go behind the scenes at natacha ramsay-levi's first chloé show

A ten-minute documentary by artist Sofia Mattioli reveals the story behind Chloe's spring/summer 18 show.

by Antoine Mbemba
19 February 2018, 4:31pm

Last September, the fashion industry watched closely as Natacha Ramsay-Levi took her first steps at Chloé as creative director and crafted her debut solo collection for spring/summer 18. The former Nicolas Ghesquière collaborator certainly had big shoes to fill when it came to reimagining Chloé. The result of Natacha's hard work was a collection that felt ultra-feminine, frank and modern.

There to capture the magic of this new era for Chloé was African-Italian artist Sofia Mattioli. For her ten-minute film, which she created with Rebecca Salvadori, Mattioli documents the energy backstage at the Paris Fashion Week show, capturing the painstaking details and preparation, as well as the creative process of the Parisian designer. Intimate and touching, this is the story of a collection made with love, tension, diversity of opinions and observations. Mattioli's film is also, above all, an ode to the sweetness and determination of Natacha Ramsay-Levi.

What aspects of Chloé and Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s fashion drove you to direct this film?
I worked in fashion in my early 20s and then for five years focused on projects around writing, art and music, and humanitarian causes. I never thought I would work in this field again, but Chloé just felt right. Natacha has a very clear vision, but at the same time a lot of creative freedom when you work with her, which is so rare. She’s intellectual, but with an open mind. She gets so excited when you propose ideas and it gives you so much energy and faith. And she just gets things out of you, especially the ones you want to express the most and are most scared of.

Chloé is so established, but I always felt it as a free and light brand. Time didn't make it heavy. I feel so lucky that, as an artist, I can freelance on projects with them.

What did you want to show -- and what did you discover in the process -- about Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s vision of femininity ?
I wanted to show the most raw and real aspects of what is behind the scenes. The humanity. Models, employees, fun, tensions. But also keep a bit of mystery and mysticism. What you see and what you don't see. Artists have one duty which is to find, understand and expose the truth -- ours and others. Natacha has lifted me up with her female energy.

How relevant do you think the documentary format is in fashion: a world that thrives on fantasy?
Fashion, like all worlds, has its good and bad sides. Fantasy is something we all need in life, everything in small doses is healthy: realism, fantasy, escapism. Natacha wanted to show how we all contribute, with all our differences, in the documentary. It’s not only about her, but about everyone around her that helped make this happen.

Why did you decide to take on this vintage tone for the imagery? It's quite reminiscent of 80s or 90s documentaries.
I really like old films: ones that look raw and simple. I want things to look conceptual, poetic but also intense. I am not a fan of videos that are too high res and overproduced. Rebecca and I shot this with iPhones, an old canon and a VHS. We live in a world where everything is so constructed and retouched, and I don't think it’s healthy. I like things at the source. Demos over finished songs. Sketches over finished paintings.

What surprised you the most about Natacha's creative process?
How hard she works. How quick she thinks. The way she smiles. The amount of research there is behind what she does. I think that's what we have in common the most, the infinite curiosity -- from literature and film to music and art.

This article originally appeared on i-D France.

natacha ramsay-levi
printempsété 2018
sofia mattioli