Patou Saint Germain
Her firstname smells like the best fragrances and her name takes us to the artists’ Paris.
It’s because Patou Saint Germain has the exoticism of her ethnic background – she was born at Pointe-à-Pitre – and the creativity of the most famous fashion designers. She doesn’t hesitate to try new and inspiring experiences.
In her shop, located at rue Africaine in Saint-Gilles (Brussels), Patou creates for women. She wants to highlight the best part of womanhood in each women.
The purpose of the choice of shapes and materials is to beautify the body while maintaining the practical and comfort characteristics.
Patou Saint Germain creates ready-made clothes (directly or tailor-made) like evening wears, wedding dresses…but temporary creations, art pieces, and chocolate dresses too.
She likes to surprise and play with the different faces of her personality through her art.
Let’s start from the beginning…
Patou Saint Germain was born in 1970 in Guadeloupe and, when she’s 2 years old, comes in France with her parents.
She grows up in a family of six children. From a very young age, Patou creates clothes for her dolls.
At 15, she decides to become a fashion designer and passed the entrance exam of the school “Ecole supérieure des Arts appliqué Duperré”, the only public fashion school in Paris.
She dives into the fashion world like we can do with a religion.
During her studies, she works as a salesperson at Promod and wins the competition of young designers. Promod hires her immediately as a junior fashion designer.
Quickly propeled as a chief fashion designer, she travels a lot to “type” her products…USA, Italy, Japan…
The love brings her to Brussels where she works during one year for Caroline Biss.
In no time, she wants to stand on her own feet : she opens her shop and begins to draw, create and produce. That’s where Patou entertains her clients, offers ready-made clothes and…some tea.
An other approach of the fashion world.
« I always wanted to revolutionize the fashion world. The relation between the women and the clothes is very important. It’s the extension of her body and reflects her state of mind. When a women says that she hasn’t anything to wear while the wardrobe is full, it means that she’s a new person and wants other thing that she doesn’t own. A few husbands understand it thus.
I want to support women and give them a « tool » for making them feel ease and seducing. I am at their service for their aesthetic appearance including my two cents’ worth. For example, I love the crossed heart structure because it’s enveloping and draws body’s curves. It’s comfortable and feminine.»
From the story of the suit to the Japanese influence
« By studying the story of the suit, we realize that the unsaid was implicit via the suit. This one has been replacing the language in a time when the women did not have a say. »
Patou Saint Germain feels attracted by Japan, especially by Issey Miyake and her conceptual shapes with the search of simplicity that gives some strength.
« I’m an African from Europe and, like many people that feel displaced, pursue a sort of quest for an identity. »
This search is found in her creations that involve Africa and Occident via shapes and materials. Ideas and models emerge from the discoveries of different materials, variation of silk, flax, mesh or African basin.
« I love the « Makeba »(*) style drawing and the Japanese lines like hide-and-seek jackets of kimonos. »
The worry of womanhood and originality of the style serve as a conductor line for the creation of the models.
The enhancement of the feminine body , the search of the appropriate garment and the availability are Patou’s work characteristics too.
(*) in reference to the South African singer Miriam Makeba
We should step out of our comfortable zone and search other inspiring sources, try the unknown and show ourselves in other aspects.
That’s what Patou does when she creates amazing and audacious chocolate dresses with the chocolate maker Laurent Gerbaud for The Salon du Chocolat.
Or whether when she creates a dress with ropes and the top hat for the exhibition City Doll in Brussels. This one has been sold in an auction for a charitable work.
And tomorrow ?
« I want to continue showing that it’s possible to wear clothes differently to highlight the most beautiful part of the women. Her body is a treasury. It needs to be pampered and highlighted. What gives me the most pleasure ? It’s seeing a women’s face changing when she wears a dress…It illuminates !