“The garment takes me away”
Maud Falcon de Longevialle began her career in the cinematography world just after graduating from the Cergy School of Fine Arts. Animated by a constant need to realize her thoughts and desires, she never stops questioning our place in the society and how the human being appears. Concerned with the balance of forms and aesthetics, she develops the originality of her models in an artistic approach. She works every model in the manner of an artist. She draws, erases, tears, draws again, plays with colors, and materials. The garment when worn by each, tells a story. She draws her inspiration from the photo or from her friends and her visual artists, to draw exclusive prints, to create unique collections. “When I imagine my collections, I leave nothing by chance. A bit like the architect who builds a house, I create a container to reveal a content. “The form is the bottom that rises to the surface.” said V.Hugo. The prints come from multiple channels, a great mix and match of images and sounds. Maud draws them, paints them in a very short time so as not to forget anything! Then she links them together so that each model is unique and tells a story. “There are often 6 or 7 that suit me! And then there are some we would have preferred that are stuck on a wall! So, very quickly, we go back to work, we research, we deepen”. The designer is surrounded by a team of suppliers and manufacturers who follow her from the beginning. They are in France, Italy and Japan. She strives to work with people with irreproachable ethics, in terms of the subjects and the traditions.
What is your background?
I started by studying the video and the sound installation for 5 years. At the end of my studies, I created a film featured with Director Fabienne Berthaud and Actress Diane Kruger. This project was a revelation. Mingling all our desires with limited resources allowed our creativity to express itself, it was very committed and infinite … Meanwhile, I drew clothes for a beautiful brand “Oona L’Ourse”. Already at that time, I was very busy! Leading several projects at the same time, and several artistic disciplines, enrich me. I love it.
How was LEOCA born?
During 2 years living in Australia, I made clothes for me and my newly born daughter. When I returned to Paris, I naturally launched a line of ready-to-wear clothes, with the idea of also launching a line for woman one day. It’s realized today.
How did the name LEOCA come to you?
Creating the name of a brand that looks like us and will follow us was not easy. I knew that I wanted a short name, and I especially wanted it to make sense for me, which corresponds to the approach of my values. One day, I put on my kitchen tablecloth the values that speak to me. There was Liberty, Elegance, Originality, Contemporary and Art: the first 5 letters of the first 5 words that came out suddenly of my head.
In what state of mind do you work?
I will summarize it in three words: Ethics, Teamwork and Fun. Ethics, because the partners I have chosen to work with and who have followed me from the beginning have a strong ethic that is important to support. They always work with quality materials in the respect of tradition. The team, because it is the factor that stimulates my creativity. I am surrounded by creative people, salespeople, communicators, manufacturers. Leoca is a bit like a big family. It is the human and professional relationships that develop loyalty, passion, and commitment that allow LEOCA to exist. In addition, the arrival of my brother Thomas Camille in the adventure as CEO in charge of development and marketing who has already been the leader of other ready-to-wear brands, gives a new impetus to the company and allows me to consider the future of LEOCA with a real dimension. We are now 2 to decide together. Fun because we take pleasure in doing what we do every day.
Tell us about your creations.
It starts with the excitement of colors and volumes. I keep looking for fabrics, buttons, ribbons, as if I was doing my shopping, I dream about it at night for months … Moreover all these sleepless nights are part of the creation process. It’s a moment of calm on the outside and bubbling inside! The colors are obvious to me, the details come to embed themselves and the qualities express themselves. Once the collection is created, it’s time for questioning where I tell myself that there is still some way to go to find the right balance between what I imagined and what is actually made.
What are the projects for the brand?
A place: LEOCA as a house, which we open at the end of September at 48 rue Saint Placide, the first shop, workshop and offices to keep our team energy and share it all with you.
And your inspirations, where do they come from?
The inspirations come from everywhere: a movement, a form, an object, a sound, a perfume… I often have the impression of being in a film, of watching the life that passes as if I were behind a screen of cinema. I scrutinize every detail, capture moments of reality. I instantly relate to what I can create. The different eras, sometimes distance, mixed with what I live on a daily basis also help me to create collections that make sense today. Finally, art in general is a source of ideas and Directors like Godard or Director Castellucci transport me elsewhere.
The last words…
There are no last words! Because everything starts… It would be rather “Keep going” *. These are words that I often repeat because it never stops. Finally, if I project myself I think that Leoca can be tomorrow protean and not just clothes. There is a lot of excitement and I think the best is yet to come.
Her favorite pieces!