GUEST EDIT: JEANNE DAMAS
GUEST EDIT: JEANNE DAMAS
The French style icon and founder/creative director of Rouje shares her top travel tips for Paris and the artwork she's eyeing from our latest selection.
What do you collect?
I like things that evoke an emotion, a memory and buy pieces quite spontaneously. I like to surround myself with and mix things from different periods as I like the dialogues they can create: a painting by Léonore Fini hangs next to an 18th-century plate I brought back from a trip to Spain, an Alicia Adamerovich faces a piece by Francis Picabia, family photos and pottery I found in the flee market are disposed on the bookshelves along with works by Nathanaëlle Herbelin and unknown artists from the 19th century I bought with my partner from Drouot. I don’t know if I would call it a collection, but I definitely enjoy its company.
Are there any young artists you’ve discovered recently whom you love?
I discover a lot of artists on Instagram or through friends. I like the idea that the internet made things a bit easier to access and more democratic. Young artists can get their work out there more easily, and a person interested in art can connect with artists wherever they are.
I used to be mostly interested in photography. I've gone to the Arles Festival every year since I was a child, but as my partner works in art, I got more and more into contemporary art in the last couple of years. I’m happy that I was recently able to acquire works by Lily Wong, Maja Ruznic, Tanja Nis-Hansen, and can enjoy them every day.
There are so many artists whose work I admire: Eva Helene Pade; Lenz Geerk; Stanislava Kovalcikova; my friend Inès Longevial who just had beautiful shows in Paris and NY. I could go on and on. I particularly love the work of Cassi Namoda, the colors she uses, and the stories she tells touch me a lot. On top of that she is a very interesting and generous person. I’m very happy that she wears my brand Rouje and hope to be able to own one of her works soon.
If you could collect any one artist, who would it be?
I’m very sensitive to colors, so probably [Henri] Matisse or [Georgia] O’Keeffe.
What is “French style” to you? And how has it evolved in recent years?
It’s been a while now that people have talked about the ‘French Style.’ Somehow, it has become a sort of phantasm. What I think is funny is that I get more inspired in the streets of New York or London style-wise than in Paris. For me personally, it is something quite simple and classic, timeless, almost like a uniform with a touch of fantasy, like an accessory or a flashy color.
Congrats on your new beauty line! Is there anything about launching it that you’ve found particularly surprising or challenging?
Merci! Les Filles en Rouje is quite challenging as we are building up a new company–the product development, its visual identity, its own website–all while we continue to work on the ready-to-wear line. But I think it’s the best thing to do so the beauty brand can have its independence from the fashion line and we will be able to express a new take on beauty. It’s very exciting to develop the artistic direction, which is a bit different from Rouje, and to show another side of my tastes and personality.
How did you get involved with La Maison des Femmes, and what’s been most rewarding about it?
I met it’s founder, Dr. Ghada Hateb, at a dinner and was blown away by her personality and her commitment! This association provides help and medical care for women and children who are victims of violence. I wanted to help so I’ve created a capsule collection together with my friend, the painter Nina Koltchitskaia, in 2020 to raise funds for La Maison des Femmes. That was the beginning of an ongoing collaboration and friendship. I’m very honored that I’m now one of their ambassadors and am able to raise awareness of their essential work and help to raise funds. This season at Rouje, we're creating an upcycled piece each month and donating the proceeds to La Maison des Femmes.
Favorite Instagram accounts to follow ?
Dream dinner guests (dead or alive)?
People from all sorts of different backgrounds. I like dinners when you can exchange points of view, discuss and be surprised.
What’s the best gift you’ve given/received recently?
To get my family and friends together for my 30th birthday. Those are the really precious moments!
What’s your greatest extravagance?
Not wanting to be like the others. ;)
What are your must-see travel tips for Paris?
Les Buttes de Chaumont, the Parisian Central Park; 0fr bookstore where you'll find the coolest selection of art and fashion books/magazines; pastries from Le Moulin de la Vierge; the Rouje store to discover our latest creations ;) ; and the restaurant À l'épi d'or.
What are you doing right after this?
Watching two movies, one right after the other, as I will be on a 12-hour flight to LA: the latest Almodóvar, who is one of my favorite directors, and Aline, a French movie inspired by Céline Dion.