Vanessa Bruno was in town last week to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her Melrose boutique. I was honored to attend the intimate dinner celebration held at Lucques restaurant. Key editors, stylists, and celebs including Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, Mena Suvari and Molly Sims turned out for the occasion all dressed in the Parisian designer’s smartly chic attire. It’s no wonder Bruno has attracted Hollywood’s chic set to her brand. She designs her effortlessly chic clothing with an understated quality that appeals to stylish women around the world. While Bruno was in town, I stopped by her Melrose boutique to cover the event for Apparel News. We sat down to chat about her Spring and Fall collections and the anniversary of her flagship boutique. I also got a few behind-the-scenes details on her film collab with Kate Bosworth – muse and face of the brand’s Fall/Winter campaign. This season Bruno created a video entitled "LØV” which features Bosworth backflipping through modern day to a mystical setting modeled around Slovenia’s Lake Bled and its Lipizzaner horses. It was especially magical for me to see the collection come to life after previewing it on the runway in Paris (one of my favorite collections for Fall!). Bosworth, one of the chicest starlets in Hollywood today, perfectly captures the poetic mood of the season’s Nordic-themed campaign. So, just what is that effortless quality known as Parisian chic? Here are some of Vanessa Bruno’s thoughts on her collection, Kate Bosworth and all things very, very chic.
Vanessa Bruno Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 at Paris Fashion Week, photos courtesy of Style.com
Who is the Vanessa Bruno girl?
I think she definitely has this feminine [quality], she’s a bit chic, she has an edge, but with a very laid back, relaxed way of seeing fashion. She’s a bit more confident. She doesn’t need to show off. She’s definitely also [ageless] because I can see from a younger girl to a more mature woman, they will definitely find their way into the line.
What is your design aesthetic?
People always ask me what is it about this kind of French, Parisian style thing? And I always say [it’s] about not changing too much and to know yourself. Of course it’s about changing, but in a way you’re not radically changing your silhouette. I think the way I treat my collection is that a girl at one point will find a reference or pieces - beautiful shirts or jackets, or really feminine dresses - they will find a piece they feel confident in [and say] ‘Oh yeah, I had this dress I wore two years ago, but I can still wear it. I can find something different now, but it’s still in the same lecture.’ That’s what I mean. I think that you can go for something a bit more new and challenge yourself as a designer to see what you can do. But I always try to keep it in balance with truly, ‘would I wear it as a woman?’
Tell me about your Spring and Fall collections.
The lecture for Winter was this layering winter Scandi wrap all this beautiful white outfits and so on. And then for the summer I said let’s do something really clean and no layering this time. Just imagine this girl and she has one piece and it has to look stunning or maybe two - but basta. I’m trying to be challenging in a different way, but it still looks very Vanessa Bruno because you can still find the mix with the fabric, the crepe, but also this kind of a patchwork thing that I already had for winter in a different way, but I started it there. [Also] all the hand knits that I had for winter, I did differently for summer. So you can find this little code I would say.
How did the collaboration come about with Kate Bosworth?
She’s so inspiring. She’s really independent, but with a lot of class in herself because she knows what she wants. She dares to do things that a lot of actresses wouldn’t do. How we met? We were at a dinner and I showed her my little poetic movie. And she said, ‘I love that, I would definitely love to do one.’ And I called her three months later [and I said] ‘well, you said…and I just love your personality you’re like my little sister.’ She said, ‘I will do it,’ and she came.
How would you describe her style?
She has her own taste. She is elegant, and at the same time very relaxed. She doesn’t make too much about it. I always say less is more and she’s definitely that. She is exactly for me this kind of girl who represents Parisian style, but in a cosmopolitan way. For me, Parisian style is not just about being Parisian, it is about living in LA, having this little thing. Living in NY,…having this what we call Parisian style. And you can have it also in Asia.
What inspired you to do the film?
We always create starting from the collection. It was like I had this whole [idea] of the mood, an Ingrid Bergman persona. That was my mood board for the collection. And then when I do the film I always project into it and say, ‘Let’s imagine the short film, three minutes, the girl has to look at it, feel emotional. Look at the collection without putting it too in your face like it’s a marketing thing, or I’m selling a bag of something, but really taking the girl’s spirit out there. Emotionally she’s beautiful, she’s poetic, she’s vibrating with nature, she’s in osmosis with nature. It’s all those kind of elements that I try to [relay] which is actually just a trademark of the brand.
What inspires you as a designer?
I like a lot of contemporary art. Actually I’m going to the museum because I think LACMA and MOCA are really important. I need to see what is on. I think also what LA is doing with contemporary art is more and more important. There are very important American artists who are from the LA scene. I can also be inspired by movies. I love the movie I saw recently, “Drive.” It’s done in the aesthetic of LA, the music and everything. It’s a really cool movie.
What is VeryVeryChic to you?
Very, very chic for me is not to [wear] too many logos [and] not showing too much. Being chic is being chic but in a very subtle way - definitely you have to have this kind of allure and confidence.