Interview With Laurence Rouet, Head of Design at Yves Delorme
Yves Delorme is one of the premier bed linen and towelling brands in the world. Synonymous with high quality manufacture and luxury design, the brand excels in creating elegant sleeping spaces in any home. Laurence Rouet is the brand’s Head of Design and leads the creation of each new Yves Delorme collection, here she talks to us about her creative process and where she gets her inspirations from…
What does your role entail within the Yves Delorme brand?
I am the Head of Design at Yves Delorme and I create the bed and bath linen collections for the brand. My role is to make people dream about our beautiful linen through the stories behind my inspirations. I want them to live the experience of creative and high quality products. First, I build the poetic history of the new season. All designs’ creativity will be articulated around that theme. This phase of design is very important because it will be the stylistic framework of the collection and it will guide the thread of our collection story. Then I create the prints and imagine the products of all the bed linen lines, towelling, table linen, accessories … I hand draw and work the technical aspects (printing, weaving, knitting) with a team of collaborators in order to give the perfect final technical touch to our products.
What is the importance of luxury bed linen for your sleeping space?
Beyond answering our needs and our desires, luxury bed linen has this little extra soul that engages the pleasure of touching, sleeping, and dreaming. The quality of sateen cotton will bring softness to the skin, whilst cotton percale weaving offers a crisp and cool feel. The warmth of a cashmere plaid or the softness of a mohair blanket are unmatched…the diversity of patterns and textures also allows us to express our moods and be in tune with the seasons. The bedroom is a place where I can relax and finding the right bed linen is very important. After a busy day, the best place in the world is my bed !
And what is the importance of GSM when comparing luxury towelling?
The weight of a towel (gr / m2) is often associated with its quality and indeed GSM is important to have a generous, beautiful and enveloping feeling. Nevertheless, long fibres for our cotton is also important so the towel is fluffy and full without being too heavy. The Yves Delorme towelling range always offers these levels of quality especially our timeless Etoile towels. They are made with 20% of modal to be more absorbent and reveals the brilliance of our colours, even after many washes.
From where do you draw the biggest inspiration for each Yves Delorme collection?
I have many sources of inspiration to create each Yves Delorme collection. I owe this need for diversity to my multidisciplinary training in art schools that brought me closer to architecture, the environment, painting, fashion, textiles, nature, art and colour, all of which inspire me daily. I like to walk in the countryside or in the city to perceive the space, the atmospheres, the rhythms and changes of lights. I need to feed myself with exhibitions of painting, literature and living art such as theatre or contemporary dance. The distant journey is also very inspiring to nourish the emotions and open the creative imagination. I take a lot of photos and write details in a notebook when I’m travelling. I also keep metro tickets or exhibition tickets, or nice wrapping papers… the graphics and colours of everyday life are also inspiring!
Do you have any favourite pattern style you enjoy working with the most?
I love working with plants, in any form they can take. It’s the poetic gaze upon the flower that renders it Yves Delorme, the design is one of our fundamentals. It is part of Yves Delorme’s DNA. I like to draw flowers but also trees, foliage, herbs. I do not tire of observing the light on the plant and I am fascinated by the changes that time has on the vegetation through the seasons. Our next autumn/winter collection for 2018 is “Winter Gardens” and will show all the different faces that nature takes when it is in contact with wind, snow, frost.
Do you have any key tips for creating luxury sleeping space?
What seems important to me is “to live in bed” with the seasons. A thick and warm duvet in winter, a finer and light duvet in mid-season, a flat sheet topped with a plaid or a throw on the bed for the full summer. Yves Delorme offers a very wide range of duvet covers for all seasons, then to create a sophisticated sleeping space I would advise adding complementing accessories in plain and timeless Yves Delorme designs. I design every season’s prints, jacquards and embroidery to tell a poetic story and I also propose new colours and details such as special embroidery and materials that will refine the timeless linen. The idea of luxury can be seen in the delicate association of a flower with a colour captured in an embroidered detail …allowing us to create bed linen that will have elegance and character.
Does the brand rich history influence you new designs, Do you draw upon this heritage?
The Yves Delorme style has been defined over the years around poetry but also audacity for the creativity of patterns and textile production. This has made it from the beginning a symbol of romantic modernity. Added to this are the fundamentals of excellence in quality and know-how through the expression of hand-made design and the work of exceptional textile artisans. This DNA serves as a guide for each of the collections I imagine. It allows me to create today’s designs with a great richness combining creativity, poetry, elegance and refinement.
What elements have remained with the brand since its inception into present day ?
Yves Delorme started out as a luxury towelling specialist. In the 1970s, the brand created licensing agreements to produce and distribute French Couture brands such as Pierre Cardin, Givenchy, Lanvin, Cacharel and Dior. In addition to the towelling products, the brand also began to develop their own creative bed linen collections. At the same time the strong entrepreneurial spirit of the Fremaux family led the company to opening International doors for the Yves Delorme brand. The Fremaux-Delorme group has carried on alliances with major fashion houses until today including Kenzo, Ralph Lauren Home, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Sonia Rykiel which they are still partnered with today. The development of towelling is still an important value; the weaving workshop in the region of Lyon has recently launched a new industrial structure that combines know-how of excellence and creativity. The brand’s radiance has spread throughout the world through their linen collections and as of 2018 is distributed in 45 countries and about 450 points of sale.
How would you spend your dream day off away from the office?
It would be an accessible dream! A stroll in Paris is always a good idea. It energises me … I would start with a trip to the Rodin museum where I never tire of the work and the beauty of the small garden. Next a trip to the chic department store Le Bon Marché with a mandatory stop at the Grande Epicerie that makes you want to buy everything! I would then cross the 7th arrondissement to the rue de Verneuil where art galleries and antique shops are next to cafés and bookstores.
From the Caroussel bridge Paris is yours! The Seine, Ile Saint Louis, the Musée d’Orsay and the imposing majesty of the Louvre. I would also stop at the Louvre museum bookstore which has a selection of fashion, textiles and crafts. Finally, I would cross the garden of the Royal Palace with its beautiful architecture combining a historical and contemporary look. I like to see the children jumping on Buren’s columns, discover the flower associations of the landscape painters, observe the perfect size of the chestnut trees, then cross over to the covered galleries that house the Ministry of Culture, art galleries and designer boutiques.
What key bed linen trends are there for this year?
The new Yves Delorme 2018 spring/summer collection is called “Following the River”. Like a Japanese haiku this theme evokes a feeling, a perception of nature in the summer season. Printed patterns, jacquards and embroidery suggest the presence of water without seeing it. The flowers of wild clematis grow near the wet rice fields to give their most beautiful flowers. The fauna of exotic jungles seeks a watering place in the shade of the traveller’s tree and ferns. Watercolour evokes vegetation nourished with water and colour. Sateen cotton weaves have subtle patterns of shadow and light. This collection speaks of freshness for the sweet summer nights to come.