I live and work just outside Lyon in beautiful France. I was born among the vineyards of Clos de Vougeot in the Burgundy area and I used to dance to Ravel and Debussy at the Dijon Opera under choreographer Jean Serri. I had my first experience of protesting in May ’68 and of sailing on the Bay of Angels, Nice. I have played piano in a rock group in New York, knitted, woven, sung and acted. Finally, I accepted the idea and realised that clothing, in terms of one-off parts, would be a constant and reliable source of joy for me. Consequently, I moved to Paris, where I studied pattern making at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and experienced the tough hierarchy of the fashion houses with Messirs Saint Laurent and Lagerfeld (Chanel). That is when I created my brand name, Lola Bastille.
Discovering that you can make a garment without sewing and simultaneously create the physical product for it was a completely alien concept to me when I was a stylist, pattern maker and designer. I Knew nothing about non-woven textiles.
At the same time, my designs-have always focused on what are known as noble materials, such As silk, linen, cotton and wool. Out of conviction (and perhaps a premonition?), I have only been interested in biodegradable and renewable materials for 30 years. This is because of the textural effects of the threads of linen, silk, ramie or viscose, which make the garment pleasing to both the touch and the eye. And, ultimately, because only natural fabrics become more attractive with wear.
And then there’s wool! Because felt is made by rubbing and wetting wool fibers, it is a long process, requiring concentration, physical exertion and a great deal of technical expertise. I gained that from breeders, spinners, shearers and felt makers, selected for their individual styles.
The provenance of the wool that I use is very important to me. Primarily I use wool from English sheep (Merino, Texel, Thônes and Marthod, Noire du Velay, etc.), and I enjoy working with wool from the Wensleydale in England, and the Racka in the Shetland the Netherlands, the Bergschaf from Alto Adige in Italy, etc. I also use wool from Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
I have two websites. Lola Bastille is for my garment collections and Morse Felt Studio is a felt collaboration with Chloe Lecoup where we design and produce home accents and teach workshops.