Meet Alix de Moussac, designer and founder of La Nouvelle A behind-the-scenes look at what goes into designing our collections, with Alix de Moussac
07 June 2022
Interview with Alix de Moussac, La Nouvelle Designer and Founder.
Alix founded La Nouvelle alongside Aurélie Grandemenge. She tells us about her journey, what inspires her, and
gives us a behind-the-scenes peek at what goes into designing a new collection.
- What is your background in terms of your studies and professional training? Could you tell us about your career path?
Alix: For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a designer. I was fascinated by my grandmothers’ fabrics. I always liked to dress up, and to sketch women wearing beautiful dresses. When I was in my 3rd year of primary school, I already had an answer to the question, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” So I had to wait patiently while I completed my general education, until I could start my training as a designer at the Chardon Savard Atelier, a school for fashion and design in Paris. After leaving school, I had a job working in ready-to-wear fashion for a while, before starting my own lingerie brand, “Alix de Moussac”, in 2006. It was very much small-scale and artisanal, and I continued to freelance for other brands before joining forces with Aurélie to create La Nouvelle in 2014.
- Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?
Alix: That’s a very big question! I find inspiration everywhere, every day. It can be the colour of a door, the soundtrack of a movie, an emotion… Inspiration can be found in the street, in a museum or in a movie. I’m always on the look-out for inspiration.
- Who are the women that inspire you?
Alix: I’m very ’70s. I love this time when women became liberated, spoke out, and were free-spirited and independent. Catherine Deneuve, for instance, is a good example of this kind of French chic, with her great strength and her assertiveness.
- Can you tell us about how a collection comes into being?
Alix: It all begins with the story I want to tell. I decide on a theme, and a colour palette, which I will use to create a mood board that will inspire the whole collection. Usually the theme relates to an era or a decade that I want to explore. Then comes the choice of fabric, which is fundamental to my work. I’m always looking for fabrics that are comfortable and soft, which have a second skin effect. I also want them to be robust and durable. We truly want to make high-quality lingerie that you’ll have for a long time. So I attach great importance to the choice of my suppliers, who must be based in Europe, and must offer fabrics made from recycled fibres. The majority of our fabrics are currently made from recycled fibres, and we intend to continue our efforts to extend our use of these kinds of fabrics still further.
- What comes next?
Alix: Once I have chosen the theme and the fabrics, I entrust the pattern making to Lola (our Pattern Maker and Quality Manager). Then it’s over to Natasha, our Collection Coordinator, who will coordinate the next steps that will bring the whole collection together. We do all of the design work in-house, down to the smallest details. We entrust the production stage to our manufacturers in Tunisia and Morocco, but we do everything else in-house.
- How do you come up with the ideas for the prints that you use in each collection?
Alix: Once again, it’s 100% in-house! Most of our prints are designed by Natasha. Taking the given theme as the starting point, she creates new and unique prints for each collection.
- With La Nouvelle, you are creating an image of femininity that is totally unique. How would you define it?
Alix: I always have in mind the idea of an independent, natural, liberated woman. With the lingerie I create, my aim is that women can feel able to accept themselves as they are, with no need for any artificial effects. I think that for a woman to realise her full potential, she has to feel good in her own skin. I want to create underwear that makes women feel more confident.
- Is it challenging to create garments that are comfortable, that don’t pinch or dig into the body, and are also feminine and sexy at the same time?
Alix: No. Those things are not incompatible at all. I think you feel sexy when you feel good about your body. Our second skin lingerie makes you feel empowered, and allows you to be your true, authentic self.
- The comfort bra is one of your favourite pieces. Why is that?
Alix: I never liked underwiring, so I quickly switched to the “slow bra”. I don’t like the feeling of being confined. And I find it’s much nicer not to be able to see the bra fasteners under a piece of clothing. Our Georgia comfort bra was created to address all of these needs. Also from the idea that a bra can become a fashion accessory in its own right, and something that you like to be visible.
- Is that what led you to the idea of adding the lurex detail?
Alix: Yes. I started from the idea that underwear can be stylish and can even take the lead, so to speak, rather than always being hidden away. This lurex detail gives our underwear another dimension. We no longer hide our bra straps, we enjoy displaying them. This has quickly become our signature detail.
- Finally, what’s the best compliment someone could give you about La Nouvelle?
Alix: I don’t know if we can call it a compliment exactly, but what touches me most is the loyalty of our customers. Nothing pleases me more than to hear that before trying our designs they had trouble finding what they liked, and that since then they don’t want to wear anything else. We actually get a lot of messages along these lines, and it’s hugely rewarding. I have the feeling that there is a real La Nouvelle community, which is very much intergenerational. I’m very touched by that.
Chinese portrait: a “Marseillaise” woman at heart
If you were…
- A city, you would be: Marseille, where I’ve been living for 20 years
- A material: Earth
- An instrument: A guitar, very 70s
- A song: I would say it would be more like a singer – I love everything by Leonard Cohen
- A movie: Pierrot Le fou. Passion Nouvelle Vague
- An artist: Patti Smith, who is a very inspiring, multi-talented artist