Gabrielle Rul was just another fashion graduate in Paris looking for a break when she ended up at Louis Vuitton – not as a designer, but as a model. Since then Gabrielle has worked with Liz Collins, Gilles Bensimon, and Chloe while continuing to create clothing on the side. Here she gives us the lowdown on what inspires her as both an artist and a muse.
Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
I’m Gabrielle, 23, half Vietnamese and French, I live in Paris and I’m a model/embroider/designer.
How did your career get started?
I moved to Paris after studying fashion design to look for an internship but things didn’t work out the way I wanted to. I signed with my agency 5 months later and was really lucky to get a LV exclusive. I stepped into the life of working full time in the modelling industry.
What unique quality do you think you bring to the table?
What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
I sometimes had people telling me I look really withdrawn when they first met me but it’s just that I’m shy.
Who was the first artist [in fashion/art/film/music] to make a big impression on you?
Janis Joplin. The way she sang and moved, like if her art could get her to another dimension.
Who was the last artist to make a big impression on you?
Camille Claudel while seeing her statue named The Waltz.
What has been the biggest surprise or learning curve in the industry so far?
I learned that sometimes you just can’t control anything and just have to (try to) relax and go with the flow.
What motivates you?
Knowing that the more I achieve things, the more it keeps me going and inspires me to create something new.
What keeps you up at night?
Everything and anything. Night is a special moment, that’s the time where I get the most productive. It gets everything under a new perspective.
What/who is under-appreciated?
The time we get to spend with our loved ones.
Name three artists you wouldn’t mind being compared to:
I don’t see any reason why I would be compared to the three woman I’m going to name but they are the ones I really admire at the moment: Patti Smith, Sheila Hicks, Sylvie Guillem.
What’s the best experience you’ve had in fashion?
Discovering such amazing places I never thought I would go. There’s too many to pick one but Japan, Island, and Morocco really blew my mind.
Can you tell us more about your embroidery work?
I always loved handcrafts. But I started stitching on t-shirts on my first trip to London on the buses in between castings. It’s like a diary for me, now I can look at some pieces and it reminds me of the place I was when I was creating it.
Can you tell us a bit about the work you and your family do with assistant dogs?
There’s so much to do but basically, for about a year we have to take the dogs everywhere and teach them the basics like showing where to put your tickets in the subway, pick up objects etc… it’s really hard to know we have to give the dogs back but it’s such a reward to see them progress, they’re really incredible and love to learn.
What project are you working on now/next?
I’m starting to do more clothes. Not for a particular project in mind, but while traveling I get so much inspiration I need to create and put all my ideas into shape.