Few people personify grace—a true combination of effortless beauty and simple elegance— like Garance Doré . After a decade of writing, creative directing, illustrating and blogging, Garance released her first book this fall. Love Style Life explores her take on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle accompanied by illustrations, street style shots, and other various musings. The memoire is rather candid, uncharacteristically touching upon Doré ’s love life (both her previous high-profile relationship with The Sartorialist’s Scott Schulman and current partner/ recent fiancé, jazz singer Chris Norton) as well as intimate details her childhood growing up in Corsica. Doré has also rallied several accomplished friends, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Emmanuelle Alt, Jenna Lyons, and Drew Barrymore, for a collection of thoughtful interviews.
Perched on a comfy couch on Sixty Hotel’s rooftop in Beverly Hills, Garance was as warm and engaging as she is on her blog.
You started with illustration and then moved into writing. How did you get confident in writing? Did you always have a clear voice or did you have to work towards that?
It’s funny actually; I started writing just to have something to go with my illustrations. When I started my blog, I just wanted to do illustrations, but I realized that when I was writing, people responded more, and it was nice. So, I started writing more and never questioned my voice—it just came. But you know, I was not a kid, I was already 30 and I knew who I was and I was not trying to create a success with my blog. It was so long ago; there wasn’t so much pressure.
What was the process like writing a book? How was it different than maintaining your blog?
It’s very different. When I started with the book, I was always like, I wanna keep the same tone I don’t wanna start trying to change or get more seriously. So I just wrote everything I wanted, and you know there’s a process with the book, you reread and rework everything. I think it’s a great thing. I wish I had more of that. You know, somebody that says “no”, or “yes”, or “that’s great,” or “maybe that sentence doesn’t make sense.” It’s wonderful to have feedback—and time.
You get personal there—Do you think there is something about a tangible read that allows for that?
I don’t feel uncomfortable sharing anything. I don’t have any problem sharing, but I know that it’s more complicated for other people that are part of my life, so I’ve always been very careful on my blog. With a book though, you can take some distance. That’s what I was looking to do in the book; I was looking to talk about things I cannot talk about on the blog, cause the format doesn’t work.
You video series Pardon my French has given your POV a 360 quality. Was that your intention starting out? Has video allowed you to connect with a different audience?
So when I started being invited to the shows I was like, what am I gonna do with that? I don’t just wanna go parade at the shows; it’s never really been my thing. I’ve never really thought about my personal image. So I wanted to do what I’ve always done—share it with my readers. So I was like, let’s go! I’m gonna take you behind the scenes and show you what’s happening. And then, you know, ‘behind the scenes’ became a thing.
What do you think the benefits are with evolving your channels? Is adapting a conscious or intuitive choice?
It comes from necessity and trying things and not being too scared of failing. I don’t think business, I feel very free to start something and then stop if it doesn’t work; that helps with creativity. You know, you don’t push yourself in away where you’ve got to be successful because being successful is very complicated. So I don’t do that with myself.
You seem very in tune with your audience and what they want. You never know if people are strategic or if it’s just their talent to see around corners.
I think that for most times people who are very forward, it’s more about sensitivity than strategy. You can pair it with strategy when you know how to recognize your sensitivity.
What’s your favorite social media platform right now?
It’s a very complicated thing. I feel like it is what is it, and it’s life right now for our society. You know, there are so many great things about it that you forget—it’s very easy to criticize—and I hate that.
I feel like we are in a time where people are getting educated about it. Social media is probably going to be integrated into our lives even more, and I think everyone’s feeling a lot of anxiety towards it. What’s important is to personally know your relationship with it and be able to get away from it at some point.
It feels like a revolution.
It is a revolution, for sure. And I was part of the first wave of the revolution. I’m also part of the second wave, and I was at the forefront of creating the first one—the internet was the first one. Social media and the way it’s changing everything—the way were consuming, the way were talking about it to ourselves, and all of that. I think it’s a very deep, deep change in our society and we’re not able to analyze it right now.
How do you prepare for fashion week or an event? Where do you start?
Fashion Week makes me…do you remember school? Like all of these emotions, all of these things that you wish you never had to feel again. Its how you feel at fashion week. It’s just like a weird pressure. I’m getting better; I try to be very strong about remembering who I am. Cause of course, after 3 days of Fashion Week you wanna be another person. You’re like, My clothes are not shiny enough; my hair is not perfect enough; I’m not skinny enough; I don’t have the right seat at that show, and becomes like a crazy exercise in just keeping your ego down. It can be difficult to have a sense of humor about it. The problem is, there’s just so much insecurity in the same room—that will make people do crazy stuff. Most of the people are actually very nice one on one, but it can be a weird atmosphere.
What are you favorite designs right now?
JW Anderson is doing a great job — I love what he is doing with the brand. And you know, I love Dries Van Noten. I also love what Hedi Slimane is doing at St Laurent, and I always love Stella McCartney.
What is your rubric for the women that you look up to?
A woman who’s free to be who she wants to be.