Award-winning Swiss designer Ly-Ling Vilaysane established her fashion brand “aéthérée” in 2006. At her St Gallen atelier she creates timeless, modern clothes for everyday wear with an emphasis on quality materials and attention to detail. In this Q&A interview she shares with us what’s important to her in life. Ly-Ling, please describe your path to becoming a fashion designer. I wanted to become a fashion designer since I was 7 years old. It always fascinated me how thoughts can be made tangible. You have an idea and suddenly you hold the idea in your hands and then you can wear it and make people happy. After graduation I wasn’t sure if I should study architecture, but then I chose fashion and don’t regret it for a second. Being a fashion designer means being free. I’m free to express myself through my work. I’m allowed to do what I like every day and I can choose who I want to work with. In addition, I can express my personal development through my clothes.
The characters and themes brought to vibrant, colorful life in artist Yvonne Morell’s artworks are familiar and yet strikingly original. Her depictions cast a fresh light on everyday occurrences, habits and objects with an engaging warmth, wit and humanity. In this interview she tells us what inspires her in life and in work. Yvonne, please describe your path to becoming an artist. Creativity has always been part of my life but it was only at 22 that I registered for a drawing class at Ceruleum in Lausanne. Every Saturday morning I went there and just drew all morning…pots, plants, flowers, anything: I didn’t care what, I just LOVED it. I felt a whole new world opening up to me. From there it was years of painting and learning until I decided to dedicate myself full time to it.
Don’t you love turning the corner on a tried-and-true path only to lock eyes on something refreshingly new and unexpected. Happened to me last week as I zigzagged through town and came upon the bright and cheery shopfront window of Royaume Melazic (the Kingdom of Melazic).
Switzerland — renowned for holding on to its traditions and supposedly being slow to change — breaks with that moldy generalization at the very least when it comes to its up-and-coming young fashion designers. Proof of this will be as crystal clear as a fresh Alpine stream at the 4th Swiss Fashion Point 2017, starting tomorrow the 28 September and continuing through the 1 October at the Pavillon Sicli in the Acacias suburb of Geneva.
Some shopowners sell to make a living. Others care about their merchandise but keep the relationship strictly professional. Then there are those who embrace the individuality and provenance of each article as if it were a child, valuing its uniqueness while creating a harmony in the family of merchandise as a whole. “There isn’t one thing here I don’t love. I can only sell what I love.” It’s obvious that Isabelle Giovenni is just such a proprietor as she introduces me to each of the product lines at her boutique Capricieuse, which opened its doors on 11 April in a luminous corner property at the intersection of rue des Eaux-Vives and rue des Vollandes in the Eaux-Vives neighborhood of Geneva.
If it’s spring it’s time again for the creative extravaganza that is the UNIcréa Arts & Crafts Salon, which twice annually brings together more than 100 artisans ‘handpicked’ for their originality, passion and talent by UNIcréa founder and director Céline Dreveton. I spoke with Céline last autumn (Meet Céline Dreveton: Artisan, Entrepreneur and Creative Force) just before the Salon’s 22nd edition at the Château de la Sarraz and she impressed me with her commitment to unveiling fresh, new talent at each subsequent fair.
Since the early 1900s, Geneva’s food hall has been a beloved feature of culinary life in the city. Many generations of the same local families — and expatriates and visitors who come and go and come back again — loyally purchase goods from the merchants whose stands line the two long corridors of the Halle de Rive. The President of the Halle’s Merchants’ Association tells me why that’s so. One of my favorite shortcuts — whether or not I needed food — when walking to my former home in Geneva’s Eaux-Vives district from the city centre led me straight through La Halle de Rive, a culinary corridor running between Rue Pierre-Fatio and Boulevard Helvétique. The observance of quality and service, the array of beautifully presented produce, the friendly greetings of the food merchants, and the enjoyment of the locals gathering for lunch or raising un verre at the in-house Bistro des Halles left me feeling I was sharing a cherished, time-honored tradition in the life of the city. Which, of course, I was.