It’s been canceled again.
Oh no, I love Mareille Enos. We also watch ‘Breaking Bad.’ It took me a long time to get on board, because it’s very violent. We love ‘Homeland,’ too.
What did you do with the green room?
It’s very much a reflection of our brand. There’s a French side and an American side, and they meet in the middle. There were a lot of things we had to think about, like women in ball gowns not being able to sit down low, so having variations of seating height, and knowing where to put mirrors so the performers can check themselves before they go onstage. We tried to be intelligent about how things were made, like putting USB jacks in sofas so people can charge their phones. We used a lot of fabrics I like, including velvet and suede. And the colors are dark grays and botanical greens.
Are you dressing anyone?
We’re working on it. As a brand, we don’t do a lot of awards stuff, because we don’t do a lot of long dresses. The clothing I like to design is much more the clothing you would wear on the street. It’s also so much about money. We can’t compete with a Chanel or Dior. And I don’t think it’s a great allocation of our resources. It’s also aesthetic. Actresses, and I understand, they want one kind of dress, something very corseted, where they feel super held in, or something that’s got a pouf. There’s a style of dress and it’s not one that feels very me. It’s about knowing what you stand for. We do have celebrities who buy our clothes. At the Met Ball, I met Julianne Moore, who told me she bought our peacoat and lived in it all winter. That was very sincere and felt special.
Be careful, Tom Ford will get jealous!
He has nothing to worry about. He’s been so supportive of me anyway. Growing up, he was very much a matinee idol to me. He was the Gianni Versace of my generation, who represented everything escapist, glamorous and fantastical about fashion in his persona, the way that he showed, the ad campaigns with their idea of overt sexuality. To an awkward gay teenager, it was all incredibly alluring. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve also come to appreciate him as a master brand crafter.
Back to L.A., have you been to any great restaurants?
We were trying to find the Komodo food truck, but we found the actual restaurant. It’s across from a place called MexiKosher. Komodo is basically Asian burritos and it was packed. And incredible. I actually watch a lot of Food Network -- that’s my default channel -- and it has a lot of stuff about food trucks.
How about stores?
We went to The Way We Wore, and they opened up their archives. I had no idea there were so many textiles, which were awesome. So I was there for a while. We also went to H.D. Buttercup because I watch “Interior Therapy” on Bravo. I wanted to see Silver Lake, so we drove around there. I know it sounds so designer-y, but I feel very inspired by L.A. There’s something about the car culture I find intriguing. I’ve never lived in a place that has car culture. Paris and New York are not like that at all.
Speaking of being inspired, what I find inspiring about your work is that it has a utilitarian quality elevated to luxury, which is something that definitely resonates with L.A. style.
Yeah, a lot of my work plays on things that are intrinsically American. There is always a sense of ease and taking the American attitude toward clothing, or iconic American garments, and twisting them. There’s always the French side of me that seeps in. For spring/summer 2013, we worked with a lot of engineered stripes, which were based on railroad stripes.
You’ve become known for this really sexy, slit skirt silhouette. Did you consciously develop that silhouette, or did it just evolve?
Consciously, I developed the identity of a woman. The silhouette came from that woman, but it also came from what our customers responded to. There’s a pragmatic aspect to it. As I developed my style, I realized what is important today, especially for young designers, is to own something. To be differentiated in some way, either by your use of fabrics or the silhouettes you work with, or the vocabulary you always use. It’s becoming more interesting to me as a designer to refine that.
You just got this investment from Kering, a minority stake in your business. How did that come about?
They reached out to us a year and a half ago. I had always had a lot of admiration and respect not only for the brands they have in their roster, but how they’ve developed the brands they went in on the ground level with, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney specifically. It was such a smart, considered approach. I met with [Kering CEO] Francois Henri Pinault a couple of times, and he’s so respectful of creativity and vision. I thought that was a rare and incredible thing.
What will this allow you to do?
A pre-fall collection is the first step, and then starting to do accessories and really developing the ready-to-wear line in a way we haven’t had resources to do before. Obviously financial support is important to grow any brand, but what was so great about this deal was that they also have an infrastructure and expertise that’s invaluable.