PARIS– “Maybe I love vintage because most of the pieces come from a time when beautiful things took time to be made. Vintage clothes have also something very special that feels nearly magic because they are unique,” said Romain Brau of his love affair with the second hand clothing he wears and re-designs.
“I like the melancholia these clothes brings along with them, as well as the ideas of the past they carry. Maybe I am nostalgic of this period,” he said.
With a penchant for extravagance, Brau once threw a Victorian-Era-themed soiree’ in the Jacquemard museum, complete with mystical flower arrangements, an opera singer, actors and a decadent chocolate fountain.
Like his parties and his home filled with floral fantasia accents, his clothes also reflect his knack for recreating and interpreting the sense of enchantment enjoyed in the past.
“My home is decorated by all the treasure I found everywhere. I love to receive my friends at my place, to cook, decorate my home, light candles, construct beautiful moments and share them,” he said.
In his Parisian atelier, he is working on feather caps and hats for a photoshoot with fashion photographer Marc Lagrange. In his hands, he holds an ostrich feather bolero for his next collection that he will present on July 5.
With a sense of politeness from a bygone era, Brau apologizes for his casual attire.
As I observe his harmonious features that evoke the contours of a pre-raphaelite painting, his thick red hair gathered in a bun, his elegant silhouette, I begin wonder what he is like when he is at his maximum…
BRAU TALKS TO BACO ABOUT HIS PERSONAL STYLE:
The Look : ”Today, it is very simple, (Editor’s note : he is wearing a vintage Tyrolian shirt and a costume) but in general, I always want to be elegant. People say I look like a dandy, with my moustache and my long hair. I like to wear a shirt, nice shoes…”
Personal Style: ”I love to tell a story with a look. I love vintage but also, embroideries, crocheting, knitting and the leather work. In general, I have difficulties in not “overstyling” my outfit. I take a tie, do something to it and then add another detail. For me, to dress is really a way to express myself, like a painting. But my style can also be much more eclectic, I also like to mix a lot. For example, I can wear a latex polo found in S&M shop, a fur coat… For me, as well as in my work, I am very sensitive to the finishes. It is the craft that really interest me, not the fashion. But even if I am a vintage fan, I am also someone of my time. I take the plane, I have Instagram!”
Always : ”When I am not wearing vintage, I am wearing clothes made by me or my friends who offer me their last creation.”
Never : “I find it terrible to try to look like someone else. For example, wearing a yellow headband with a flower on it because you saw it on a blog. I also feel sorry for all this men wearing a pale pink pull over because their wife read somewhere it was cool. They are victims of the system.”
The vintage shops : To find theatre costume, a Louis XV jacket, clothes from the thirties, the forties, the sixties and even the eighties, Brau visits the Marché Vernaison flea market in puces de Clignancourt and Falbalas, Marché Dauphine located at 140, rue des Rosiers / 93 400 Saint-Ouen stand 284-285
The Book : “A rebours,” from Huysmans.
The Movie : All the Fellini’s movies, and especially Giulietta degli spiriti (1965), Satyricon (1969) and Roma (1972) and his clergy fashion show.
Where do you go to find some inspiration in Paris ?
“In a flower shop, any flower shop: I love flowers! I love to take strolls in my neighborhood, around the Jourdain metro. It is an old neighborhood in the north side of Paris, where a lot of very different kind of people mix. I also go and see and exhibitions at Les arts décoratifs or the Musée Galliera, they are always very interesting. I also go to a public library: I find them very inspiring.”