Where's the cool? Les Inrocks Christine Phung celebrates 10 years of creation: “I fully embrace what is still my signature” by Alice Pfeiffer Published on July 2, 2021 at 11:37 a.m. Updated on July 2, 2021 at 11:38 a.m. Christine Phung behind the scenes of one of her fashion shows (© Vincent Lappartient) The avant-garde French designer is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the birth of her own label with a photographic book that reveals the backstage of her profession. For a decade, Christine Phung has illuminated Parisian fashion with her minimal look, dreamy but anchored in a certain reality, liberating and giving flight to the female body. Today a recognized personality in her industry, she is celebrating the anniversary of her brand through not a collection, but a collection of photos. With photos by Vincent Lappartient, the book traces the evolution of the young woman through her fashion shows over the years, a sort of dreamy narrative framework. Les Inrockuptibles spoke with the stylist about the evolution of her look, her environment and the style since her beginnings. Alice Pfeiffer: How does it feel to look back at your collections from 10 years ago? Christine Phung – (Laughs.) I love them and hate them at the same time. It's partially unbearable, but we had to go through it to move forward, to invent what comes next. I fully embrace what is still my signature today: the power of colors, the strength of patterns, the architecture of the cut, the fluidity of the drapes, the mix of techniques and dress codes. Alice Pfeiffer: Has your relationship with style changed? Christine Phung – So, already, I'm dressing worse and worse! I give less and less importance to what I wear. When my son Amadeo was born, it became even worse. And when I read your book “The Taste of Ugliness”, I wanted to touch rock bottom. I'm kidding. But not completely in reality... I became a lot more detached or rather liberated, distanced. I have more basic needs. I will first value the commitment, the quality of the raw materials, the sustainability of the style and the creative process. I need meaning, before representation. Alice Pfeiffer: Tell me about your book. What was the goal? What did you want to show? What was the process, the approach? Christine Phung – With Vincent Lappartient, we have known each other for 20 years. We passed through the underground car parks of the Louvre to sneak into the haute couture shows under the pyramid, we were 20 years old. In fact, that’s even how we met. Then, he followed all my fashion shows for 10 years. He has this incredible talent for capturing magical, embodied moments that precede the show. He captures something hyper-natural in an artificial, scripted moment. All the photos tell of this same relaxation, this spontaneity which makes the creations extremely lively and inhabited. Alice Pfeiffer: What work did you do with the photographer? What were you trying to tell? Christine Phung – I have a fascination with photography, this ability to immortalize moments. This book is all that will remain. All my archives can be burned, it is this book that I will keep. It best tells the story of how I wanted the clothes to be worn. Everything is there. The attitudes, the energy, the sincerity, the joy, the adrenaline. Alice Pfeiffer: What has changed in your view, 10 years later, on fashion, production, consumption of clothes? Christine Phung – It has nothing to do with it anymore. Before, there was Martin Margiela doing his show, the 50 best boutiques on the planet in the front row and magazines duplicating the same looks for 6 months. Now, all the stores are closing, and there are 200 influencers who have replaced the editors; they make 4-second stories that we see 200 times. The mass has changed. It's fast communication. All this is digested and immediately forgotten. Alice Pfeiffer: On a societal level, what do you think has been the biggest change? Christine Phung – The relationship to gender is in revolution. We date guys who look like girls, and girls who were guys 5 years ago. This liberation of identity will inevitably have an increasingly strong impact on our relationship with fashion. And it's great.