A few days ago we unveiled the last creation that took take place in our cabinet of curiosities: the patch to perfume. If it allows you to give a second life to your favourite clothes and accessories, it is also a perfect accessory to be perfumed to enjoy your fragrance in a different way. Made in collaboration with the French brand Virgen, this embroidered jewel pays tribute to our emblem: La Baigneuse.
After the Beau Carré by day and by night, a new collaboration has just seen the light of day. And as we are always guided by beautiful encounters, it is the one with Virginie Gaubert, Virgen’s designer, who inspired us and allowed us to create 3 exclusive patches, and a new olfactory ritual.
The inspired interview
How should we call you: Virginie or Virgen?
My name is Virginie, but it is true that since I started my brand, most of my friends, especially those who work with me at the Atelier Meraki, call me Virgen. Both suit me!
By the way, what does Virgen mean?
Virgen is also another way of saying Virginie, but one that breaks our habits… both tinged with humor and symbolism – one of the founding principle in my creation – since Virgen means “virgin” in Spanish. The roots of this word particularly appeal to me because “VIR” means “creative force” and “GEN” means “to generate”.
La Baigneuse shows up on your patches: what does she evoke you?
La Baigneuse inspires me both femininity and grace. She evokes a woman full of lightness, who would bask in bliss. That is why I wanted to use it as a central figure of the patches by adding symbols referring more directly to the sense of smell and perfume: La Baigneuse and her twin faced themselves, they show their feminine attributes and they seem to smell with love the delicate flowery perfume that dresses up them.
Clothes, bags, shoes… Your patches stick everywhere! Do you consider them a jewel in their own right?
Totally! They come to adorn our outfits and give us a real singularity, like a jewel.
On which clothes or accessories do you prefer to stick your creation?
I like the patch on a basic tee-shirt, because it “dresses” it so easily. On a jacket, I love this trend of the abundance of patches that give a new character to the product. Finally, on a bag, it brings a new singularity to the accessory. In short, I love them everywhere!
Tell us about your first meeting with Carrément Belle!
My meeting with Carrément Belle was at the Who’s Next trade fair in Paris. Maxime came to meet me on the stand that I shared with my co-workers from the Atelier Meraki. I really enjoyed this meeting because the approach was very warm. Maxime told me about Carrément Belle perfumes, the beautiful family history and I also went to his stand where he shared with me his passion for perfumes and where I met his father, creator of the brand. Charmed by them and the world of perfumes, I was immediately excited about the idea of a collaboration.
Perfume and embroidered accessories, at first sight, nothing in common?
At first sight no, and that is exactly what is great! We propose a new product, it is quite innovative.
How was this collaboration?
After meeting Maxime at Who’s Next, we contacted each other a few days later in order to develop the collaboration. Thrilled by the project, I quickly got down to creative research. I went to see Maxime in his workshop to present my designs and we exchanged about color ranges, to match the colors of the patches with the ones of the perfumes. We made several prototypes to be fully satisfied with the quality of threads and color confrontations.
Why did you choose enkor, the original musc and 555 as scents to associate with the patches?
These are my favorite perfumes! I like the citrus smell of enkor: their fresh and sparkling scents wake me up and invigorate me. The original musc pleases me a lot for its wildest and most sensual notes. It is the perfume I am wearing right now. Finally, 555 seduced me by its subtlety. More mysterious, it seems to assemble more scented notes.
By the way, what place does the perfume take in your daily life?
I love using perfume, it is a daily ritual! I am not one of those women who have only one fragrance that follows them for years. Personally, I have 3 that I choose according to my mood of the moment.
The patch to perfume, a new ritual to adopt?
Of course! A new gesture, a new habit, a new attitude!
A suggestion to stick the patch?
To stick the patch, it is quite simple! Take your iron and make sure to respect the maximum temperature allowed by the material of the clothes on which you wish to stick it. Place your patch on the item and press for about twenty seconds, covering a cotton cloth before, to protect the embroidery. Wait for it to cool down, check the adhesion and if necessary, repeat the operation on the inside of the clothes.
Et voilà, your patch is heat-sticked and ready to be perfumed!
What if you tell us a little bit about your career?
I came from Fashion Styling training at ESAA Duperré. I did all my studies, from the upgrade, through the BTS, to finish a DSAA fashion and environment. I acquired a taste for experimentation, and I was able to develop my interest in textiles and patterns. I also develop my interest in art and drawing, more generally. Even today, I can spend whole night drawing!
Then, at the end of my studies, I wanted to teach, and I took an exam to become a professor of applied arts, which I do with pleasure in parallel to my creative activity.
Where does this desire to transmit come from?
I have always wanted transmitting, since I was very young, I admired most of my teachers because they gave me the desire to learn. I also find that there is something very beautiful, a kind of giving, in the vocation of transmission. I was brought to transmit this discipline thanks to my passion for the arts and more specifically the applied arts and design. I particularly like to see my students progress, understand little by little, experiment; it is a real pleasure for me to see them grow in their reflections, their creations but also as people.
Your creations are always very colorful, with shimmering shapes and symbols. What inspires you?
As far as I remember, I always loved colors. I like strong and contrasting colored universes. Everything can then inspire me. When I see someone in the street whose outfit plays with colors, a colorful table on which I come to put an object and where confrontation calls to mind, an exhibition, etc. Recently, I retained beautiful chromatic confrontations of the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Pompidou Center, which I will certainly reuse for future creations.
Concerning symbols, it is rather people who inspire me. Indeed, for my first collection, my iconography was drawn from meetings with people who transmitted to me parts of their life, which I translated in the form of symbols and patterns, and which later became my jewels embroidered. Each jewel has something to reveal, an interpretation to offer. In the end, everyone has to imagine it, but I give a clue on my packaging through a small poetic sentence. I like to tell myself that what we wear can be significant.
When I work with brands, it can be significantly different. For example, with Adidas, I created 3 tricolor-colored designs, to illustrate different symbols such as victory, the ball, the eyes of fans and the passion of football.
Although we do not share this opinion, we sometimes hear in Carrément Belle that some ingredients, like the rose, are labeled old school. Are you told sometimes that embroidery is a granny thing?!
Well no, at least not for now! I try to create contemporary designs and there is a real return of embroidery in fashion. I would say that it becomes even trendy!
Virgen X Carrément Belle in 1 word
Discover the patch to perfume here.