Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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Le Monde's former fashion critic on why she left everything to move to Australia and start a new career

Fashion has also decided to enter the arena of social justice. OK But you’re not actually fighting any -ism with the words on the t-shirt. I felt like it was all hypocrisy: lots of words and accusations, very little real action. In my (maybe) cynical eyes, it’s turning fashion into militant caricature, stifling creativity along the way.

Yep, I’m turning into a goth version of Clint Eastwood, with his most infamous “off my lawn” mood. I don’t want to be that mean old reporter. Let’s leave room for those who can bring something new and find better ways to explore. I need to change. I crave excitement and creativity. I started drawing again and it felt good, too disturbingly good. But at work, I have to stay in my lane. Anyway, the French don’t like multitasking, big companies need order to function; no one but me saw me transition from writing to anything else. At the end of 2019 I decided I wanted to step outside my box.

I could have done it in Paris, except I couldn’t. I don’t fit there: my taste is not French or Parisian (has become the same). I’d rather stick a knitting needle into my brain than watch a New Wave movie. Paris is a village: where the fashion world is dominated by bourgeois scions and privileged girls who promote and help each other. They share tastes and ideas and maintain a certain status quo, where classicism and classism are closely intertwined.

I met Emma on Instagram three years ago when I was looking for people and brands that better suited my own tastes and interests. She had already tried once to draw me to her. I said no because I wasn’t ready yet. When she called me in December 2019, it took me less than two hours to make a decision. I believe in her and her projects, why not? My friends were supportive, but dumbfounded.

The pandemic forced us to sit and wait as we sat on our respective couches all the way to create a series for Australian rock legends AC/DC. Finally, I arrived in Melbourne 2022 on 4th August. Jet lag is brutal, but culture shock is pretty mild so far. The town is very British in many ways. I live in East Melbourne in a building fit for the iconic fictional detective Hercule Poirot. Christmas in the sun is not my thing, but I walk across the park to work every day. I have come across many noisy birds and possums who like to lie down anywhere to keep warm.

At the office, I do 10 while working. We are now a group of four, so no lanes. We are far from the fashionable old world and its rules, without gatekeepers. It’s both liberating and terrifying. I could write a feature in my sleep, but I won’t be trying to polish a chain with my eyes closed anytime soon. There are no comfort zones in my life right now, except, maybe, on my new powder blue velvet couch. Looking back, I think it was Karl Lagerfeld who set me on this path: “We have to keep learning,” he once told me, “otherwise we wither and die.” I now live in a town full of camellias , thinking about Carl every day





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