Come Dine With Me: Eve Denim / Adelaide Bourbon
We caught up with EVE DENIM founder ADELAIDE BOURBON at Nick’s Diner in LA to discuss everything from Yves Saint Laurent to sushi.
Why are you a fashion designer?
I don’t like to say I love fashion - because that is not what drives my creativity and desire to create. I am passionate about fashion history, honouring the past, finding the appropriate time to carry it forward and giving it a new life in a totally new context.
Who or what drives your creativity?
Music, documentaries and old photos. Watching an amazing documentary really fuses all of those things, so I would say that is the number one catalyst in general for me to start designing. I have one playing in the background right now - Chopin.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I had no idea but I was dead set on living in NYC, more specifically Soho, where I hung out all the time in high school as my modelling agency Ford was based on Greene Street.
You're Paris-born, New York-raised, Los Angeles-based, how has your background influenced you?
My love and respect of the past is my French heritage, for sure. My obsession with minimalistic, chic, straight to the point design stems from my NYC upbringing. I think from Los Angeles, comes the more casual, laid back fabrications I prefer to utilize. And certainly, the Americana, workwear influence comes from southern California and road trips I have embarked on from here towards the Southwest and Texas.
What inspired you to start a denim line?
My mentor in the industry always praised me for wearing denim silhouettes that he noticed would only become popular a year after I was wearing them. I have always been an early adopter of trends. I blame that on my star sign, Aries.
Who are the Eve Denim muses and why?
My mood boards are schizophrenic in terms of time periods and therefore in muses as well. I am staring at the current one I have up which features an unknown woman wearing an overall in the 30’s, a Prada runway shot from the 90’s, Laeticia Casta on a lawn in the 90’s shot by Bruce Weber, Charlotte Rampling in the 70’s standing on a coffee table in Paris, Audrey Marnay in the 90’s photographed by Glen Luchford, and Stella Von Senger photographed a month ago in an Eve Denim overall in London.
What’s your greatest ambition?
To build a brand that withstands the test of time.
Who do you most admire and why?
My mum for her constant encouragement and never allowing me to give up.
What would you like to do that you currently can’t?
Expand my brand to all different sorts of categories. I am learning patience, however (which my mum also struggled to teach me) and the wisdom that a slow build is a better build.
What would you most like to change about the world?
Put down the phone and the coffee. Smile at someone. Breathe. Chill out. It’s funny to me that everyone freaks out and suddenly runs to some retreat, when we could just implement that in your day to day and it would be much more sustainable.
Who is someone (living or dead) that you would like to meet? And why?
Yves Saint Laurent. He is the master of my field. I would love to spend a weekend with him in his home in Normandy, which is about five minutes from my family home out there. That would be very dreamy.
First thing you do when you wake up?
Check my phone.
Last thing you do before bed?
Check my phone (I know I’m such a hypocrite from my prior response re: putting the phone down).
John Lennon and Brancusi.
Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No.2. Gainsbourg’s favourite composer. Long before rap, Gainsbourg was sampling Chopin and made masterpieces over masterpieces. These are the things that give me chills.
What are you reading right now?
Shoe dog, Phil Knight’s memoir.
What’s your karaoke song?
Anything by Madonna.
Who would you like to be stuck in an elevator with?
A Buddhist monk to lead me in some great meditation to ward off a freak out.
What was your first job?
Eight-year tenure as a designer at Equipment.
Favourite thing to eat?
It’s located in London, actually! The Eagle, a super old, unassuming tavern. A mix of Italian and Portuguese super fresh recipes that rotate all the time, so there is an element of unknown and spontaneity. I love it so much. I also love Sushi zone in San Francisco. It’s a hole in the wall that you have to show up right as they open. It’s similar to the Eagle’s vibe - with a no frills, no reservations policy.
Dead or alive, who would you have at your dream dinner party?
I’d let Diana Vreeland handle the guest list. She would surely invite my dream guests such as Truman Capote, Millicent Rogers, Yves Saint Laurent and his posse, Halston. Basically, NY at the height of its 70’s cool.
Can you cook?
Minimally and prefer not to
What’s your signature dish?
I don’t really have one. I like to use a ton of Moroccan spices, and my mum taught me her signature dish “poulet au gingembre” which I try to recreate and people say it’s good but pales in comparison to hers.
What would your last meal be?
Something really decadent and naughty like a 20 course meal from Paul Bocuse. Go out with a bang.
Describe yourself in 3 words...
Stubborn, workaholic, sensitive (Aries, Cancer Virgo, sorry but it’s sooooo true!)
How would your friends describe you in three words?
I think they would agree.
What’s the best thing about LA?
Living in a jungle.
What’s the worst thing about LA?
LA’s hidden gem…
The Raven Spa in Silverlake. It’s a yoga studio with a Thai spa in the back. It’s very close to where I live and I go there if I am too lazy to go to Korea town, land of the (some 24 hours!) spas.
If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
With my mum.