For Francisco Terra, luxury is a “Question of attitude.” When leaving his Spring/Summer 2018 show in Paris, it feels like it really is. Behind Neith Nyer, his brand, there is the true intention to clash the codes of what we call beautiful, ugly or just fashionable. While keeping the kitsch DNA of the brand, Farewell My Sister is a beautiful ode to life tinted by a hint of melancholia coming from the designer’s deep memories. In the garden of Eugène Boudin boarding school for girls, we’ve been the witnesses of a very sensitive mixture of textures and colours where the pastels tones met the charm of lace, PVC and silk. We’ve talked with the guy making the ‘mauvais gout’ (bad taste) luxurious again.
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Who are you, Francisco Terra?
I am a Brazilian kid full of dreams who believes that fashion can still be somehow a form or artistic self-expression.
You are a fashion storyteller. Your Fall/Winter 2017 collection was inspired by your own manga book, MM83M; the Fall/Winter 2016 one, by a French board game, Les loups garous de thiercelieux; and your last Spring/Summer 2018 is “An invitation to spend some time with a girl who is about to die.” What do you want to say with this new collection?
With this collection I once again open my secret journal to pay tribute to my late sister, who passed away at the age of eighteen. I wanted to translate the sweet excess that her room was and the transitional period she was living by that time. It is a strong journey to pass from girl to woman, and this process is represented by the contrast between fabrics and shapes, colours and details. It’s a clash between childish elements and sexy ones.
You evoke the character of Miss Petticoat as the key silhouette of your collection. Who is she?
Miss Petticoat is a ‘70s character that illustrated journal covers, notebooks, and other school supplies. Most importantly there was a large range of letter paper in the collection. For instance my sister had a big collection that she inherited from my mom, and this is one amongst many other elements I picked from her room to illustrate this environment and inspire the collection.
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We fall in love with the full range of Santiago boots stringed with lace ribbons you made in collaboration with New Rock. Are the cowgirls back in the game?
Cowgirls have never been out of the game. If you think of every decade they were there at some point. For example, in the beginning of the 2000s there were films like Coyote Ugly and Buffalo 66, and in the ‘90s, songs like 5, 6, 7, 8 by Steps – although I bring them back this season because it feels natural to me. I come from the countryside of Brazil, and cowboys and rodeos were part of my youth with my sister.
You like to bring your audience at the closest of your creative universes. Farewell My Sister has taken place in Eugène Napoleon boarding school for girls, and the Fall/Winter 2017 collection did in the vintage shop Guerissol Paris. What does the space say about your collections?
The Fall/Winter 2017 had a very strong DIY influence because of the manga being placed in a fictional future where fashion ran through old clothes and doing them yourself. Guerrisol is my main source of research and inspiration for vintage pieces so I could have not imagined somewhere else different. For Spring/Summer 2018 I wanted to be surrounded by girls that were living the same period of time my sister was when she passed away, and the three different rooms of the venue were translating this process of a girl becoming a women, or a girl waking up and getting ready to go out. The venue has also a very strong link with the story of the show, I believe it completes the atmosphere and brings density and coherence to the story.
You’ve always liked to disrupt the lines, to deconstruct iconic pieces of the classic wardrobe:  the perfecto, the jean, the bombers. It’s always like a recarving work from a garment we already know. Can you tell us more about the genesis of your creative process?
As I said my main source of research is thrift shopping. I like giving a new life to existing pieces and shapes. I don’t believe in conceptual fashion, I like clothes that can be worn, and nowadays there is not much to be invented. A dress will always be a dress, so creativity has to live through detailing.
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You say there is a universal taste for ‘Mauvais gout’ (bad taste), all what shines and catches the eye: crystals, fake fur, transparency, etc.  Neith Nyer plays with the different levels of interpretation of kitsch. Where is your limit between vulgarity and luxury?
There are no limits, and that’s why I play with it. Challenging people on wearing whatever they feel good is the purpose of Neith Nyer. Having no boundaries, no shame.
You’ve shared this statement on social media: “I’m luxury, few can afford”. Could you explain this?
I have seen that quote embroidered with crystals on a vintage T-shirt, and that’s the perfect description for Neith Nyer. It is not related to money, it is a question of attitude.
Your dream collaboration for the upcoming collection?
Sunglasses with Gentle Monster.
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