Interview of TIMELESS by EYLLYE's designer, Caroline Dodeller, and introduction of the brand by Sheeba Magazine.
Sheeba Magazine > Caroline, can you tell us more about yourself and what were the first steps you took in the world of fashion? How did it turn in to developing your fashion brand?
Caroline Dodeller > Since I was a child, I was fascinated by art and fashion. My parents have ever support me in my choices, so I started studying arts in high school. After my graduation, I left Eastern France where I grow up, to study Applied Arts in Paris (Fashion, Design, Architecture, …) in preparation of a Fashion Design degree I did in Lyon.
I decided after this period to get back to Paris. Even if It was not easy for a young designer to find a job in the fashion industry, because most of companies accept you only for training periods which are bad paid, I had the wish to work in fashion and one day to build up my own company. Therefore, I decided working for high-end brands as retailer to be close to the costumers, catch their needs and have another approach of fashion. At the same time, I went 3 years to university studying Arts and how to find a balance between arts and fashion. I worked on these items and got my degree. During all this time, I never give up the fashion design and worked in collaboration with several people, like artists or photographers, to bring my designs alive.
Three years ago, I decided to left my job as retailer and shop manager, and start working on my brand. I made several classes to know how manage well a company (accounting, management, marketing, communication, …) and started build it up in 2015. I finally registered officially my company, TIMELESS by EYLLYE, in 2016 just before going to Vancouver Fashion week.
Sheeba Magazine > What is it that makes the fashion industry so interesting according to you? What is your favorite part of being a Designer?
Caroline Dodeller > What’s very interesting, it’s all the different people you meet and work with, as well as the costumers, the suppliers, or the teams you have to build up to manage a project. You need to have a full overview of the industry and understand the part of each one you are working with, it’s very rich and an instructive exchange.
And the favourite part in my job is the design, make something merge from a drawing or a thought, bring it alive and see people wearing it.
Sheeba Magazine > How would you describe “Timeless by Eyllye” conception and aesthetic? What would you say is your design signature?
Caroline Dodeller > TIMELESS by EYLLYE is a conceptual and a slow fashion brand, minimalist with pure lines. There is not really one collection per season, but instead the brand offers a collection who grows with additional pieces. The main colour used in my ready-to-wear is black, because you can wear it every time, without a specific season, so there is no restriction. The collection is made in France in small quantities, with high-end fabric made in Europe.
There are three ranges: 1- ready-to-wear for women, available in small quantities or bespoke on demand, most of pieces are versatile, so from one piece you have several ways to wear a same piece of cloth and adapt it to your mood or context, it’s perfect for travelling or rushing lifestyle; 2- wellness pieces, are a small collection of anti-aging ready-to-wear, where the textile includes nano-particles of hyaluronic acid in their fiber. It has the same effects of the skin than anti-aging cosmetic, so this innovative textile helps the skin to get smoother, be moisturized and remove wrinkles; 3- Minimalist leather bracelets, for women or men, exist in black exotic leather (python, crocodile, …) or in coloured lamb leather to match with your own accessories.
TIMELESS by EYLLYE plays with contrasts and balance, by the shapes (full and empty), the fabrics (structured or fluid, relief or plain), the colours (black or white, black or coloured, mat or shiny black), the style (sport or chic with the same piece of clothing), expressing outside (by clothes) what’s inside (of a person). The brand encourages to be your-self and be able to adapt to the different context.
Sheeba Magazine > How do you approach a new collection? Where do your ideas evolve from and What do you do to recharge your artistic side?
Caroline Dodeller > A new collection or a new piece can be inspired by some fabric I touch or some shapes I saw, but most of my designs are based on a geometric pattern. One’s a season, I go to Première Vison, a famous international trade show, where I met different textile and leather manufacturer and also catch the latest trends. Otherwise, I’m very inspired by contemporary architecture, nature or exhibitions I visit. In general, I’m very interested in a lot of things, I’m very curious, and sometimes small details can be a source of inspiration.
Sheeba Magazine > What is the timeline from having an idea to actually creating the product? Shortly describe your design process from mood boards to picking out fabrics to production please. What captures your attention when looking for the materials you use in your designs?
Caroline Dodeller > After inspiration and making a moodboard, with fabrics and shapes, I start drawing sketches and I try to put out all the potential of a piece of cloth, it means that from a piece I draw I’ll try to find all the different ways to wear it, or how to wear it easily with a minimum of restraints. That’s why I work mainly with stretch fabrics or with wide shapes to adapt on the body. Then comes the mathematics to have the right proportions by making the pattern, and by producing the prototype some last details can change in the last minute. Most of final products are made by myself; few, like ready-to-wear, made in higher quantities, are made in French workshops. That is for this reason the timeline depends of how many pieces I have to make, if it’s a sample, it can be done in few days if the fabric is available, if it’s a production in higher quantities it can take until three months.
What’s very important for me in the selection of materials, is first the visual aspect and the movement of the fabric, the quality of fluidity or structure I’m looking for depends of the model I will create with.
But the touch is the most important, the way it reacts to the skin, it have to be pleasant and soft, not itching or scratching, and need to be low-pilling to be a long-lasting product.
Sheeba Magazine > What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
Caroline Dodeller > I’m ever fascinated by new technology and the new kind of fabrics that are made in this way. That’s why I created the wellness range with anti-aging fabric, it reflects a timeless spirit for the body and my interest in these new possibilities in fashion.
Sheeba Magazine > If “Timeless by Eyllye” could have any celebrity spokes-model, who would it be?
Caroline Dodeller > If TIMELESS by EYLLYE could have any celebrity spokes-model, it would be some strong minded women which assumes their feminity like Angelina Jolie, Daisy Ridley or Scarlett Johanson.
Sheeba Magazine > The most common misconception about fashion designers is that we….?
Caroline Dodeller > The most common misconception about fashion designers is that people only see the bright side of fashion and not consider the hard work and sacrifice behind this choice of life.
Sheeba Magazine > How would you define “Style”? What does style mean to you?
Caroline Dodeller > Style is not following a trend, but it’s to know what’s suits you and creating your own style by finding the good matching to your body shape and expressing your mood and personality through the clothes.
Sheeba Magazine > What three style habits should every woman break?
Caroline Dodeller > Be self-confident and dare to wear what you like and express who you are, listen to your soul, find the right balance between appearance and being. Stop wearing the total look from the runway, it’s like copycat and it’s not personal expression, sometimes just by changing some details or few elements are enough to make it more personal. Often flat shoes don’t match with skirts or dresses, it makes a short silhouette, high heels are more feminine (and it looks better than having any diet). Women have to know that’s not the high of the heels which make shoes uncomfortable, but it’s the way the foot fits on the curve in the shoe, it makes all the difference.
Sheeba Magazine > Is there a person that is a fashion inspiration to you?
Caroline Dodeller > In fact, there are not just one person who inspires me, but several. The very first, will be Cristóbal Balenciaga because of the way he sculpted the clothes of the body, before being a fashion designer he was an architect, that’s why I’m influenced by architecture and the way to sculpt the clothes on the body. Yohji Yamamoto inspires me by the spirit of his collections and his play of shapes in a black range. I am fascinated also by the Belgian designers (like Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, or Jean-Paul Knott) because of their minimalism and conceptual world. At least, I’m impressed by Rick Owens’s work, the pure lines, his choice of fabrics, and his provocative spirit he applies to his collections.
Sheeba Magazine > In your opinion, what new idea or innovation is having the most significant impact on fashion design?
Caroline Dodeller > At time, fashion is more and more influenced by new technology and innovations like connected clothes, 3D printing and new volumes (for example Iris Van Herpen), or new ways of making fabrics (eco-fabrics or nano-tech), and new ways to consider fashion and distribution (by sharing, recycling, collaborative way of consummating). All this plays at the same time since few seasons to bring out a new area of fashion.
Sheeba Magazine > What are your thoughts about eco-fashion?
Caroline Dodeller > It’s a good thing fashion turns eco. The last years, we have seen fashion going faster and faster in the mass-market, with a new collection every month, it’s too much, it’s not anymore “ready-to-wear” but “ready-to-throw”. Fortunately, people are more and more aware about it and mentalities changes, but companies have also to do an effort about their values and offer. Companies and people have to consider how fashion and their behaviours can affect the environment and people in general. It’s important to know how and in which condition clothes are made, the origin of the fabric and production, and to be responsible and conscious of their acting. That’s why it’s not last season trend which is important, but the own style we create and our ethic.
Sheeba Magazine > From your point of view, what is most challenging about a career in fashion design?
Caroline Dodeller > The most challenging is to create anything new, which not exist, creating new designs from new shapes or fabrics. Also to bring people to consume fashion on another way with timeless and long-lasting products, to be more conscious about fashion and themselves.
Sheeba Magazine > What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
Caroline Dodeller > You need to be very organized, manage your priorities and make choices which are not easy every time.
Sheeba Magazine > What are your plans for the nearest future? Do you have any exciting upcoming plans that you would like to share with us?
Caroline Dodeller > I have several upcoming plans. I will take part of few road trips in the coming month with a great crew of photographers, models and make-up artists, by traveling during 3-4 days in France or abroad, to make nice pictures of my designs. Also, new pieces of clothes and accessories will be created and they will be soon available on my website. Collaborations with some celebrities are also planned next.
Sheeba Magazine > Where can our readers stay up to date with your designs?
Caroline Dodeller > A brand-new website came out in May, all my designs will be available on the shop and will be send worldwide. A part will also include my works with several photographers, and another contains several news. You will find all this on www.timeless-eyllye.com
Otherwise, you can follow the feeds on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timeless.eyllye/
And several inspirations or photoshoots on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/timeless_eyllye_design/
Sheeba Magazine > Caroline, when you create something, what goes through your mind?
Caroline Dodeller > In any case I hear music when create, but I’m very concentrated at same time, I focus on what I’d like realize if I have the final idea in my head, if not I follow my inspirations (on what I have worked on) and check out some books I have, to build the design up step by step, I forget what’s around me and time doesn’t exist anymore.
Sheeba Magazine > What is your vision of your perfect working day?
Caroline Dodeller > A perfect working day is when everything goes in the right way and well balance between several activities I have to do in my company.
Sheeba Magazine > One thing that bugs you about humans is that…?
Caroline Dodeller > What bugs me sometime, is that people are not so involved as they have to be, maybe it’s also the context in which we live where everything goes so fast with so much information. Nowadays most of things are considered on a superficial way in the work, in relationships, their interests or the way they consume.
Sheeba Magazine > What superpower you wish you had and why?
Caroline Dodeller > I wish I could teleport myself, so I don’t will lose time when I go from one place to another, or to stop time, because the days are not long enough.
Sheeba Magazine > Please tell one surprising fact about yourself.
Caroline Dodeller > People ever expect I’m younger that I am when we met… so I let you guess my age!