10 March 2009

Fashion honesty from Alber Elbaz

Oh, Alber Elbaz - let us count the ways we love you. Not only did you deliver a collection that real women everywhere will want to wear (and believe us that can be a rarity sometimes on the fashion circuit), and feed us cocktails and chocolate-covered cherries beforehand, you're one of the few people in fashion who seem to be utterly on our wave-length.

You worry about your weight: ‘I do things without decollete, nothing is transparent. I am overweight, so I am very, very aware of what to show and what not to show, and I am sure there is a huge link with being an overweight designer and the work I do.'

You're a workaholic: ‘Two nights before the show, the bags arrive. And I look at the bags and I hate them. Within a second, I got a migraine from depression. I thought, It's a disaster - it's just a disaster - it will never work. I go back to Alex, "Am I not seeing right? Everybody seems to like it and I hate it." And then it's that moment that you have two choices: either to give up or to start fighting. I said, "Everybody, we are going to meet again at eight o'clock tomorrow morning, all of us." Everybody came at eight o'clock - half asleep, half tired, three-quarters depressed - and we went bag by bag. We take off the chain. We put steam. We put it into water. We take off the closure. We edit the lucky charm that we have done on the bag. We took a pompom we have made out of grosgrain, we put it on the bag.'

And you never think what you've done is good enough: ‘After every show, I say to Hania [Destelle, a friend], "They hated it."'

Well, Alber, if you're listening. We didn't hate it. We loved it. And we love you. OK, obsessive fashion crush over... [New Yorker]


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