Xavier Dolan has a list of credentials that belies his 26 years of age. Apart from his acting achievements, Dolan, who hails from Canada, is also the writer and director of five acclaimed films, is the writer and director of five acclaimed films, a member of the Cannes jury and to top it off, he was recently made an ambassador for Louis Vuitton.
“On my birthday last year, my publicist called to tell me that Louis Vuitton wanted to do a season campaign with me. I could hardly believe it,” Dolan, explaining how the campaign came about. “The idea had been an initiative by an advertising company employed for the campaign in question. When the Paris office heard about the idea, they actually decided to abandon the campaign in favour of an ambassador role. It was absolutely amazing.”
The French fashion house probably arrived at this decision based on Dolan’s unique take on the world as captured in his films. A child actor, Dolan made his directorial debut with the film I Killed My Mother, a film he wrote when he was just 17. The film premiered at Cannes in 2009, winning three awards. Since then Dolan has established himself as somewhat of a bodacious filmmaker, taking on provocative subject matter.
In 2014, he took the Jury Price at Cannes for Mommy , about a single mother and the challenger she faces raising a violent son. Dolan shared the award with Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language. That was followed by It’s Only the End of the World starring Marion Cotillard and Gaspard Ulliel. Though critics were not kind to the film, it was selected for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, in competition for the Palme d’Or. Dolan also served on the jury for Cannes in 2015. And to top it off, Dolan also directed the video for Adele’s Hello.
In this interview, he shares his thoughts Louis Vuitton and the method behind his genius.
What do you like about Kim Jones’ work? Have you known him since his arrival in the fashion house?
I like his modernity and his refinement. He is rational and direct. There are so many ideas and textures, so much richness, but without any affectation or preciousness. I’m happy to represent the Vuitton man as Kim imagines him. There’s nothing more difficult than wearing clothes which don’t represent you in any way, or which inconvenience you because of their style or cut. What Kim does, corresponds to my tastes and, strangely, to the man that the post-adolescent in me wanted to become.
During the latest shows you’ve had the chance to meet the female ambassadors and friends of the house, the actresses Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Williams, Alicia Vikander, Catherine Deneuve, Léa Seydoux … As a director, would you like to work with any of them?
I love Catherine. We’ve known each other for a little while now. We always meet in slightly fleeting, even superficial moments, but our exchanges are always very amusing and frank. She makes me laugh a lot. Léa is a friend and was in It’s Only the End of the World. Aside from that I really admire Michelle, and there was an immediate connection between us the first time we met.
How would you describe your style?
I have two. The first, the one for everyday life, is fairly banal. Blue or black sweatpants, the same T-shirts shrunk from washing, I rotate between two or three bomber jackets with the same hoodie underneath, every day. Or otherwise, on top of the T-shirt I wear a jumper which – despite what else is on offer or available – always ends up being one of the same four or five. The second style is the one for premieres and red carpets. That one changes constantly, and I’d say it gets simpler with age.