Interview submitted to the Polaroid Originals Magazine by Jane Fayle.
Up-and-coming French fashion designer Nicolas LeCourt Mansion grew up in Strasbourg but has been living in Paris for the past five years. As far back as he can remember he’s been sketching clothing designs – making his path into the fashion world a natural choice where he’s quickly found his feet. We caught up with him during Paris Fashion Week last week to find out more about his creative process, the influences behind his brand new collection, and how it feels to launch your own label at just 24 years old.
This year has marked the launch of your label, how has the lead up to fashion week been for you?
It’s been a crazy few months. I’ve been really busy, especially in the last two weeks. There are only two of us in the studio, so it was very hard to finish all of the clothes and make sure they were as perfect as possible. Luckily I have great friends and they often come to help and support us.
What were the main influences for your designs and the inspiration behind your collection?
The collection is named after the first female Matador, who wore the traditional men’s outfit for corrida ‘Dolores Sanchez, La Fragosa’. The collection is centred around the Matador’s aesthetic but in a very conceptual way. I was heavily influenced by Almodovar’s movie Hable con ella and Berger’s Blancanieves.
Aside from shooting with a Polaroid camera for your show, did you have a previous connection to instant photography?
I have always loved Polaroid, being a fan of Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe and for this event, I wanted to create something really special, an artistic space. Photography was one of the mediums I wanted to showcase as I work really closely with photographer François Pragnère who happens to only shoot analog – and shot all of the Polaroid photos for the show. He made me fall in love analog photography more than digital by showing me the process of it. It really expressed the working process, instantly, and beautifully. I was very happy to be able to showcase his pictures.
If you had to pick one designer that has inspired you, who would it be?
I think I would say Alexander McQueen or Azzedine Alaïa. Though both were very different, they were true fashion artists. They knew exactly how to make a garment the most beautiful, and also the person who wore it. They also both knew exactly what they wanted and what they didn’t, and they carved out a unique place for themselves in the fashion world.
During fashion week there are so many elaborate and extravagant outfits and characters, what do you think makes someone original?
Originality comes from giving your own vision, and to focus on experimentation and research in order to innovate.
If you could dress anyone, who would it be?
At the moment I’m a huge fan of the singer Sevdaliza. She has an amazing voice and style. Although if it was ANYONE I would dress the late David Bowie.
Can you fill us in on what you’ve got coming up for 2018?
After this show – just one day after saying (never again) because it was very hard and tiring – I am already now planning the next collection. I will try to make a little Couture capsule collection in July and maybe present a ready-to-wear collection for September. That’s something fashion should learn from Alaïa – do something when you want and not when they expect you to. Also, I will keep on working on different photography projects with François Pragnère, including Polaroid photos, of course.
Discover Nicolas’ collection on his Instagram @nicolaslecourtmansion.