>> In March, The New Yorker did a profile on Alber Elbaz that left him seeming unconfident and unhappy with himself. Stephanie Seymour sat down with the Lanvin designer for the May 2009 issue of Interview and came away with a glimpse of a different side of Alber — one who doesn't mess with sexy clothes, small talk, or overeager interns. There is one category, however, that Elbaz feels less than adequate in:
He knows his way around a dress, but can't work the remote.
I have no sense of direction, no technical skills. My boyfriend thinks that I stay with him just because he knows how to work the remote control at home. If it has buttons, I depend on him. Sometimes I think that I am kind of either f*cked-up or dyslexic. Like, my brain doesn’t get it! Everything that has to do with a machine is hard. But I live with it now. I don’t have a complex about machines — I just don’t know how to use them.
He also likens designing to going into labor. »
He thinks designing fashion is like being pregnant.
I don’t have children. I’m always pregnant, but I never had kids. Obviously I’ve never been through labor, but I think that having a collection is the closest thing to it. You’re sweating, you’re in a good mood then a bad mood, you can’t stand it, you’re scared . . . The only thing you can do is close every door and stay on one level and protect yourself in order to be perfectly focused.
He's not a fan of sexy.
You see, I’m not into the sexy thing, where you need to make everything glamorous and sexy. I always find it a bit opportunist, coming in with cleavage and saying, “Hello, darling.”
He can't take talking about the weather.
I hardly eat out when I am in Paris. I don’t do lunch dates because it cuts my day. I rarely go out now. I rarely do parties. I don’t do dinners for 10 where you talk about the weather. I can’t take it. I’d rather eat at the studio, because we know each other and we won’t talk about the weather . . . So there is a starting point.
He likes the idea of food bring people together.
We all eat together at the studio. I have interns who are in charge of the food. At first they were angry. They had their masters degrees in fashion or art and they didn’t feel like they should have to go and buy food. But I said to them, “By going out and buying food for everyone, you’ll get to know Paris, and you can practice your French.” I think when our relationship starts with food bringing people together, it gets deeper. I think relationships get closer when you share more things than work . . . They talk about desire, they talk about what it is that they feel like having today.