Inspiring women, far from the diktats of fashion. Offering a new way to wear the kimono in one's everyday life with elegance and simplicity. Feeling one's emotions, to respect one's morphology for more well-being, inner beauty and radiant joy.
"We were three kids sitting in the back of the AMI 6 car.
Do you recall the sloping rear window, protected by a body? Even in the rain, when my father glanced at the rear-view mirror, nothing escaped him.
At the moment, what he was looking at was the door of our house, where my mother would appear. The engine was already running and the smoke from his Gitane (French cigarette) was billowing out the sliding window. It was Sunday, the weather was fine.
At last my father's wife arrived. She had her hair done, her make-up done, and was carrying a small black and varnished handbag, like her high-heeled shoes. The door opened. Do you remember how women in those days used to sit in cars? First the buttocks, then the left leg, next the right leg, and the door closed eventually."
Birth of a brand
Other precious moments of my childhood were the seeds of the designer I have become. They gave me access to the secret of desire, to the language of textiles, to that cryptographic writing, which is called elegance, and which is only understandable to some people. I will nevertheless make a diversion into industry as a chemical engineer. It was the birth of my daughters that gave me the impetus to take up this forsaken road again. As a self-taught designer, training at Supdemod-Lyon and at the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture in Paris will complete my curriculum.
In 2004, I founded my eponym brand, the CATHERINE VALENTIN house. The workshop is then dedicated to the creation of high-end tailor-made clothes for feminine and demanding women. As I am attentive to their expectations, I understand to what extent the garment is an extension of oneself. It shows a strong desire for singularity.
At the same time, I have been working tirelessly on the kimono since the beginning of my professional transition, and it will become my masterpiece from 2018. This iconic Japanese piece, which is not part of our culture, is unique for expressing femininity with simplicity and authenticity.
The jacquard textile
My encounter with jacquard textiles goes back to my childhood neighbours: weavers who used to give me fabric samples on a regular basis. It was then that I learnt the smell of the textile, its touch, its light, the colours between them, the fall, the flowers, silk...
What I like about jacquard is that it shows a front and a back, whose pattern can be radically different yet sumptuous. These textiles fascinate me like the both sides of a person: inwardness and exteriority. They tell a story. They enable us to experience an inner journey.
It is always with this same memory, this same appetite, this same passion, that during the sourcing period, I go to feel the vibration of the fabric to choose it. I always try to convey, in all humility, that je-ne-sais-quoi, which will touch the sensitivity of each person when putting on his or her kimono.
All our jacquard fabrics are OEKO-TEX® certified.
For the record...
The jacquard weaving process was invented by Joseph-Marie Jacquard, a silk manufacturer from Lyon in 1800. It was a revolution, as it allowed the pattern to be woven directly rather than printed. The looms were impressive for the number of different threads used. This new technique brought a lot of relief and character to textiles.