Interview of the Month
September 18, 2017

Creativity and a natural-born passion for beauty and design

Designer Fabienne Coudray-Meisel created the Volte Face brand in 1998 in Paris.

Today the brand continues under the direction of JF Rey in the same creative vein, where eyewear becomes the expression of beauty and fine design.

Q: “A different look, intimate, the adventure of a life.” How does this phrase reflect the concept of VOLTE FACE?

A: Volte Face always had a very particular signature reflecting the personality and intimate feelings of the designer: subtle and self-confident at the same time, creative, artistic, delicate and sensitive, passionate, chic and Parisian. The brand is the expression of the designer with her own, personal feelings, a part of her life. Through a very particular vision of French eyewear traditions, she succeeded in infusing her sophisticated and feminine style in the designs. The exquisite detailing, sculptural forms, sublime materials and delicate colour schemes have always set Volte Face apart from other lines, and we continue to follow this direction.

Q: What is at the core of the brand today, and who oversees the creative direction?

A: Jean-François Rey and the Volte Face designers continue to develop the brand, faithfully preserving and interpreting its spirit. The team explores inspirational areas that define the brand such as fine jewellery, feminine art, interior decoration, architecture, wallpaper and fabrics and furnishings where it is possible to see a wealth of patterns and colour combinations. The chic Parisian aesthetic defines the identity of the collection as it is today. It is expressed by the same passion for materials, the same original exploration of acetate, metal details, colours, textures and volumes – all typical of Volte Face. The work on original, refined details is even more of a focus today.

Q: Comment on the use of colour, and how that theme has evolved?

A: Some colours return in each collection such as blue, purple, fuchsia, green, plum or brown, but they’re not the main focus of the brand. Volte Face plays with subtle touches and elaborate combinations, where colour serves to create a special interest and “depth” in the design. This creative and stylistic approach is still evolving. We are using more and more glitter, and sparkling, pearly, marble or ‘hairnet’ acetate effects. The models also feature special details while always preserving the stylish elements intrinsic to the brand.

Q: Is acetate the primary material or are material mixes also explored?

A: While combined frames are a part of each collection, acetate indisputably remains the favourite material in the collection. It’s a rich and feminine material that Fabienne Coudray-Meisel used to compare to a luxury diamond with ‘chiselled’ volumes and infinite creative possibilities. The apparent simplicity of the model might hide up to 3 or 4 acetate layers in the design.
The play of relief, transparency, light and volume makes the models unique and confirms the strong preoccupation with aesthetics. The acetate is a fabulous way to add a bold and chic look to the frames. Manufactured in France according to French tradition, the models appear with a unique, precious aspect. The metal tends to be used in addition to acetate, as a thoughtful detail, a subtle part of the frame, enhancing volumes, revealing structures or underlining the silhouettes.

Q: Which five words perfectly explain the direction of the collection for 2018?

A: Chic, Parisian, original, subtle and refined.

Q: Explain the highlights of the new 2018 collection.

A: Deep Parisian colour and Art deco patterning are part of the 2018 orientation, but not exclusively. As always, there are subtle touches and refined details – part of the inspiration has come from women’s make-up trends and the decorative arts for example - interpreted with a creative approach, and consistent attention to high quality and French eyewear traditions.
Volte Face is produced by Jean-François Rey in France.

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