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RAPHAELLE  BELLANGER

By SPECIWOMEN Photography RUBY ROSE

"I learned how to sew when I was around 8 years old. I got my first sewing machine at 10 and my first stockman for my 13th birthday. Everything went pretty fast"

How did you first get into fashion? 

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been in between shootings and catwalks. My dad is a fashion photographer and my mom a model. I learned how to sew when I was around 8 years old. I got my first sewing machine at 10 and my first stockman for my 13th birthday. Everything went pretty fast. 

What section of fashion are you working in ? How would you define the purpose of your work? 

For a while, I was focused on accessories. I was doing little DIY : jewels, bags and lingerie stuff. I think I was scared to jump into the huge clothes design bath. But I did! Today I’m working on my first collection for my application to the St Martens School in London. 

Who are your mentors? gurus? heroes? What do you consider as the fashion “bible”? 

Karl Lagerfeld, Eddie Slimane, Alessandro Michel, Marc Jacob, Miuccia Prada, Yoji Yamamoto and Martin Margiela are definitely some of my biggest models. I admire their work a lot. I’m a big fan of the “belle époque”, the 20’s. 

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Where do you work? With what materials? 

I like to work at my place, alone, quiet, away from noise and jugement. I’m more a fabric person than a drawing one. I rather work directly with the fabric than premeditating my work with some sketching. Jump ! 

What would be your dream job? 

My dream job, I think as all fashion designer in becoming, would be to open my own couture institution. 

What are your favorite places in Paris? 

In Paris, I love hanging out at the Brasserie Barbes, l’Hotel Amour, Merci, the Mamashelter, the Palais de Tokyo, Angelina, the Grand Palais … 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself

When I was a kid, I used to make some stuff all the time. Gloves, bow tie, tinsels… At the end of each props fabric I was going to my dad to show him. He was turning it around for good five minutes and then he was telling me : “ Raphaelle, when you create something it has to be something that could be sold in a store. Ask yourself, would you buy it?” 

When it wasn’t good he was forcing me to do it again. It seems harsh and tough but he is the one who gave me the taste of the well done and precise work. 

How being a woman influences your work and your perspective in the world today ?

I feel like the woman in this world sees the clothe differently than the man, who does not wear it. I see clothes as I would wear it and not as a man would like to see me wear it. 

Image courtesy of Ruby Rose for SPECIWOMEN.