Victor Weinsanto

Interviews, Inspirations, Focus

“Turning grief into beauty”

How did you envision this collection? Its materials? Its colours? 

Initially, it arose as a tribute to Daphne Guinness, one of the first people to support me, when I started in September 2020. She's an icon whose image keeps gracing my moodboards. And then, to be honest, in October, I experienced the loss of someone very dear to me, Romain Eugène, a painter, photographer and founder of 35 37. This is a way for me to mourn. This collection is a bit special; it's not overly cheerful, but it's like a passage, an acceptance, a cycle. So I used a lot of lace, which echoed a black widow, with touches of bright colour, like glimmers of hope and optimism. I wanted to honour emotions that may lie in the realm of sadness. Let's say it's a meeting between Daphne Guinness and Cindy Lauper.

The key look? 

A draped, sculpted wedding dress themed on witchcraft and Medusa. 

How do you define WEINSANTO DNA? 

There's always drama, whether it's funny or sad. I like that theatrical side. I like the irony. I like to play with humour.  Weinsanto is cabaret, but also the construction, the contrast between the characters, from the ultra-sexy to the ultra-opulent. No fear of exaggerations, volumes, taking up space. I like the very visual, graphic side. There's something architectural about the proportions. Multiply the big swings, between the corset and the extra-large, combining the two.

And Weinsanto woman?  

That's the name of my dog, a Cavalier King Charles (the dog from Beauty and the Tramp), who I've just adopted.

You created your brand in 2020. How far have you come? What have you learnt? 

I've learned that I'm tenacious. Like Jeanne Friot, Alphonse Maitrepierre, Kevin Germanier or Charles Vilmorin, we were lucky to have received help and support.  I feel very grateful and very lucky. We've also realised that we still have a long way to go. I'm lucky enough to be able to play and carry on creating. 

What about the eco-responsibility aspect of this particular collection? 

We're always very pleased to work with Nona Source. Seventy percent of the collection is made from deadstock fabrics. Sophie Hallette gave us second-hand lace, which means we have some beautiful pieces in the collection. 

How did you conceive the show? 

I didn't know where I was going. I wanted to pay tribute to Romain, to transform his grief into beauty. I wanted people to be moved. 

What are you fighting against? 

We're bringing a fairly common message when we talk about acceptance. We'd like people's attitudes to change. I'm fighting for the freedom to be yourself, without feeling constrained by intolerance. Minorities are taking up more space and feeling heard. We still haven't achieved true gender diversity on the catwalks. Drag queens are booked as “talents” but not often as runway girls.  

What's your favourite weapon? 

I don't necessarily have one. But I do have shields: my dog, my husband, my pillars. 

Your dream for 2024? 

For the brand to grow. To keep my business going while feeling creatively free, while remaining a child.