The Fashion Folk S01 ep10 : Rosemarie Le Gallais, D Swarovski, [Paris]
Interview with Rosemarie Le Gallais
I have a very funny approach, you know, I never think about something being impossible. We are working with wonderful artisans, most of them in Paris for the moment. Sometimes when I give them the idea in the beginning they say 'Its impossible". When someone says it is impossible I become move convinced that I have to try. This "innocence" gives sometimes a really wonderful result. I put things in total contrast, with unexpected materials. I would put crystals with wood, or crystal with fur, and that made it modern and interesting and then you find ways of using it.
Daniel Swarovski is in fact a collection of accessories showing what you can
express with Crystal.
Daniel Swarovski invented the first machine to cut crystal in an industrial way.
He founded the company 105 years ago, he was born in Bohemia and he
settled down in Vattens, a little village near Innsbruck.
He very closely worked with Coco Chanel, Christian Dior. Aurora Borialis is a
special colour effect on crystal stones and that he developed at that time with
Christian Dior and I am still using it today as well as many other designers
because it is a wonderful effect.
Before starting the Daniel Swarovski collection I worked for over 15 years with
Karl Largerfeld. I was born in Germany and I came to Paris to study the
language, because my aim at that time was to go into journalism, I found a job
at the time, by pure coincidence like always in life, as Attache de Press at
This was my official position but immediately I was confronted to do other
things, which was very nice for me. I did the fittings with Karl Largerfeld in the
KM: So Karl used to work for Chloe originally when he started in Paris?
KM: So how did two crazy German people find themselves in Chloe?
I knew about Chloe but I didn't know about Karl. I met him there and there was
a spontaneous same feeling about fashion. It was a natural growing
experience in collaboration.
KM: I don't think there are a lot of Germans who have succeeded in Paris!
KM: So what has been your....
….especially at that time. Still it was more difficult than today. There is one
reason and that is because Karl is a very talented person. When I think about
people that I have met in this fashion world, his strength is that he is so multi
Karl left Chloe and asked me to come with him and start his company in 1982
or 83 and I left in 1987.
At the time when I created this division I really was convinced that there was
this change in fashion and that fashion would be much less important in the
future. When I went to Austria and I saw the possibilities and the volume of
stones, colours and shapes that I discovered there, I realised that this was a
material that was very modern and you can really do a lot of things with it.
At the beginning the journalists would think that crystals were imitating
diamonds, and I immediately said this is exactly what I don’t want to do.
KM: What can you do with it that makes it interesting?
I have a very funny approach, you know, I never think about something being
impossible. We are working with wonderful artisans, most of them in Paris for
the moment. Sometimes when I give them the idea in the beginning they say
'It’s impossible". When someone says it is impossible I become even more
convinced that I have to try. This approach of certain, I would say innocence, it
gives sometimes a really wonderful result.
I just put it in total contrast, with totally unexpected.... for instance unexpected
materials. I would put crystals with wood, or crystals with fur, and that made it
modern and interesting and then you find ways of using it.
KM: You must have had difficulty initially finding craftsman who could work
In the beginning of course I had to find them, and it grew slowly. I knew some
people from my experience and they worked with leather or with jewellery so I
approached people I knew but I was very lucky because the media from the
beginning liked the collection and this really motivated me because like I said it
is totally different from what you see anywhere else and so we had a lot of
editorials and they gave us a certain level of recognition of the people in the
know and then the phenomenon was reversed that artisans knowing or reading
about they would come to you.
I think that if you have a feeling for art, it is the observation that is the most
important thing for me. We can be walking on the street and I will see
something that inspires me and you will see something that I don't see. It is a
question of diversion and being sensible because art can be found while
walking in nature that is for me, you know it is like going to the best gallery in
the world if you know how to observe colours or shapes.
KM: What does art do to you?
It gives me the most sure feeling about well-being. When I like certain things,
like being at home and listening to a wonderful piece of music all this is art and
it gives something to you that just cannot be bought.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Rosemarie Le Gallais, D Swarovski Fashion, Paris