Designer Interview: Valerie Dumaine
It was a pleasure to have a personal favourite Valerie Dumaine participate in our interview series. I love that Valerie works so well with balance. Each collection is a perfect blend of playful and edgy, all brought together in a clean and wearable package.

Paper-Doll: How did you get into fashion design?
Valerie Dumaine: I started designing clothes when I was very young...When I was around 10-11 I designed a lot of bathing suits (which is weird because I would never do that today) and dresses. I was drawing the whole kit, with the bag, jewelry and shoes! I had this obsession about clothes and getting the right look! The Cindy Lauper one! Then I started sewing and making clothes around 14-15 and did my first fashion show in high school dressing up 10 models with my creations!

What is the first thing you designed?
As a designer, for my first collection I did the Russian disko theme! So the first item was a blazer with a silk printed communist drawing.

What inspires you / your work?
Everything! Everything that surrounds me, the people, vinyl covers, movies - especially film noire genre.

Describe your Spring Summer 09 Collection.
It has a nautical twist, but not too much, little details, such as anchor buttons or square necklines. I also used a lot of eco fabrics, such as organic cottons and bamboo with linen, lyocell and silk. A lot of black and navy combined with grey and ivory with gold details! Very chic.

What is your favourite piece from your Spring Summer 09 Collection?
I have a few, but I really like the bamboo knit jumpsuit, which could be casual but very sexy too. So comfortable and light for summer itís perfect, it has that 70ís Faye Dunaway feel.
What is the most difficult thing about your job?
To be able to do everything! Be a business women and an artist! Taking care of production is a big job, and also quality control takes forever...

If you could collaborate with any designer / artist / musician / etc. on a single project, who would it be and what would you do?
Iíd love to collaborate with amazing shoe designer Jerome C. RousseauÖwe could make a collection together. It would be awesome to have shoes that I really like for my fashion show. Yes, my other passion is shoes!

What fashion era do you love?
I guess I love them all, really I like a lot the 20ís, 50ís, 60ís, 70ís and of course 80ís. I really like taking details from these era.

Do you have a real or imaginary muse?
Not really, I love the beauty and style of Anna Karina, but I wouldnít say she is a muse for me.
What fashion trend would you not be caught dead in?
None. I assume all styles I can have, even my jogging pants. Like I always say - it's not what you wear is how you wear it!

What is your favourite item in your personal wardrobe?
A dress that I found in a thrift store in LA...an amazing dress that looks like one of these witches of Dario Argento was wearing!

Where do you shop for clothes when you're not wearing your own?
Thrift shops.

What is on your current fashion wishlist?
No wish list!...I love miu miu, I'd love to have a dress from previous collection (cause surprisingly I'm not too crazy about their fall collection), but I can't afford this for sure, so itís not even on a list!
What is your favourite thing about the city you live in?
Montreal is an amazing city and I like itís diversity, the mix of European and American culture, and itís so laid back and creative!

What is next for your label?
Larger distribution in the US.

Visit: Valerie Dumaine website.
Shop: Valerie Dumaine boutique.
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