078-107 ETIENNE RUSSO / 9 MONTHS WITH VILLA EUGÉNIE
[...LACK OF UNIQUE STYLE TODAY / designers know their work better than I do. I am creating for them and I try and do the best I can to send their message across with all the tools that I have around me. I don’t interfere with the message the designer wants to get across. When it comes to young designers, I do have my personal experience, but I’m not giving them advice on what they should do and how they should design. I might say ‘we should be a bit more of this or maybe be a bit more that’, in terms of communication with the audience. If they retain that advice they apply it the way they want, but it’s not my job to say ‘you should make your trousers a little shorter or your shoulders a little broader’.
If you take Thom Browne— he was an actor and he did this and he did that and he was a stylist and suddenly he came up with this look that is extremely recognisable because of different things that affected him. I don’t think that you are born anything; I think you become it through your life experiences.
It is hard to remember everything that is being shown today, but I think it is because of the quantity of collections that you are supposed to process. Look around you, look how many media tools you have today. Now there are people that shoot a show and from that moment the pictures are online. There is so much information and more competition. Yet I think that there are still very strong designers.
Look at Rick Owens. I mean, he created a style like Margiela had created in his time— a sort of school or way of thinking for designers that recognise themselves in their work. Alber ELBAZ; his style is so recognisable. Unfortunately, Alexander McQueen is no longer here… I used to always watch his shows because when he was there they were so amazing— such a brilliant mind. I would, of course, have loved to have worked with him. I never moved a finger for it but I would have loved to. It was a dream...
TAKING RISKS / [...] Sometimes you have to fight with your client; you’re not fighting against them but for them. I say that sometimes I am more ambitious for my client than they are for themselves. I see things and I want to push them forward and sometimes they say ‘I’m not sure, I’m not sure’. But I come back again and again. If I’m sure of an idea I never give up, ever.
Within my company, even with my team, I sometimes have to fight for an idea because technically it’s easier to say it doesn’t work. ‘It’s impossible’ is something I don’t want to hear. It is where I get started. Tell me ‘no’? Ok, let’s see how ‘no’ is going to become ‘yes’. This is when I get excited, when I get a ‘no’ I say, ‘ok, let’s talk about it’. And then sometimes with the budget, I have ‘no it’s not possible for this’ but the thing is, if you want it, there is always a solution.
Just don’t let it go because if you let go even 3 percent here, there are so many steps and if you let go 3 percent at every step you end up letting go 40 percent. Sometimes I have to be tough, I have to be more than tough because this is the objective and I’m the only one who keeps it. THERE ARE so many no’s that I turn into yes’s, it is hard for me to hear that something is impossible...]
/ EXCERPT FROM A TEXT BASED ON A CONVERSATION BETWEEN ETIENNE RUSSO & MONIKA BIELSKYTE. ENTIRE ARTICLE ONLY IN THE PRINTED EDITION OF SOME/THINGS MAGAZINE CHAPTER006 / THE DARK LABYRINTH