It may come as a surprise that, until a few years ago, Lisa Favreau and Lisa Guedel-Dolle, the French designers behind Azur’s collection of pleated silks and vegetable dyes, did not yet know that coreopsis flowers would produce a soft golden hue. or that St John’s Wort powder could create both a vivid pistachio and a deep olive green. “It’s a bit like cooking,” Favreau says over the phone from their studio in Marseille, where the duo in their thirties self-taught how to achieve the unique shades that have become their calling card.
Since launching in 2018, Azur has quietly redefined “French girl fashion”, with its emphasis on sustainability and ancient regional craftsmanship. The plant extracts come from the south of France, the patterns are cut and sewn by a nearby seamstress and a 100-year-old family workshop in Marseille, led by two sisters, folds the organic and cruelty-free silks of the label by hand, which is naturally lend themselves to clamshell dresses, square neck tank tops and long-sleeved fitted tops by Azur. “For us, fabric is everything,” says Favreau, a former fabric designer. “We like the simplicity of the form with this kind of magical material.”
Magic is a word for that. Available in just two sizes, the slightly stretch pleats, which can be dressed up or down, stacked on top of each other or worn alone, embrace a range of shapes and forms, as seen in Azur’s streetcast collections. “Marseille is a very mixed city,” says Favreau. “There are people from all over the world, so it was important for us to represent [that]. ” The next cream, strawberry and petal pink spring palette is fashioned not by a Jane Birkin impersonator with thin fringes and bones, but rather by local creatives, such as a 70-year-old former weaver, the curator of the nonprofit gallery Voiture 14, and Favreau’s sister who was nearby when photographer Pierre Girardin was shooting. Real clothes for real women? Yes.