BETWEEN CHAOS AND NOSTALGIA: An interview with the designer of “Lou de Bétoly”

vor 3 years

Lou de Bètoly: a Parisian Vivienne Westwood … a little bit aristocratic, a little bit punk …

Since 2017, Lou de Bétoly has been inspiring and intriguing us consistently, with peculiar textile work, fine attention to detail, and unmistakable, unmissable campaigns, models, and cohorts. One of our editorials earlier in the year, shot by Nina Raasch, featured a couple of her garments, and we have been hooked since then. Nearing the end of a chaotic year, Fräulein had a little chat with the face behind the nostalgic, the playful, and the elegantly kitsch LOU DE BÈTOLY.

MISS: Lou, you are from Paris, which is a city representative of elegance. Now you are here in Berlin, such a vibrant city “without any system.” What inspires you the most about being here?

Lou: I think that what was very attractive to me about Berlin, what this feeling of freedom, and yes, the chaos. I remember liking this vibe of ‘under construction.’ I love big cities. Berlin has the advantage of being vast, but also green. I find it great to have access to culture, anonymity, and also being able to lay in parks and swim in lakes. Nevertheless, my love for Paris remains faithful.

This year, we have felt trapped and restricted. It also has felt surreal. Is there anything you found particularly inspiring this year?

It’s a difficult question. I found it inspiring to learn within new perspectives, given by changes that are unusual. Somehow we were forced to slow down. This definitely had positive aspects. But I found this year was quite destabilizing … it’s very difficult to keep being excited when the system you know is collapsing around you. I really miss traveling, all the spontaneous things, and all the cultural activities.

Almost all of the things that you draw inspiration from in your work have to do with the abnormal. Where do you think this fascination comes from?
I’m really attracted to what is slightly twisted and irregular. In human behaviors and trends of living, there’s so much homogeneity. What always catches my attention is the unexpected beauty in everyday life.  

When I look at the things that inspire you, I could as well imagine how you as an artist could also draw your own reality with oils on canvas. What is that you find fascinating about working with clothes?

I have a real fascination with textiles. I’m used to working on clothes. I like the fact that they become alive once they are on a body. There are also a lot of technical restrictions to making a functional garment. It’s challenging. At the moment, I feel lucky and I am quietly inspired to experiment on new things. I’ve been working this year, during the first lockdown, on a knitted picture, inside a frame, which I presented during Berlin Art Week. It was quite fun for me to work in another format.
Your creations are practically brought to life on people. 

I like that every person in my garments has their own unique way of wearing it.


You describe yourself as an “aristocratic punk”. What does that mean for you in the current time?

It’s mainly about my artist name. Lou de Bètoly is an anagram of my birth name. I loved adding a particle onto my family name. It is fake, as much as it is true. In my work, I am playing with bourgeois codes, while at the same time, feeling a sense of decadence.

Interview by Carolin Desiree Becker
Pictures Courtesy of Paul Kooiker and LOU DE BÉTOLY
More information, including where to order, can be found on Lou’s website or Instagram 

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