After following in Paris a degree in fashion design and another one in textile work and embroidery, Gabrielle Legall, originally from Bretagne, left the French capital in 2016 for Nantes to start her brand Processus: minimal, small batch ready-to-wear that mixes the codes of streetwear and traditional elegance through the use of recycled parachutes and paragliders.
“Every selected sail has flown over Western France (…) It’s the combination of those sails and their travels that make each piece authentic. When I get them, I wash them and only keep the ones I find beautiful, as I always like to find some indelible mark that bears witness to their flights.”
Gabrielle felt an attraction for fashion design early on, and wished to make it her trade. Throughout her schools years, she participated in various projects that culminated in a 2-year stint at the Irié fashion house in Paris, a real achievement of her aspirations: “Street life is always at the basis of all my projects. I like its popular aspects, its spontaneity, its codes… Clothing is its best witness. (…) As a consequence, I am sensitive to saving resources and upcycling, so I make sure my clothes are always accessible and keep their human dimension.”
Photo credits : Processus
After collecting sails from local clubs and schools, Gabrielle both creates the patterns and assembles her simpler designs. For the more complicated ones, she chose to partner with Femmes en Fil, an ethical workshop based in Nantes that employs rehabilitated women. “Parachutes are made from light and fluid synthetic fabrics that look like silk but are practically wear-free, easy to care for, and color-fast. Paragliders are as refined and resistant, but are more appropriate for windbreaker styles. Being water-repellent, its fabric is more like paper as it boasts a subtle grid design.”
“I think that what surprises people is using these fabrics in a different way: you have to be daring to dress with sails… Just like a collage, the colors mix in the rhythm of the existing seams. Those colored bits arrange themselves to originate basic and geometric volumes that give jackets and tunics a very current look. Screen-printed patterns bring an unusual subtlety to the usually technical and raw fabric of the parachute sail”.
Photo credits: Processus – Gabrielle uses screen printing to put her logo on the majority of her pieces.