The Black Angel is always happy to promote talented artists from the gothic scene, and present some of their word to our worldwide customers. But we must admit being particularly excited to have the opportunity to introduce you to the exceptional fashion work of Les Incroyables, whose clothing and especially hats are nothing but amazing. We sat down with Felix Weber and Dirk Seegmüller for a little chat about their designs, and why they are angry at cheap clothing brands and the lack of creativity in the current gothic scene. Brace yourselves, here we go:
Let's start by introducing Les Incroyables to our customers and visitors, as well as the protagonists behind it, Dirk and Felix.
Felix: Les Incroyables is our Fashion Label which we’ve started in 2007. We have a small collection for her and him including accessories especially hats which got most attention within the past years. Next to the collection we create a lot of individual designs like wedding dresses, stage costumes or evening gowns. To introduce ourselves, Dirk is a classic career changer who came from office administration to fashion. He also did internships in fashion. I (Felix) studied fashion Design up to the German Diploma at the FH-Trier with a followed Fulbright-scholarship at the F.I.T. New York City which was an awesome experience. We both had a huge interest in fashion and sewing since the early childhood, so when our paths were crossing the route was clear.
Can you tell us more about how your career in fashion started, and where that passion comes from?
I already started sewing in primary school because I’ve had very concrete ideas of how I wanted things to look like and my mother said that if I am so picky with it I should do it on my own. Later on Sewing became a hobby and while my education in graphic design I did medieval and fantasy costumes for friends and me. And after some work-experience I decided to study fashion design.
Dirk: I remember that I got an early fascination for the hats of my grandfather, who always used to wear them. Sewing was a hobby to me for a long time but after my education on a different field and a couple of years of work experience I decided to follow my dreams and did an internship in fashion and costume design studio in cologne.
How would you describe your style?
A wearable modern mix of costume/historic elements and fashion.
Felix: Dandy meets Punk in the park.
Where do you find inspiration for new designs?
Due the reflecting process after research for themes in music, museums, exhibitions, the movies, nature, conversations… mostly a reflection of everything in day life.
Because! ;-) They are a nice add-on on every outfit and do make a statement.
Any current projects you can tell us about? How about your male lingerie collection, how did that come about?
The male lingerie is a fun project. I took a foundation design class due my time at the F.I.T. in New York and I enjoyed working with the lingerie fabrics a lot so I had to find a way to do something with that part of my education. Current projects are wedding dresses which are taking a lot of time next to the regular orders.
How would you define your ties to the gothic scene? How did it begin? And are you still connected?
I used to go clubbing and visiting festivals in the scene for about 20 years now (gosh, am I that old?). I’ve been through punk and grunge from 1991 up to -97 and than mainly in the gothic-scene. So I think I can say that I grew up in that sphere. Right now I am a bit bored about the scene, much of the fashion got mainstreamed within the last years. And our work is taking so much time that I really don't get much time for clubbing.
What is your definition of gothic fashion?
To me the definition of gothic fashion was to make a statement and to be different; today I am getting the feeling that most gothic fashion means mass production, poor quality made from the cheapest fabrics. Does anybody care about the production conditions of all this cheap crap? We are talking angry about the big industry business who are selling fashion for cheap but hey, ever thought about who sewed the crazy bondage top for 20 bucks from that cheap store at the festival? That makes me angry.
The Black Angel: We understand you well, there are so many shoddy "brands" out there producing poor clothing at lowest prices. This is something we have fought against too, since the very beginnings of our gothic shop; we have always prided ourselves in stocking only the better brands. So, knowing you're angry already, what is your opinion on the current style of the dark scene?
Labels and drawers which is really sad, but I hope there will be a change.
Has the gothic clothing style evolved much over the years?
I don’t think so, it's only the drawers people get put in got smaller and more segmented. And for the ones who get frustrated about it, here take some steampunk new and shiny (sorry, old and rusty) but without any thought to it.
Are there fashion trends you are unhappy about (we know you "love" crushed velvet)? Or that you are particularly happy about?
Like I said that in the last three answers, I really was happy and excited when this steampunk-theme came up in the scene, but the way it turned out…? It just made me feel that the scene lost its orientation completely.
What fashion advice would you give the modern goth male?
- Shoes and boots are the foundation of your look, so it's the most important;
- You can wear band shirts, but ONLY for sleeping;
- Do not become a copy, and try to find your own style;
- If you want to be a true individual, don't buy mass produced items
And for the ladies?
Same as above, plus:
- Less is more does not mean that underwear and fishnet stockings qualify as a complete outfit - it's not;
- High heels and plateaus give a great look, but only if you are comfortable in them.
Designers like Galliano and Alexander McQueen have created designs that are clearly inspired by the goth scene - what do you think of "mainstream" designers "borrowing" style elements from the dark scene?
I would not say that Galliano and McQueen (R.I.P.) are mainstream they are or were successful and huge. Mainstream is something else, like Ed Hardy for example. And if a scene inspires a designer, why not? That’s a compliment I think.
Last but not least, the most important question: where can customers buy your beautiful creations?
At our online shop: http://shop.lesincroyables.de/ And always some specials and our collection at Paranox in Bonn.