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PROFILE OF A DESIGNER: AN INTERVIEW WITH PRINCESSE WALLY

Princesse Wally is a well-known fashion brand created by Valérie Touboul who is not only a fashion designer but an illustrator and an interior designer as well.

The Red Halo team has often met Valérie in India when she was manufacturing some of her products in a few workshops that she had settled then.

 She masters the art of embroidery like no other making it very special and creative. Once they start wearing her garments, her clients from all over the world become addicted to her unique pieces in timeless Hippy-chic style…Meet « Her Serene Highness » Princesse Wally.


 

Red Halo: Tell us about yourself and about your background?

Princess Wally: I was born in Casablanca, Morocco where I lived until I was 13 years old and moved to France where I studied the applied arts in a high school, then I have learnt the graphs and I became an illustrator.

Eventually I started to work for different advertising agencies as a free-lance AD.

This is how I developed a skill in graphic design and layout and then I worked in this field during ten years .

 

Red Halo: Why did you decide to become a designer, was it something you always wanted to do or did it come by chance?

Princess Wally: I was fond of fashion since I was a little girl and when computer graphic emerged, as I didn't like it,  I decided to leave advertising for fashion. 

 

 

Red Halo: How did you learn fashion ?

Princess Wally:  I made sketches and gave them to a student from Esmod (French fashion school) in order to make my first small collection.

But soon I had to deal with reality and I took some classes in Paris and later I learnt how to stitch in a school in Marseille.

It is essentiel to me to know how to manufacture a garment and to make my own experiments such as dyeing fabrics.

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Red Halo: Where and how do you work ?

Princess Wally:  I mostly work at home where I have everything I need close to me such as a sewing machine.

 

Red Halo: What techniques and styles inspire you ?

Princess Wally:  Well, obviously a Bohemian and Gypsie chic style with very colourful garments makes my favourite inspiration with a mix of Moroccan and Indian cultures as they both use many colours and embroideries.

 

 

Red Halo: Tell us about your collections, what kind of items do you make, do you work according a central theme/topic or do you prefer to explore different ones each season?

Princess Wally:  When I started working in the fashion industry, like any designer I used to make two collections yearly and sometimes even more but nowadays I have changed all this.

My inspiration starts when I find some nice fabrics, it can be some High Fashion fabrics from some outlet store or some vintage ones from a flea market on which I may add some laces or embroideries to define my style.

 

 

Red Halo: You make stunning tunics fitting any kind of woman regardless her body shape and most of all, perfect for any moment of the day. Tell us about these items which are essential in any lady’s wardrobe.

Princess Wally:  I decided to stop making several sizes and to concentrate on an unique one because it is easier for me to manufacture and it also fits any kind of woman, small or tall, slim or not.

I also make unique pieces.

I enjoy designing and making tunics because each time it is an opportunity to try new details, add some frills or dye its fabric.

Most of the time I wear some because it is very easy to match them with some slippers and a nice necklace, I also live in Marseille which is a sunny city.

I need to stay in a warm place nearby the sea to be happy!

 

Red Halo: Since a season you started making interior items and mostly amazing and unique frescos for client’s interior. Tell us more about this.

Princess Wally:  I started making frescos by chance after meeting someone who asked me to paint a copy of a painting by Matisse and another by Chagall for his new flat in Marseille.

It was an interesting challenge then I decided to take my brushes and search more clients.

Sometimes they have an idea on how to decorate their home or a room but sometimes they don't so I start drawing a project then I come with all my paints and brushes.

 

 

Red Halo: What are your favourite ranges of colours ?

Princess Wally:  Obviously bright and warm colors like pink, orange, gold but I am also in love with Majorelle blue which is a typical blue from a garden in Marrakech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Halo: What is your creative process, do you draw your items or you improvise while making them ?

Princess Wally:  I always keep a little sketchbook in my purse because drawing is a real pleasure to me.

So once I find the right fabrics, I start a quick sketch.

 

 

Red Halo: Which is the item/garment you are most proud of ?

Princess Wally: Well this is a very difficult question because I love most of them like my babies !

However if I had to select one item only it would be a recent kimono with a pattern inspired by a genuine Japanese piece from which I made several versions, for instance some with sequins, feathers on the sleeves or even one with lace.

It is easy to wear and again it fits any kind of woman.

 

 

Red Halo: What do you like about your work ?

Princess Wally: I love to be able to earn my life with something providing freedom and great happiness.

This job allows to always search for new ideas and to travel which is what brings me inspiration.

 

 

Red Halo: What kind of music do you listen while working ?

Princess Wally: I love relaxing sounds, chill music and sometimes I also play some hits songs from Indians movies.

 

 

Red Halo: Why are you deeply imbued by the spirit of India which is connected to almost everything that you make ?

Princess Wally: When I first travelled to India, it was for a free lance job, and I found in love at once with all the colours and the amazing work by the embroideries masters.

I also felt quite connected with the country because somehow it reminded me Morocco where I grew up.

Both cultures are full of colours, amazing prints and adorable people and I need to keep a touch of all this in my work.

 

 

Red Halo: You live in Marseilles the French southern city on the shores of the Mediterranean sea which is a crossroad of many cultures, when you are not working what do you enjoy to do there ?

Princess Wally: As I said , I love the sun and of course the sea, so my favourite thing to do is to wake up early in summer, take my stuff and go swimming and snorkeling. 

Being alone of the middle of the sea is a strong feeling for me and I really enjoy it.

 

 

Red Halo: Is there anything else you would like to mention ?

Princess Wally: I enjoy moving from one activity to another and drawing again which was my first training.

Meet Princesse Wally on the net :

 

 

 

 

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