The Canadian-born retailer, Club Monaco, is making its first foray into the European market in partnership with U.K. department store Browns. We caught up with one of the label’s ambassadors, French actress, muse and all-around creative Lou Doillon.
On working with Club Monaco:
“It’s super exciting because it’s lovely to work with a brand that has a work ethic and an artistic ethic. We picked the clothes we wanted to wear, under the wonderful eye of Ryan McGinley, who wanted you to just live and be free and have a giggle in the photo booth, which I adore, because I am all about old fashioned things. I suddenly thought, what a funny brand, to be that wild and authorize crazy people to be all together!”
How would you describe the Spring collection?
“What’s funny is that they got a lot of the inspiration for the collection from St. Barts, which weirdly enough, is a place I was raised in for two years for school. When I saw the clothes, they reminded me of this beautiful casualwear – super light, with something of the Caribbean and the sunshine, with the sandy, woody and white colours. Very pure.”
What do you look for when it comes to fashion?
“Between having a dog and having a son, I am a mover and have been working since I was thirteen years old. I want to be able to jump in a cab, or take the metro, or take a bus and go and pick up my son. I want clothes that are going to help me live, feel better, and more beautiful. I am a working mother, so I need to have clothes that allow me to live. I’m not a doll.”
Both your mother, Jane Birkin, and your sister, Charlotte Gainsbourg, have redefined elegance with their soigné style. What does elegance mean to you?
“It always has to do with charm. I absolutely hate clothes that make you imposing. I always adore when there is something sweet about an outfit, where it’s too big, or too small, or it’s really beautiful and you’ve worn it with raggedy boots. I’ve always loved that.”
What is your approach when it comes to dressing for the many events you attend?
“I have never worked with a stylist in my life. I always pick things myself…I went to see a Chanel show, they said, oh we have ragged jeans and cool vests for you and I said “No way! I want the classic tweed suit! I loved it because I thought, this is what Chanel is and I will make the effort. But if suddenly you are not wearing makeup and your hair is all raggedy, it just works!”
What do you say to people who call you an It-girl?
“Most of the time, I don’t answer when people say that I am in fashion. Straight away I know they are being cynical. I started acting when I was six, I started fashion when I was sixteen. The only reason they think I am only in fashion magazines is because that’s all they read. If they listened to the radio or the equivalent of the BBC in France, I’m actually one of the youngest lecteurs, I have a card with France Culture, I read plays, I write poetry, I am in the theatre. You can’t blame me for just being in fashion if you only look there. If you look somewhere else, you’ll find me. If you go on the weird literature festivals in France, you’ll find me.”