Swishing Fabric, Hidden Zipper: Fashion designer Francis Roces meets Marcel Proust

Fresh City Life asked fashion designer Francis Roces to answer our questionnaire and he rapped about kimonos, his favorite places and an undying passion for making clothes. 

In the weeks leading up to our fashion spectacle Frock Out, each of our eleven designers have been featured here with their responses to the infamous Proust Questionnaire. Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist, critic and essayist, believed that people must know and understand themselves before they can know or understand others. His clever and insightful answers to a list of subjective questions (a popular social entertainment at the time) illustrate how the questionnaire helps reveal to people their true selves and the inner personalities of those around them.

Designer Francis Roces creates his designs by casually blending retro flair with a modern feel and a dash of Asian influence. Francis has been designing since the mid-80s and has no plans to stop. Created in 2000, his brand KimonoDragons is made for people who wear and live their creativity in a unique way. 

Below, Francis takes his turn at our questionnaire:

What is your greatest fear? 

Losing a loved one.

What is your current state of mind?


What is your favorite occupation?

Watching my Chinese movies and creating dresses.

What historical figure do you most identify with?

Coco Chanel.

Which designers do you most admire?

McQueen and Valentino.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

The vampire Lestat.

Who are your real-life heroes?

My mother and sister.

What is your most treasured possession?

Sewing machine.

When and where are you happiest?

In a fabric store.

What is your most obvious characteristic?

Being Asian.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My distrust of people.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Being two-faced.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My workhorse of a car.

What is your favorite journey?

London and Paris.

On what occasion do you lie?

When people ask me how I am doing.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

"Until next time" and "So far, so good."

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Perfect teeth.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Winning the 2010 Style Wars.

Where would you like to live?

New York and Tokyo.

What is the quality you most admire in a man?

Self-confidence and positive body image.

What is the quality you most admire in a woman?

Self-confidence and positive body image.

What is it you most dislike?


What do you value most in your friends?

When they don’t use me.

How would you like to die?


If you could choose an object to come back as, what would you choose?

A vintage kimono.

What is your motto?

What goes around, comes around. 

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

My grandmother. 

Francis Roces and ten other wildly-talented designers strut their stuff at Frock Out: Sideshow on November 18. Tickets and Info.

Written by Chris on November 12, 2010

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