Christelle Kocher Men’s Calendar Debut
How important is a concept or point of departure when starting a season?
The starting point is crucial to the launch of the season. But sometimes there are many ideas at the beginning, and you have to filter them patiently. As a creative mind, inspirations frequently pop up. That's why it's a process to which I attach so much importance, and I like to take my time at the beginning so that all the different ideas come together as smoothly as possible.
How important is innovation to your process?
It's at the heart of my creative process. I like to incorporate new ways of working as well as new materials or new technologies. The Koché x Google collaboration is proof of this, where I mixed craft, couture and new technologies with Google ATAP innovations. Innovation is always very exciting because you have to change the way you create.
What part of the creation process excites you most?
Every stage of the creation process is stimulating! I enjoy the design stage where I am all alone with my mini dummies and some fabrics just as much as the whole production and the campaigns. It's a non-linear process that constantly changes according to the vision I have. The garment can be finalised just a few minutes before being shown; or sometimes an idea is so clear and obvious at the start and I don't change anything. There are no rules, and you have to accept this.
When developing the collection, how much are you thinking about its commerciality?
During the creative process I don't put myself under pressure from others. It's not the commercial side that drives me to create. Then, of course, I edit the collection and the final designs with pieces that are more commercially driven as well as some that are more unique and spectacular for the show.
How has your process changed over the years?
I like my work to be rigorous and organised as I have to respect many processes and agendas. So I try to define methods that remain unchanged. But sometimes they change, of course! I've learned a lot over the past few years and that's shaped my creative mind. Sometimes, I like to revisit what I've already done or take a step back on certain projects.
Where would you like to see changes in fashion this season and beyond?
We live in an era where fashion is constantly changing. With digital technology, trends are changing faster and faster. It is a vast playground where everyone can express their visions and creativity in their own way. I enjoy seeing all this diversity. I want to continue to explore different ideas too. The world is facing so many problems and fashion is a fair reflection of what surrounds us; it is multi-dimensional and complex. I hope fashion can bring a bit of beauty, without overbidding.
What aspect of this collection brings you the most satisfaction/pride?
My inspirations for this collection have always been in the back of my mind. The challenge today was to combine my ideas with more masculine influences. And we did more pieces at Koché's atelier than ever, and I'm so proud of this. Little by little, all those hands created the magic.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.