After launching garancedore.com almost a decade ago, the French illustrator turned blogger now author opens up her favorite topics in her first book, Love Style Life. From her childhood in Corsica, and finding her sense of style to career advice and love stories—Dore shares it all Plus, order her book here.
Harpers BAZAAR: What inspired you to want to write this book?
Garance Dore: I thought about it for a while. I wanted to do something in the spirit of the blog, but I loved the idea of a truly finished product. That’s the thing, you can tell a story from beginning to end and a blog is an ongoing adventure. So I thought by the time I turned 40 and my blog is almost 10 years old; I’ve learned so much and I think one day I woke up and I was like, “okay, I know exactly what I want to say” and I know how I’m going to say it because I think one of the things I was not sure about was how to combine all the different things that I do—meaning the photos, illustrations and writing into something that would all work together and be really meaningful.
HB: What was the process like? Were you lifting content you’d already written about?
GD: Not at all. The book talks about style but the idea is to go beyond that, to go where, “where does style really come from? What did I learn from all these people I’ve met and how their style has inspired me?” It goes way beyond that with people that are successful and intelligent and have that happiness about them, and that’s what I wanted to explore, the way you interact with others. So, in that sense, that’s why the book really gave me a platform to go deeper, and so I looked at the blog more in the way of, “What did I learn? What can I draw from everything I do everyday?” Because that’s the thing, a blog is like an everyday craft and sometimes you don’t really realize what the big message of what you’re saying or your voice.
HB: When did you start writing the book? From start to finish how long did it take you?
GD: I think from start to finish it took me two years. I was pretty hands-on. I wanted to do everything, you know. I didn’t just want to take stuff from the blog and put it in the shape of a book. All the photos were original except very few which I thought were meaningful to put in the book. The text and all the illustrations are original, so it’s really new and I crafted it. I also kept on doing my usual work during that time and I wanted to take my time to do it. I wanted to be happy and you know I think people today are asking me, “How do you feel? Are you stressed?” and I’m not stressed because I did the very best I could with the most love I could and to me I’m very happy about it and that’s probably the most important thing.
HB: You speak of a lot of personal experiences in this book—is it hard to be vulnerable for the world to read?
GD: I’m very intimate on the blog and sometimes if you see it as a big thing, you don’t really realize because it’s mixed in with fashion and much lighter topics. I rarely talk about love on the blog just because it involves too many people you know that you’re living with or something that’s complicated. I’m talking about friends; I’m talking about all of that. In a book, it’s very different. You have the stories that are finished, you have lived it. So that was a great way to do that, so I don’t ever feel like I’m saying too much because to me, the role of a writer is to say those things because we all go through the same great moments, the bad moments, the moments when we’re great friends, the moments when we’re not such great friends. It happens. I think it’s important to talk about these things and also because it comes easily to me. It’s not like I have to push myself.
HB: Is there a moment you can pinpoint when you felt like you “made it” in the fashion industry?
GD: There are a lot of these moments actually when I look back—like my first conversation with with Carine Roitfeld, my first invitation to a fashion show, and first time sitting front row at a fashion show. I still love when any editor today says, “it’s so cool what you do”, or “you inspired me”. All these little things make you realize that people are reading your site and that you have an influence. But that’s what’s amazing, there have been a lot of little moments, but still to this day, every moment I’m like, “Wow, I can’t believe this is happening.”
HB: How did you choose the women that you featured in this book?
GD: Just love, basically. I really believe in bringing good energy out there so everything counted, the feelings I had towards people that I was shooting, and all that. Not all of them are my close friends, but there are a lot of people that I feel brought something to my life, like Diane von Furstenberg. So they’re not all my besties but they’re very welcoming, inspiring women and I like how they live their lives and the way they carry themselves. So I’ve been kind of picky and they’re kind of a group of people that I love and admire a lot.
HB: Are you an editor or a builder when it comes to your wardrobe?
GD: I would be the one that edits. Really, I’m both, like every woman, but I feel the best when I do a great edit and I never regret parting with any clothes because I know there is always something better coming. I’ve learned that just in the last few years though. You know I used to carry around stuff, like I just came back from Paris and I had two boxes in Paris to leave in New York and when I opened these boxes I could not believe it was six years ago I couldn’t part with these clothes. They didn’t mean anything and they didn’t have anything special, but at that time I was very very attached to my clothes. Now, I’ve learned that the less things I have, and of course we’re talking about somebody who works in fashion so it’s not like I have no clothes, but the less I have, the better I dress because I can see what I have. That’s the most important in the morning. When you have 100 pairs of jeans, you don’t know what you’re doing, but when you have 5, you can say, “Okay, I know exactly what I want to wear today.”
HB: Do you believe in having a uniform?
GD: I believe that uniforms are great for some people. We all know people who have worn a uniform and are amazing and don’t want to think about it and they pick what they love the best. I just love fashion, I could never commit to wearing a uniform. I have my essentials and things that I want to repeat over the seasons. Also, our style evolves so much, even with me and I’m pretty clear and I know what I like, I realize that there is always something new that I want to add. So it’s more like changing with the season slowly and evolving, but I’m not too much into a uniform because I love fashion too much.
HB: What was the last thing that you bought?
GD: I recently got boots from Stella McCartney that I love, a bag from Nina Ricci— I love the collection this season, a coat from Coach, and a bunch of awesome sweaters from Club Monaco.
Image courtesy of Garance Dore
#CONVERSATIONPIECES celebrates powerful, career-driven women who are disrupting the status quo in pursuit of their passions— a notion DANNIJO and Harper’s BAZAAR wholly support. Filmed at the brand’s popup at 68 Gansevoort, which offers a mix of statement jewelry and A Current Affair curated vintage clothing, the creative hub, wherein one can swing by, sip a cup of coffee, play dress up and get lost in conversation, becomes the backdrop for a series of exclusive chats with DANNIJO co-founder Danielle Snyder.
In this episode of #CONVERSATIONPIECES, Danielle chats with photographer, illustrator and author of Love, Style, Life, Garance Doré, about everything from the dynamics of sisterhood to her unique meaning of career. Watch above and follow along using the hashtag #conversationpieces. xo Danielle