This Tuesday’s #ForteFemale is the innovative art director and founder of Diana d’Orville, Audrey Tasiaux. Inspired by the powerful, eclectic women in her family, Audrey created the sustainable luxury couture brand, with the desire to ignite the same elegance and refinement into others. Combining her business and politics-based background with her creativity and self-expression, Audrey has grown her ethical business into an international success. The unique pieces crafted in her childhood home region of the South of France bring “tailoring into a new breed of smart casual”.
Where are you dreaming of travelling to?
So many places! On the top of my list is the Salar de Uyuni Desert in Bolivia - it looks UNREAL! I dream of leaving for a few months with nothing but a backpack and a compass (the old way!) to explore Central and South America’s treasures. Whether it’s hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, water rafting in Arequipa, visiting the Atacama Desert or venturing into the hustle and bustle of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, I want to do it all!
I also dream of visiting Iran. I've been obsessed with its history and cultural heritage since early childhood – you can find many references to Persian art, architecture and craftsmanship through my collections.
I’m currently planning on going back for a peaceful retreat at the Rocco Forte Verdura Resort in Sicily, where I’ve spent summers with my family. I have so many memories of morning yoga, celebrating awakening skies by the sea, long bicycle rides in nature & aperitivo al fresco, while watching breath-taking sunsets over the sun-blushed Mediterranean. The dream!
What was the first restaurant you went to post lockdown 3.0?
I was very lucky to be in Monaco, where nothing was really completely closed. I went for fresh oysters and a vino feast on a sunny day with friends, at Perles de Monte-Carlo, which is a little fisherman restaurant on the Fontvieille port! A blessing! In the evening, I went to Coya Monte-Carlo, which recently opened in the most wonderful setting that overlooks the Mediterranean.
What is your favourite spa or wellness space?
On my yoga mat, at sunrise, in front of the sea – I like to call it 'my spa of the soul'! Everything is peaceful. To me, these quiet moments mean new beginnings and opportunities, which trigger my creativity.
What was the first beauty treatment you had post lockdown 3.0?
A Renata Franca-style massage by my dear friend, Manuela. She comes to our house and treats the whole family with her magic hands! I am an aficionada of lymphatic drainages, especially because I tend to bloat terribly overnight due to stress!
What is your skincare regime (morning and evening)?
My grandmother Diana (to whom I tribute my brand, Diana d’Orville, to) is an example of absolute natural beauty and ageing confidently. Her secret? Keep it simple, including clean ingredients from Mother Nature!
I was very lucky to grow up in the South of France, with a profusion of fresh products. I love making little masks for my hair and skin, with lemon, Manuka honey, olive, coconut and jojoba oil as staples.
In the morning, I use simple raw sweet almond oil and top it off with Irene Forte’s Almond Eye Cream for a fresh look that lasts all day long. After a cold shower & body brushing (stimulates blood flow & tightens skin!), I cover my body in Irene Forte’s White Wine Body Cream – it smells divine & makes me feel fresh & ready to tackle the day! I am a strong believer in the power of scents.
In the evenings, I use Irene Forte’s Hibiscus Night Cream.
Do you have one evening or more a week where you spend time masking/pampering? What do you do?
Every week/day is different, so it’s very hard for me to stick to a routine. I try to dedicate one hour per day to myself, no matter what. Whether it's chopping ratatouille (it’s actually a great form of meditation!), sitting on the terrace under the stars with opera or disco music at full decibels (!), reading a book or taking a long walk in nature. I’ve also recently discovered Irene Forte’s Pistachio Face Mask – the texture and the smell are an absolute dream! Looks like you’ve slept for 72 hours in a row! It's my go-to product when I need a little boost after big stress periods or a bit too much partying!
Any skincare advice for our readers?
I believe good skin comes from the inside. There are no miracles, only little, simple, healthy habits! For example, drinking enough water, trying (I know it’s hard!) to eat as freshly, locally and seasonally as possible and moving everyday. Top it off, if you can, by immersing yourself in nature and you’re a superstar! Falling in love also gives a flabbergasting glow!
Who are your favourite designers?
It may sound paradoxical as I’m a designer, but I don’t really follow fashion!
However, I’ve always been obsessed with 1960s Pucci style, Etro & Loro Piana for their divine quality & processes. Also, lately, Iris van Herpen, who disrupts the fashion industry by allying sustainability, technology & haute-couture. Her shows are unreal!
Also, Yves Saint Laurent’s 1970s pieces that my grandmother still owns – so much elegance & subtle mixes of surprising colours. His 1976 Ballets Russes show is, to me, the absolute pinnacle of cultural aestheticism.
What are your top three styling tips?
My mother has always been quite eclectic – for example, she was completely fine with my sister and I going to school with…green nails, as long as they were clean and perfectly polished! Fashion shouldn’t be a big deal!
I have no particular tip, except wear what you feel confident in & standing up straight (think graceful ballet dancers!).
I think wearing what you feel confident in & standing up straight (think graceful ballet dancers!), as well as good quality, well-cut, timeless designs (+ a smile!) are the ultimate elegance. I love to add a lot of jewellery for a little bling-bling effect!
Any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Keep going, stay strong and have a laugh. Plan A didn’t work? No stress, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet!
3 things I’ve learned from my own bumpy experience:
1. Think long-term & set priorities. Put your energy into what really matters & set goals to do good as a pillar of your vision & mission. Always come back to your original ‘why’ when things get spicy.
2. Learn how to say no & set boundaries. This is something I’ve been working on for years, as I feel saying no means missing opportunities! It is just a matter of self-protection.
3. Test & learn – it never goes as planned anyways! And do what you feel in your guts – we all have a strong intuition, so let’s make the most of it!
What is your favourite:
I always have a book in my bag and can’t sleep without reading a few pages! The one currently on my bedside table (and that I couldn’t recommend enough!): La Société des Belles Personnes by Tobie Nathan. It's hard to choose one favourite book, but among my top reads: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Ô Jerusalem by Dominique Lapierre (the movie is also beautiful!), Captain Correlli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières & most recently, Pamela (Pamela Churchill) by Stephanie des Horts.
Pistachio Face Mask by Irene Forte - gives the ultimate glow!
Definitely Le Smoking by Yves Saint Laurent. And, of course, our Diana d’Orville Signature Palazzo silk set! A divine second skin, that is half-armor and half-cocoon! It is incredibly handcrafted by fairy fingers in our South of France & Parisian ateliers, using French & Italian haute-couture fabrics.
Le Sel de la Terre by Wim Wenders, on the breath-taking works of Sebastião Salgado. Deeply moving & wonderfully directed. It puts things in perspective!