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  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

Audrey Tasiaux On Her Sustainable Luxury French Couture Brand, Diana d’Orville—Interview

INTERVIEW




Luxury, timeless elegance and sophistication, the allure of French craftsmanship has long been synonymous with unparalleled quality and exquisite detail. Today, as the global spotlight intensifies on sustainable practices, French designers and artisans are leading a transformative movement towards luxury sustainable fashion. Among them is Audrey Tasiaux, who founded Diana d’Orville in 2020.


Drawing inspiration from the lavish Mediterranean lifestyle and the elegant influence of her grandmother, Diana, Audrey has created a brand synonymous with sustainable luxury. Each limited-edition collection is meticulously handcrafted in a Parisian atelier, using only the finest French and Italian materials as well as upcycled haute-couture fabrics and champions traditional craftsmanship, thereby reducing its environmental footprint while still exuding the glamour and creativity of its designs. As the founder beautifully puts it, the "Diana d’Orville is an ode to liberty of movement, French craftsmanship & Mediterranean art de vivre".


Since its few years of establishment, the brand's client profile extends from royalty and celebrities to luxury hotels and bespoke collaborations with Le Bristol Pari and Caesar’s Palace Dubai. Top fashion magazines like Vogue and l’Officiel and have been highlighted at gala events at the French Embassy in Shanghai. Poised for expansion into the Middle East and with a special collection for a renowned Netflix show in the works, Diana d’Orville shares with us her motivations in pushing the boundaries of luxury fashion with boldness and artistic elegance.





1.    Can you tell us about yourself and how you came to start Diana d’Orville?

 

I originally come from a background far, far away from everything couture & glittery sequins – Politics & International Terrorism!

 

Travelling with a pretty hectic schedule of last-minutes, I wanted to create - initially for myself – a wardrobe of sumptuous, comfortable, lightweight easy-to-pack essentials I could jump in and mix & match for every occasion. Hence the aphorism ‘From your morning espresso to the red carpet’.

 

It took off pretty rapidly, with several exciting projects such as exclusive collections for legendary luxury hotels across the globe & an incubation at prestigious Institut Français de la Mode in Paris.

 

Designed in Monaco where I grew up, all pieces are handcrafted in our Parisian atelier, from French & Italian divine fabrics. Limited editions, sartorial exultation! Velvety silks, precious brocades & fluid shapes that celebrate the divine feminine, grace & freedom of movement.


Made for joyful, energetic women like my grandmother Diana d’Orville, who devour life & flow in it with grace, unapologetically – women who hold that certain je ne sais quoi that instantly light up a room.

 

I think there is a certain poetry & allure brought by flowy, almost ethereal fabrics, shapes & bold eclectic prints. Each set is thought as both an armor & cocoon, that flatter every morphology – mood-boosting garments that provide an extra shot of self-confidence, joy & utmost comfort while suitable & chic for any situation.





 

2. How would you define a sustainable luxury couture brand and how does your brand, Diana d’Orville, fit into the definition?

 

I grew up on the French Riviera, a region ‘blessed by the Gods’ where Sustainability is naturally anchored in its exceptional Art de Vivre. Whether it be the small-scale, organic farming methods that respect the land, artisanal craftsmanship celebrating centuries of traditional savoir-faire, the exceptional profusion of raw, fresh natural products used in cosmetics & culinary culture, strong connection to Nature translating into daily activities such as hiking in the mountains, swimming in the sea (my morning non-negociable ritual!) and a strong community spirit – Sunday markets in the South of France (a whole ceremonial!) is a great example that features today’s very en-vogue Slow Living art. To me, Sustainable Luxury is a sine qua non condition of launching a business today.

 

Diana d’Orville fits into the definition across its whole value chain, from raw material sourcing to end-packaging & after sales care. A few examples include:

 

Ethical & Local sourcing of materials: we work closely with family-owned suppliers in France & Italy that have been mastering their art since centuries. A modus operandi that also ensures full traceability of our fabrics. We select our fabrics prioritizing organic, recycled/recyclable fabrics, and upcycle leftover haute-couture textiles.

No waste, no overproduction, no greenwashing!

 

Artisanal craftsmanship & local, small-scale production: Our collections are handcrafted by fairy-fingered seamstresses in our Parisian atelier, in Limited Editions, therefore aligning with principles of luxury’s rarity & exclusivity, supporting traditional métiers d’art & local economy development (if not to say, survival) that are disappearing under mass delocalization pressure & the race to low-cost that is the source of social & planet destruction.

Local craftsmanship also allows us to reduce our carbon footprint associated with transport, fair labor practices, full transparency to our clientele, and promoting positive social impact within communities involved in the process.

 

Our packagings are also completely free from plastic & harmful chemical dyes. We managed to combine opulent, luxurious packagings made in France, whilst making chic organic cotton tote-bags that are infinitely re-usable – to go to the beach, the farmers market or to stock up on books at the local bookshop!

 

Our most recent podcast ‘Diana d’Orville the Podcast’ inaugurated by legendary Vincent Darré, featuring conversations with artists, writers & leaders in the Arts & Lifestyle industries such as Farrah el Dibany, Zita d’Hauteville & Davina Catt is also conceived as a vector to raise awareness about sustainability issues in the fashion industry & promoting greater understanding of value of Sustainable Luxury Couture.

 

Client Involvement through our bespoke services: involving our clients in the design process, from selection of fabrics, prints & color palettes create more meaningful & personalized connections between us, the garment & the wearer.





3. What do you wish to bring to the couture industry that is uniquely you, or Diana d’Orville?

 

Diana d’Orville’s uniqueness leans on both tangible aspects (namely, limited edition pieces, unique supply chain, design & artisanal processes) and intangible expression that we cherish & value (I like to think of it as ‘Haute-Culture in Luxury Couture’! ).

 

The brand’s creative itinerary is, in the end, deeply personal.


From my grandmother Diana’s maiden name given to the brand (a no-brainer!), to the inspiration behind each collection. Whether it be a Debussy ‘Songe d’une Nuit d’Été’ sonate, an emotion in front of an art piece, a childhood aroma, literature, voyages, old Hollywood cinematography, history of costume archives & illustrations… anything that makes me vibrate is ultimately weaved into couture designs, creating a rich tapestry of styles & narratives that celebrate a certain sense of poetic well-being.




"I think there is a certain poetry & allure brought by flowy, almost ethereal fabrics, shapes & bold eclectic prints." - Audrey Tasiaux, Founder of Diana d’Orville




 

4. You have created exclusive collections for luxury hotels such as Le Bristol Paris, Caesar’s Palace Dubai and many more. What have been some of your most exciting moments to date?

 

Every new collection is a source of excitement! I will never get tired of it. Definitely, our first season with Eden Rock St Barths’ just a few months after our brand was born, was pretty electrifying!


Each exclusive collection is a deep dive into the key elements of a hotel’s universe, clientèle aspirations, and unique spirit. We really delve into it to create designs, prints & color palettes that match the hotel’s core DNA. I think this is why it worked well commercially – because it is almost intimate, especially considering the exclusive, limited edition pieces the client wouldn’t find anywhere else.


These collections in turn brought us to develop bespoke pieces for Royals in the Gulf and this is an insane feeling too!

 




5. What challenges have you encountered expanding into the Middle-East market and how did you respond to them?

 

Before expanding into the UAE markets, we have conducted thorough research of the Middle-Eastern market, purchasing behaviors, understanding the dress codes, cultural sensitivities, business customs etc., and have tailored our collections to fit the demand. It was both daunting & exciting at the same time.


The challenge was to develop exclusive prints & designs tailored with local preferences, lifestyles, fabrics compositions (the temperatures!), local calendar of cultural celebrations (for example, Eid al Fitr) building strong relationships with local press, brand ambassadors, retailers that could bring the brand to a successful result, whilst aligning with a coherent brand message. We did a pop-up last year with a special collection for the occasion, in order to meet in-person with local influencers, press, and clients.


And mostly…logistics!


We are still learning & building strong connections there – a thrilling experience!





"Whether it be a Debussy ‘Songe d’une Nuit d’Été’ sonate, an emotion in front of an art piece, a childhood aroma, literature, voyages, old Hollywood cinematography, history of costume archives & illustrations… anything that makes me vibrate is ultimately weaved into couture designs, creating a rich tapestry of styles & narratives that celebrate a certain sense of poetic well-being." - Audrey Tasiaux, founder of Diana d’Orville




 

6. With a special collection coming soon for a Netflix show, can you walk us through your preparation and process for a project like this?

 

We are still working on this exciting project - at the time of writing, in the fittings phase! So far the process has been very smooth & rapid – an absolute pleasure to work with their team. As the show is filmed in Paris, that allows a pretty efficient back & forths / rapid validations, as our garments are all handmade in our Parisian atelier.

 

First step is moodboard & first design sketches to refine the concept. We are working with the stylist on the characters that will wear the pieces, meaning we are reviewing all past seasons to understand the personality traits (fun!), specific scenes where they would appear on screen, what they want to express, in order to match visually our prints, designs, textures & embellishment that we in turn present for final selection.


Next step : pattern making & toile creation come to life (prototyping phase!) that lead to fittings & adjustments tailored directly on the actresses measurements.


We are looking forward to see our creations soon on screen!



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All imagery is provided by Diana d’Orville.



Website: dianadorville.com | Phone: +33 6 1664 6013 | Email: contact@dianadorville.com | Instagram: @dianadorville | Facebook: @dianadorvillemontecarlo

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