you like to go?
I love to have drinks at La Perle, in Le Marais. It’s owned by my friends.
What couldn’t you live without?
What’s the best piece of fashion advice you’ve ever been given?
Think about what you want to wear, think about how you live – and combine the two.
Light, satin-backed crepe Galla Dress with half-open sleeves
*From 27 April until 7 May, Culture Whisper readers get 30% off the spring/summer 2017 collection!
This offer excludes the permanent colours (black, indigo, pyrite, anthracite, sand and limestone) of our bags offer such as Cabas, Eclipse, Lune, Charly and Gemma. Available online with the coupon code PRIVATECW, or instore with your Culture Whisper membership details. Please note that the offer is only available on the UK website (uk.vanessabruno.com)
Visit the London store on 1A Grafton Street, Mayfair, W1S 4EB, or head online: uk.vanessabruno.com