She grew up with her feet in the saltwater of the Basque Coast as much as in inspiring large cities. She is one of those who dare, of those who inspire us. Chloé Chabaud is the co-founder of the "Graine" clothing.
Hrt clothes evoke aesthetics and style as much as progress. They talk to us about nature, the one that surrounds us and that we must observe.
Our ambivalence too, that of our generation, agile on the cobblestones of cities, as well as in the wheat. In fact, "Seed" looks like us. Today a little more than yesterday.
Chloé, although a few lines are not enough for a bit of life, what is your background?
I was born in 1992 in the Paris region alongside my big brother Maxime and my parents Christophe and Karine. I didn’t stay there very long because my parents quickly decided to take us to the water’s edge, in the South West. It was therefore at the age of 6 that I discovered what will become my place of life, my balance, and my greatest inspiration.
My father being marketing and sales director in the snow sports industry, I discovered the world of fashion, salons and collections very early on. I even become her official assistant at the age of 9!
After a literary bac, I decided to start studying performing arts, thus continuing my attraction for theater and the visual arts. I turn to the scenography which I then study for 5 years in Madrid. Then, among other adventures in life, this is Graine.
How was your childhood on the Basque country?
In fact, my college was 5 minutes from the beach, sand and sea were our daily lives. Living here is very inspiring and rejuvenating. The proximity to the mountains and the beaches allowed me to realize how much I could not do without it.
My artistic projects have been very influenced by my habitat. This close link with nature is inevitable. I always had in mind the landscapes here, the sounds of the waves and the smells of the sea entrances.
After your studies you decided to create your ready-to-wear brand, tell us, how was “Graine” born?
When I finished my studies in performing arts and performed my first professional show, I wanted to mix my different knowledge and passions. It was then that I decided to present my project to my father. Attracted by textiles, creating my own language and creating a unique wardrobe seemed natural to me and my father approved 200%!
And then Graine was born in an underground vegetable garden that we had with friends 10km from Bordeaux. Without knowing it, the colors and smells of this place will create all the content of the project. By observing my friends and putting my hands in the ground, my first “Young Sprout” wardrobe was born.
After Bordeaux where you imagined the beginnings of the first collection, you decided to settle in the Basque Country, why this choice?
I lived in an apartment in the heart of Bordeaux with my friend. He was an antique dealer, we surveyed fairs and unpackings throughout the year. Despite this urban excitement we were clearly no longer happy in town. Our underground vegetable garden was an outlet
Returning to the Basque Country, to our equilibrium, was obvious for both of us. So we left our apartment to settle in the land in the middle of apple trees. My friend has a great passion for the land and continues to learn through training, especially in permaculture.
At the same time, getting closer to my partner, sharing, interacting, was also very important for carrying out our Seed project.
Can you describe this singular wardrobe that you offer with Graine?
Seed is a timeless wardrobe with pieces favoring natural materials and use over time.
Very close to nature, I am also very urban and do not refute the wealth of cities which is also essential to my inspiration. So, I wanted to create a wardrobe between city and garden. A practical and resistant garment but also aesthetic and sophisticated. The perfect combo for me! The vegetable inspiration is immense. I imagined my first pieces like the overalls or the jacket as essentials in our wardrobe. And then there is also the father / daughter and therefore male / female duality which comes into play and which unconsciously creates a silhouette specific to us. We do not create collections according to trends, each season it is the same direction: 4 colors, essentials that we renew and some new items.
We wanted to produce our wardrobe not far from our region. It was in Portugal a few kilometers from Porto that we had the chance to develop our collections in family workshops.
The two brothers who welcome our project share the same values as us. It is a real teamwork and our collaborators know how to listen to us and support us in our commitments and our approaches.
Can you tell us about your current collection, spring summer 2020?
For the first time, I gathered a lot of people for this collection because it is my reality. Seed was not created behind closed doors. The “Les Graes” collection represents living together and creating together. Our “Les Graines” wardrobe is adorned in four shades in reference to the colors washed out by the sun and shaped by the wear of time.
It is 20km from Biarritz, in the heart of the Basque countryside that our collection has set its scene. True ode to nature!
It is also a beautiful metaphor for permaculture which does not exclude anyone and composes with everything. “Marco”, a female duo of painters, was there to paint this magical landscape and share their vision of nature.
What I also like is not to talk only about clothes. Coming from the performing arts, we have learned to take into account many elements to create a unique piece. The richness lies in the harmony and the composition of a whole. The clothing can then become a pretext to let appear all that surrounds us. Realizing a collaboration with ceramic artist Cecile Mestelan and creating a set of dishes also reflects my desire to express what I enjoy: Cooking vegetables from the garden and making a beautiful family table!
A few words about your next Fall Winter collection?
The Fall Winter collection is inspired by gathering and strolling in nature. And because the lights change each season, this wardrobe is adorned with four new tones: navy blue, khaki, pink and beige. Corduroy makes its appearance, the autumn walks are cooler than in summer. For our jacket buttons, it’s corozo or vegetable ivory that we use now. The new embroideries represent wild plants that I have been able to discover around me. “Weeds” is a pretty name, but it reveals above all that annoying nickname given to these species, mostly edible, which are rarely considered but which are nevertheless essential.
And for my greatest pleasure, I invited my team to Portugal to express the reverse side of the “Seed” decor. It is 30km from Porto in the small village where our workshops are located that we put our bags! This place, dotted with cobbled streets and scented with eucalyptus is very inspiring.
We follow each collection very closely so we wanted to take advantage of this delightful setting to highlight our partner workshops and its teams.
You draw and imagine your collections in the hollow of the mountains, can you tell us about what inspires you all around you?
Since our installation in the Basque Country it is true that we live at the rhythm of the plant. My weeks are full, between working the land and collecting!
We look after several vegetable gardens, a greenhouse and apple orchards. Rigor is necessary for all these little people to be healthy! And at the same time, nature is doing very well without us … we just accompany it without disturbing it.
Above all, I love the physical effort that days in the garden impose, but the emotional and cerebral aspect within nature should not be overlooked. It’s a balance that I’m starting to touch.
Everything is done with the heart and without counting. Planting a seed, taking care of it and watching it grow is a real gift. I am very happy to be able to live so many magical moments alongside my lover. He teaches me a lot every day, and his patience and care leaves me speechless. His position and his way of working with plants inspire me a lot. My collections are therefore caressed by this richness that we live.
This listening and understanding of nature invites a balance and a certain inner rest. Our food, our readings, our hobbies harmonize. Life is sweet in the countryside and I realized how much my Graine society is influenced by this way of life. I believe I keep my feet on the ground and the value of work!
Not to mention confinement, at the dawn of this new era that our generation is living in, where this whole context invites us to get closer to our values, and pushes us to a certain commitment, and to reconsider our lifestyles, how to do you feel about all this?
Coming to live in the countryside is not a chance but it is a choice!
During this confinement we were obviously better off than many other people in terrible situations in unsanitary conditions and we thought about it every day.
I am convinced that living in contact with nature is the key for future generations.
You have to consider it and get as close as possible to it at some point in your life. From this action can only flow from love, respect and common sense.
Getting rid of certain things and reconsidering our values leads us to a healthier lifestyle, it is obvious. Each of us can act, by sowing our little seed! For me, eating well, not wasting, not enriching an economy bad for the planet and being responsible for its choices reflect my priorities. Afterwards, everything is a question of point of view and everyone is master of their own destiny.
Living with nature, cultivating a vegetable garden or pruning trees is also a big responsibility. So, if I learned to be responsible with my professional activity, I also had to be in the garden. When there is a greenhouse seedling nursery and you have to take care of it, nobody else can do it for you and the consequences can be terrible if our share of responsibility is not taken into account. In short, my lifestyle, although it involves many concessions, makes me very happy and I am very grateful for what nature has offered me on different levels.
Seed would not be there today, more than a textile line, it is a reflection of my commitments.