“I got into lingerie a long time ago. When I was 17 or 18, I couldn’t find anything fun and new and young for me or my friends, so I began to go to the flea market and find this beautiful old lingerie from the ‘50s. And I thought, ‘If there is nothing on the market, I’ll have to do something.’ I created Princesse Tam Tam with two of my friends when I was 22 years old. Then, I went to Eres. I’m like a mercenary. When someone needs creativity, they call me. It’s my strength.
Makeup and lingerie are two worlds that are very close—they are the closest things that you have on your body, and they’re both very personal choices. We work with a lot of sheer fabrics at Eres, so the colors have to be very beautiful on the skin—the same as cosmetics. There’s always navy somewhere... I went to a religious school, with uniforms, and I was always in navy blue, so maybe it stayed with me. But I like navy, it’s a lot easier to wear than black; it’s the ‘new black.’ It’s a clever color.
I have a very long beauty routine. [Laughs] I’m really fond of makeup. I wear lip gloss at night, but always very natural colors. I do use red lipstick sometimes; I love to use red in the winter when I have very pale skin. Red makes you happy. I use a matte Nars red, of course—the pencil-crayon, in Dragon Girl. It’s so good. It’s matte but it’s not dry. The Nars colors are wonderful, like their Rue de Rivoli, akhaki-green crayon I use on my eyes, and I love their Powder Foundation. I love mascara, too. I use Kanebo Sensai Mascara 38C because I heard Catherine Deneuve used it on stage and in her films; it never melts or runs down your cheeks. It’s a plastic, a fiber—it’s a very good one, and I’ve tried many. It’s not very well known, but it’s fantastic. In the summer, I wear Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50—the highest protection I can—but I still get tan. I love salt, or salty products—like Bumble and bumble Surf Spray, which I just discovered—on my hair. I have curly hair, I can’t straighten it. Curly hair is me, who I am.
I also travel a lot. Every holiday, I’m in the sunshine, outside. I like to look at people, women on the beach, at the pool, and see how they walk and what they are doing. The cut and fit of a swimsuit is so important, and there are many tricks when shopping for one: you go in the morning, when you haven’t had lunch yet. Never after lunch. And go with your best friend! She will tell you the truth. When I am designing, I think about women: what they like, what they need, what they dream about… I’m thinking of me, sometimes. I want to make women feel more beautiful, more confident—I’m very concerned with body shape. Most women tend to hold weight in their lower stomach, so you can feel like you don’t look so good. I say that lingerie can be a bit like surgery, you know? You really feel slimmer when you put on an Eres bodysuit or the lingerie; you feel really different... I heard that Rihanna has a lot of Eres; she wears it on stage. I love Rihanna, I like her face. She’s very young, she’s beautiful. She’s very strong. I like her energy.”
—as told to ITG
Valérie Delafosse photographed by Elizabeth Brockway in New York on October 1st, 2012.