You may have noticed that Julie Lansom’s beautiful lamps are more and
more present in our boutiques. At this occasion, we asked her to answer a
few questions and tell us more about herself and her link with Sessùn.
Who are you?
My name is Julie Lansom, I'm a designer and photographer. I have my own range of lighting designs as well as a swimwear brand which I launched last year (Épi Swim).
Tell us about how you got to where you are now?
I was born and raised in the South of France. I stayed there until I finished my degree, then moved to London for 2 years before returning to France, to Paris this time, to finish my training. I have a degree in Media and International Relations. I worked as a freelancer and a photographer for two years until fate decided otherwise! One day, I needed a new lamp for my flat so I decided to make one. I took inspiration from an old 1970’s lamp I already had, but adapted the shape, the fabric, and the weave. And so, the first Sputnik lamp was born. Then my friends wanted them for their homes, then friends of friends. Demands for my lamps grew and grew and 6 months down the line that was all I was doing. That was four years ago.
Since then, I have expanded my range of lamp designs and it’s now how I earn my living, which I'm really happy about.
Tell us about your work.
I have never studied neither design nor art. But I’ve always painted, played about, made things, and taken photographs in a very intuitive way and this is still the case today. I don't like to think too hard about my creations, I just do what I do and hope that I come up with something new when an idea comes to me. I try not to plan anything in too much detail. I’m determined to keep hold of the spontaneous and idiosyncratic character of my work.
What is your ritual when you work?
I listen to a lot of music when I work. It doesn't matter whether I’m weaving, combing, gluing or retouching photos, that’s how I focus. And it has become a real need. But sometimes I do need complete silence, and sometimes I need to stop and think. I also listen to podcasts to clear my mind.
Where do you get your artistic inspiration?
Absolutely everywhere. I don’t come from or belong to the world of pure, hard design. I believe that inspiration can be found in anything and everything. A silhouette, a painting, a film, an object, even a manhole cover on the street. Sometimes I see something whose inspiration is instant and very conscious whereas at other times things need to be digested by the subconscious mind to then resurface in a new piece of work.
The clothes that suit you best?
When it comes to clothes, I'm a bit schizophrenic. I feel as much myself in a very feminine dress and heels as in a pair of wide trousers and a man’s shirt. The only rule I have is that I wear almost all of my clothes a couple of sizes too big so that I can create voluminous shapes, and pull them in by using a belt or by knotting them.
The taste or smell that brings back memories?
The smell of thyme, lavender, tree sap and pine nuts. The smells of nature in the region I grew up in and spent my childhood in the south of France.
Three things you always carry in your bag?
My wallet, Doliprane and a lipstick.
Your favourite restaurant in the world?
I have been lucky enough to go to some wonderful restaurants in my life because my dad is a real food lover, but my favourite food of all are his homemade chips, fried in olive oil, with a little thyme and bay leaves. I could live on them.
Your most amazing trip - where, when and why?
Oh, they've all been beautiful, even the trips I’ve done close to home! I couldn’t possibly choose. But I am really looking forward to my next trip to Iceland.
How did you come across Sessùn?
I first came across Sessùn quite early on, when I was still living in the South of France, in Montpellier. At the time, there was only one good clothes shop in the whole city (People's Rag) and they sold Sessùn there. I started going out with a boy who worked there so naturally I soon began wearing Sessùn ☺
If you had to describe Sessùn in a few words?
Sunny, natural and timeless.
A scene in a film that made you cry the most?
I think I’ve cried most during Muffassa's death in "The Lion King". I must have seen that film over 300 times and every time I still shed a tear!
Another film scene that really got to me (and God knows there are lots), there’s a bit in the film "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" where Zabou Breitman, who has just lost her husband (Jacques Gamblin), finds his inflatable back cushion. She starts to deflate it by inhaling its contents as it still contains his living breath. Just thinking about it makes me teary!
Your favourite track to dance to?
Donna Summer's "I Feel Love."
Your own funny little habit?
I gently rub my feet together to get to sleep.
Photos by Clément Jolin.