When asked what is Belle Sauvage, the exciting desiging duo of Virginia Ferreira & Chris Neuman shared with ActuallyMAG that they were inspired by the 18th Century heroine, La Belle Sauvage and her life story which is very similar to the modern Belle Sauvage woman.
Ferreira met Neuman in 2001 while at university but it was only in 2008, after finalizing their studies that Belle Sauvage was born. Forming their partnership, realizing their vision and later, giving birth to their creative designs. Both designers and filmmakers, Chris, a visual artist who has an MA in Filmmaking from the London Film School, together with Virginia, made films for their past two collections. Their flair attracted the attention of the Balenciaga Museum in Spain where their collection was exhibited.
They have also composed the soundtrack for their runway show that they say best describes the new collection.
So what inspired their Leopard skin collection? The designers say their
Leopard by Belle Sauvage was launched as an answer to younger audiences who were requesting for great designs at a more accessible price. “There is a growing demand for cool, simple but great design that we can wear at all hours of the day, everyday. There is currently a womens’ and a mens’ line and many of the styles are unisex. So, it is a really versatile and fun range!”
Later asked, their reply to “Leather versus lace?’ brought the response, “Leather AND lace.”
Asked about the process towards making the Belle Sauvage designs, they replied, “By experimenting, using pattern cutting and different materials we achieved the shapes we envisioned. Research, sketching, re-sketching and experimenting. Then we cut, fuse, make, re-cut until the design is finally ready with 100% of our own textile design.”
They are inspired by many materials so asked for their favorite, they answered, “ It depends on what we want to achieve at the moment really, heavy silks and heavy interlinings are great to achieve structure and unusual shapes, leather gives an amazing twist to any collection and French laces and tulles add femininity and sensuality to all of the rest.”
Inspired by the arts, they believe the Belle Sauvage look is sophisticated, avant-garde and progressive but yet elegant and unique.
If the opportunity to collaborate with other artists arose, Virginia and Chris both agree that it would be so difficult to choose, with so many great artists in so many different areas.
They see Singapore as ‘great and elegant” and they believe the arrival of Belle Sauvage in Singapore stores facilitates the label, one which enters them into a market where there are people have a good sense of style. With exposure to their collection, they hope to see Singaporeans pushing the boundaries a little further, by being bold in their choices of colours and even individual art prints on apparels.
Their new collection is due to display their desire for designs that are elegantly extreme and very wearable.
Their runway shows are always vibrant and memorable. When asked “What goes on through your head backstage? And what’s the process of planning a show, coordinating the music and the looks? The inspiring designing duo replied, “ The process itself is extremely exciting and exhausting at the same time, there are hundreds of things to look into and coordinate to ensure that it all runs smoothly. The collection, casting, venue, lights, music, models, styling, shoes, PR, invites, interviews, guest lists, make up, hair, video, photographers and the list goes on! Then backstage, we just make sure that everyone knows what they have to do that span of 2 hours and we just hope everything goes according to plan!”
- Hakima Al Said