09 March 2012

Julia Restoin Roitfeld on Designing For Kiki de Montparnasse & Carine Becoming a Granny

Julia Restoin Roitfeld on Designing For Kiki de Montparnasse & Carine Becoming a Granny

Julia Restoin Roitfeld - art director, daughter of fashion royalty, model and FROW regular has added another string to her bow – lingerie design. She recently collaborated with upmarket French lingerie brand Kiki de Montparnasse to create a collection of utterly gorgeous underwear (check it out at Net-a-Porter). We caught up with the mother-to-be to get the low down…

GD: How did the collaboration with Kiki de Montparnasse come about?

JRR: “I have always loved lingerie and have been collecting vintage pieces for inspiration for years.  I have been shopping at Kiki for a while – it’s definitely my favorite underwear brand - and we got talking about doing something together.  I suggested to them that that I’d love to collaborate on a collection and they thought it was a great idea.”

GD: How involved were you in the design process?

JRR: “I had lots of ideas about the aesthetics  - I’m really inspired by retro lingerie and the hourglass figure that was the fashionable body shape in the 50’s and 60’s, and I came to our first meeting with lots of sketches and vintage pieces for inspiration.  But it was also really important to me that the collection served a purpose other than just for seduction!  It has to look good under clothes, not just in the bedroom, and this is where Kiki really guided me, with the technical side of the design.  I had the inspiration for how the collection would look, but I got help on the fit and how the lingerie would flatter the body.”

Julia Restoin Roitfeld on Designing For Kiki de Montparnasse & Carine Becoming a GrannyJulia Restoin Roitfeld on Designing For Kiki de Montparnasse & Carine Becoming a Granny

GD: Did you design with a certain woman in mind?

JRR: “Myself! I think the only way for me to do something successful and something I was really passionate about, would be to design a collection I’d love to wear.”

GD: How did you feel about modeling the collection, especially as you were pregnant at the time of the shoot?

JRR: “We kept the shoot really small and intimate, just seven people, so it wasn’t too scary.  I know the Kiki people really well and feel really comfortable with them, and the stylist – Tom van Dorpe - is a good friend of mine, so it was ok!  I hadn’t told anyone except Tom that I was pregnant (I had to explain to him why I had gone up a bra size!).  I told them I’d had a really big lunch that day, and had to do a lot of sucking in my stomach!”

GD: Congratulations! When is your baby due?

JRR: “Thanks – we are super excited! The baby is due in mid May – not long now!”

GD: Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl?

JRR: “No, Robert (Konjic – Julia’s model boyfriend of three years) and I decided we wanted a surprise, so we’re waiting until D day!

GD: How does Carine feel about becoming a grandmother?

JRR: “She’s thrilled.  She’s been hoping secretly for it for a while I think!  She’s really excited – the whole family is.  They all want us to find out the sex, but we’re holding out – it’s only another two months to wait now!”

GD: What will your child call Carine?

Carine Roitfeld and her daughter Julia Restoin Roitfeld arrive to attend the Giorgio Armani Prive show as part of the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week

JRR: “I think we’ll leave that to the child to decide – once they can talk!  Maybe a nickname… we never called our grandmothers Granny or Grandma, so I don’t suppose she will be that either.”

GD: How was it growing up in such a fashionable family? Did you understand what you mum did for a living or did she keep work and home separate?

JRR: “I didn’t really think about the fashion aspect of it as a child, I was never that in to clothes at all – not really until I moved to New York in my early twenties.  A lot of my mother’s friends are people she knows through work, so there were always cool, creative people in the house, which was really fun. Sometimes we’d go and collect her from the set when she’d been shooting, which I loved – it was always such an exciting atmosphere, with great music playing. Back then when I was young the models were real Amazons  - I loved that! It was really cool to hang out and witness great work being created. Sometimes my brother and I would model in my mother’s shoots, which was fun too.  I still love being on a shoot even now – the whole process of it, the way it evolves though the day and then seeing the end results.  It’s the part of my work I enjoy the most.

GD: What other projects are you working on?

JRR: “I’m finishing work now, before the baby comes.  I am taking the summer off to enjoy our new life and then maybe in September I will think about taking on some projects.

by Siobhan Mallen


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