Article submitted to the Polaroid Originals Magazine by Maree Hamilton. Featured photo by Jessica Polar.
Lou de Bètoly (née Odély Teboul) is a French designer, based in Berlin, who creates sculptural, multi-textile garments that are a miraculous balance between whimsy and architecture. Augustin Teboul, her previous label with partner Annelie Augustin, ran for 12 successful seasons and was defined by craftsmanship and ornamentation. She talks to us about decadence, her new label and what it was like to be chosen for the Urbanears Cut the Cord project.
How old were you when you first became interested in design?
I started as a kid. I did a lot of different things like knit, crochet, stitch, draw, take photos, take videos and so many things. I guess my passion for creation was always there.
When did you know you wanted to be a fashion designer professionally?
When I was 18, I went to Paris to study fashion design and pattern drafting, and things just happened. I worked for Jean Paul Gaultier, and later started my own brand, Augustin Teboul. I worked on that for a few years with my business partner. It’s very new that I’m now working solo on my label, Lou de Bètoly.
In what kind of environments do you feel most comfortable working? And did anything in particular bring you to Berlin?
On one hand, I love being in my atelier, as I have all my material there, and all my collected little things to work with. But what I also really like is to travel and find inspiration somewhere else, and discover how people work in the other places in the world. I’m really passionate about handcrafts, and I find it so amazing to see all the different kind of techniques we’ve developed all around the world.
You talk about chaos, nostalgia and decadence as sources of inspiration for you. Can you describe how you channel these elements, and how they come together in your work?
I have a very instinctive way of working. I feel like a sponge, grabbing all kind of different feelings and visions around me. They somehow come out in my work in a very personal way. I find chaos fascinating, as it has its own order. It’s a very paradoxical thing to work with chaos, [since] it’s an organized thing at the end.
Nostalgia, because I’m very attached to the past, and love the idea of things that will not happen again. By being nostalgic, it gives me that idea things will last longer in [my] mind. And decadence, because I find it interesting to challenge our moral codes.
How did you get involved with this project for Urbanears?
Urbanears was looking for different designers in different cities for their project Cut the Cord. I was very happy to be the one in Berlin, and have the opportunity to be part of this creative project.
What did they ask you to contribute?
I had to create items out of the cords of the headphones. Urbanears was launching wireless headphones, [that’s why] the project is called Cut the Cord. So I had to create with these cords.
I was very free, and took the chance to experiment, and worked more around objects/accessories. It was also nice to create things that don’t need to be fully functional, and let some creative freedom in the design process.
What else do you have coming up this year that you’re excited about?
I’m working on keeping up the excitement on a daily base, which makes it even more interesting. It is exciting that I’m creating new things all the time. And we are shooting new pictures of the collection this week. Also exciting!