At home in Paris
Jos Berry (1943) was born in the Netherlands, she’s living for 30 years now in Paris. I saw her picture for the first time on Facebook. She caught my attention because of her special frame, but also because of her special way of dressing. I wanted her to photograph and ask her details about her style. A good reason to go to Paris last spring, this time with one of my daughters.
Jos has a styling agency called Concepts Paris, which is specialized in lingerie and swimwear. She is known as the ‘éminence grise of the lingerie.’ I first like to know more about her outerwear clothing. Jos: “I can describe my style as casual, colorful and eclectic. I have a lot of men’s clothing, especially because of the ease of it. The first time I was truly delighted by this style was at the time Jean Paul Gaultier started. Because of the mix of men clothes combined with new details and new materials. Then came Romeo Gigli, an Italian designer. His designs were very pure, almost in the style of the Renaissance. He used beautiful silk fabrics, combined with dazzling jewelry. He had a large store in the Marais, where I loved to look around, just to relax. Then Dries van Noten started, I still love his designs, it makes me still very happy. It’s basically, all very casual but he’s using unusual fabrics and colors. I’ve gathered a whole closet during the years. I do not buy often and everything I buy fits together.
When I grew up I’ve learned not to waste anything. For example, I am able, to create something new out of an old skirt from Dries van Noten. When I was a child a seamstress came to our house every week, she learned me to sew. Clothes for my dolls for instance, and I made my first dress when I was six. I still have it, it is very simple with a square neckline and wrinkle skirt. I am also a master of dyeing clothes. Most people don’t dare, but I dye a Dries van Noten jacket in the washing machine. It depends on the material, be sure the materials are natural.
I travel a lot for my job, I quite regularly give lectures at trade fairs and congresses. And presentations for companies around the world. The audience does not like to see me on stage wearing black or appearing often in the same dress. That’s why I remember what I was wearing, for example in Hong Kong or Milan the last time and make sure that it alternates.
This raw silk coat was made by a tailor in Milan. I love this kind of a coat, I call it a ‘duster coat’. It’s less dressed than a blazer. My frame is by Prada, the pants I made myself, I bought the piece of fabric at Dries van Noten. At home, I have a big drawer containing my entire collection of bracelets. Most of them are made of bakelite. I’ve sorted them by color, mostly in earth tones, purple and dark red. The ring is antique and my bag is an old model by Dries van Noten, a birthday gift from my husband.”
Maybe one day I’ll meet Jos again in Paris, to talk with her about lingerie.
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