Sometimes, a few cowry sea shells, two dried palm branches and three mollusc shells are enough to inspire. Especially when your name is Carole Petit, who cultivates a real reconnection with nature through her label Diega. Last month, we invited ourselves into her creative bubble in the Marais to extract the simplicity and authenticity of a ultra sensitive, rich and passionate universe. Deciphering her workshop in five acts.

The new office on rue Beranger sits just across from the showroom where the Parisian has been since 1985. While in the heart of the marais, the showroom has become too small. In this charming and light all-white space, you are easily transported into a serene environment ready for creative melancholy which shapes its atmosphere: candles and wicker boxes, sculpted wooden stools, sculpted glass and metal tables, mini cacti, knotted leather cords, feathers and drawings...




A universe of your own

Here, Carole Petit has finally found the tranquillity conducive to escape. She showcases the small objects she collects during her travels: a straw bag, a plaid braid from Tel Aviv, an African brush, coloured pencils in real wood bark. Those items loathe the perfect polished looks and instead boast the fluidity, the softness and the comfort of the fabrics...
Crepe de chine silk, cotton, velvet silk, linen… she has her own way of "abusing" them so that each piece seems to have lived and awakens a certain softness in the person who wears it.

Couleurs, patterns and blending

Diega’s DNA has been laid out from the very first collections, with cotton shirts printed with plant designs. Amongst them the palm tree, which involves more subtle representations each season, such as dried branches resembling  bronze...




Many of them are inspired by the palm grove of Marrakech, an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the stylist. Carole has been going there for thirty years - Marrakech is the city of her great-grandfather - but is moved by the experience each time as if it’s her first visit.

"It offers a spectacle of incredible nature, with the dyes suspended on strings in the night bazaar...".




It all starts with the colours which are laid on strips of cotton fabric that she then works with a dyer to get her range of colours. Ochres, chestnuts and greens mix and evoke the earth and nature.




Amongst these semi historic, gummed and deaf colours, often arises boy blue, a nod to the men’s shirt. A very bright and flattering blue complexion.




Bright colours- very few for her unless it is associated with nature. Like those yellow flowers on her desk that remind her that the stylist has succumbed to a bright solar yellow for the summer.




Themes and mixing of colours, materials and patterns are defined on a mood-board placed in the room. "As I print my fabrics, I knit my stories," says someone who likes to get her raw materials in their country of origin, like her alpaca that she selects in Peru.




The Diega allure

Extra-large trousers in noble and natural materials, open comfy shirts, tunic dresses, wrap-around skirts, floating bathrobes... The golden rule? Amplitude. A garment must be flexible yet not engulf.

The Diega woman, incarnated by Dolores Doll, wears contrasting linen: fawn print and natural linen blend with a two-tone checkered shirt. Beautiful, without sophistication. Elegance according to the stylist - the recent Instagram image of Inès de la Fressange in a Diega blouse.

The masculine in the feminine

At a young age, Ralph Lauren was his master of thought... Brought up in a family of menswear creators, Carole Petit rubbed shoulders with suits from prestigious houses, touched the finest materials: explaining where her passion for menswear began.

The masculine and the feminine are just as balanced with delicate Ball Pages braided sandals as they are with flat mules with wide crossed leather straps. The suit is plain, beige and light gray or is available in striped, African or flower prints. The men's jacket is associated with long dresses or skirts that are a prowess of style: a cotton tube knotted and draped at the waist.




Music and the secret of a name

“These are my roots. My grandfather played it all the time. I will never be able to part with his guitar. It is shattered and I have to repair it." To invoke music, a guitar dries in the workshop. The stylist never plays it, but has cemented its place: the instrument carries a pen, a very Diega detail, as the stylist notes. The name of her brand also finds its origins in the song "Diego" by Michel Berger, a name that echoes the Spanish culture, which are also part of her roots. At the time of registering her brand, the name was not available. Then, she had the idea of replacing the "o" with an “a".