DICE believes that going out makes us feel good. THE FACE agrees – so we’ve joined forces with the discovery and ticketing platform for a series titled “New Energies”, where we’ll unearth the work of collectives who are creating a more diverse, progressive and equitable nightlife space. Dive in to part one…
Let’s journey back to where it all began. In 2014 LA CREOLE, then named CREOLE SOUL, emerged as an artistic collaboration between photographer Fanny Viguier and stylist Vincent Frederic-Colombo.
The creative pair, both based in Paris, had met via Facebook and shared an enduring interest in menswear and street casting. It was fate. At the time, Frederic-Colombo had just produced a summer-inspired men’s collection that featured a remix of 19th-century Antillean garments with gender-bending references that both explored and criticised fetishisation. It was, as he called it, “a rejection of colonialism”, championing a Latino-Caribbean look: an aesthetic accompaniment to reggae and dancehall that also repudiated island homophobia.
Viguier was invited to shoot the campaign and the rest, as they say, is history.
Frederic-Colombo, who grew up in Guadeloupe and moved to France aged 18, was reckoning with his queerness and diaspora and Viguier, who grew up in the Paris Banlieue (suburbs), faced reductive assumptions as a young woman. Each amplified the other to deconstruct and celebrate their culture and together they began thinking more broadly about the stigmas and structural inequalities others wrestled with. “Our common bond was questioning identity,” says Viguier. “Identity that society sticks on us (even if it doesn’t fit) and [working out] how we detach from that, ultimately self-defining in step with who we feel we are.”
Three collaborative years later, LA CREOLE found themselves organising a small photography exhibition during men’s fashion week at Trippen Paris. What began as a routine opening, morphed into a mega fête with DJs Crystallmess and Bamao Yendé both on the decks.
In the wake of this alchemical success, the duo decided to ritualise the night they’d summoned, fostering a dance party like no other. Frederic-Colombo described it as “bridging the underground scene with Afro-descendant references to deliver a carnival, a sound system, a ball.” It was a space for people with common roots to feel recognised. A calling card for diversity. “We’ve always opened our doors to everyone and the people who turn up are truly eclectic,” Viguier says. “While society remains institutionally patriarchal, racist, and homophobic, we gather people that feel safe amongst others they might not encounter every day. It’s good to see that exists.”
Today, the pair have collaborated with streetwear brands like Nike and Off-White, JACQUEMUS and Kenzo have hosted nights at venues like Le Chinois and La Machine du Moulin Rouge and consider themselves an adaptable “projet plastique” that evolves between visual presence, musical expertise, and events founded on inclusivity.
As LA CREOLE gear up for their latest soirée, we speak to five returning regulars who can’t resist hitting the dancefloor to chat about the liberation of dance, going-out rituals and how to make your club style have an impact – even when you’re wearing very little.
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What was it like the first time you went to a LA CREOLE party?
It was in Montreuil, at the club Le Chinois, and I thought, “OK, this is what I want.” It’s a mix of electro and techno and Creole stuff. I’d searched for a long time for this combo: the vibe of the people and the music. It was really orgasmic!
How did it differ from other parties that you were going to?
It’s welcoming and anyone can be whatever way they want. It’s a safe space. The crowd gives us love while we’re on stage and we receive it. It’s like a dance rehearsal, except I’m practising performing with a DJ and with my family: it’s everything in one. You can just be you and wear whatever you want, or be naked.
Have you been naked at a LA CREOLE party?
I’ve been topless!
Tops aside, do you have certain style references or things you like to wear?
I have to wear heels, for sure. I have been basically naked, so like small, tiny [garments]. The less I can wear the better! I like sheer knee socks or stockings. I love to wear a wig: it’s like being another person.
Does LA CREOLE feel different post-lockdown?
It’s been in a bigger space, so it’s more expansive. It’s the same, but with amplified vibes. Vive LA CREOLE!
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How did you first hear about LA CREOLE, and how was it impactful?
The first encounter was totally random. I used to live in the suburbs of Montreuil in 2018, we were just having a house party and felt like going out after. We went to Le Chinois, where LA CREOLE used to happen very frequently. We had no idea what it was, we just went inside. It was 1AM and we stayed there until super late. I immediately felt special vibes. I went back to the next one and it felt like a family.
Family is a powerful word! What made you feel that?
I feel like the same magic operates every time. You enter a judgement-free zone. There’s a shared understanding. This was a family that didn’t judge. People are respectful of each other and you immediately feel that when you enter the room.
Were you familiar with the diverse genres of music, or was it a discovery?
It wasn’t that familiar but I instantly liked it a lot. I like Reggaeton because I’m Latina. There are all the sub-genres: dembow, soca. Here in Paris, it’s hard to find that kind of music. It’s not that I don’t like the usual techno that plays in clubs, I just don’t go crazy for it. LA CREOLE was a breath of fresh air because it’s also got a hip-hop touch – it’s a cool mix.
Are there any rituals that get you in a going-out mood?
I don’t have any rituals before I go out, but I do after.
What are they?
One last cigarette when you get home. And a good bath.
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What was your first experience at LA CREOLE?
I went because friends told me about it. I’d heard a lot about it, so I wanted to test it. It was last summer. A lot of people I know from voguing attend, so I was like: “let’s go.” It was huge to me, it had a very different energy than any other soirée. Really every kind of person was there: even heteros, open-minded ones. I was like… where are they from?! It’s the only place I can be in a G‑string amongst heteros, and still feel safe – and even feel goodwill. But I was really in my element. It groups together the Caribbean – I’m from Martinique – so it was my world mixed in with other things. Very inclusive. The people who go have a different spirit, they’re much more open. There are intense moments when you feel really linked to others. I loved it.
Where did you go out before discovering LA CREOLE?
Bars or clubs. I didn’t really go to parties, so this was the first time I’d been somewhere with a real “concept”. I was too young to go out before that! Plus, this was held outside so it was like a mini-festival.
What do you do to get ready to go out?
First of all, I gather all my friends. We do a real “before” party. We drink wine or beer and get ready together. I’m always searching for a look. Over the top. With very little fabric [laughs]. The less fabric there is, the happier I am. And I always have a long scarf when I go!
Then we all get a taxi and go together. When we arrive, you connect your group of friends with other groups of friends. That crossover really creates the beauty of the vibe.
Do you always have amazing nails when you go?
Not always, I started putting these on recently. But in the future, I will always have amazing nails. I know you’re jealous of them, everybody is jealous of them!
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What’s your favourite thing about LA CREOLE?
I really like the style. There are so many people with crazy styles and I love it. It’s inspiring to me. It’s all these beautiful people and beautiful vibes.
You’re rocking a vibrant colour palette right now. Is that how you roll: lots of brights?
Oh yes! I love colour, silk and glitter. I really love to wear something very cool, that I’m very comfortable in because you move a lot when you’re there. So when you get ready, you get dressed up.
Do you have getting-ready rituals?
I like to relax. I listen to jazz and light candles — it’s like I’m getting ready for a date, except it’s a date with everyone! I put on fresh perfume; I like to smell nice. I don’t drink, so I have mango or pineapple or lychee juice.
In terms of the wider Paris scene, how is LA CREOLE exceptional?
In Paris, you cannot find anything like this. Basically, the big clubs are more boujee. You have to pay a lot to get in. The music is the same. You have to have to dress a certain way to get in. For me, clubbing is music and connections and good vibes. It’s rare. Sadly. But at LA CREOLE, wherever you’re from, or whatever your sexuality… everybody is mixed together, and that’s what I like about it. Even if you’re alone, I think you can have fun, because you’re gonna find people you’ll connect with.
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What do you recall about your first time at LA CREOLE?
I think my first time was in 2019. I’ve known Vincent for a long time now. They started this project called CREOLE SOUL with Fanny, but it wasn’t a party yet. I also knew his music tastes – we were already… not friends, but you know, we had a good relationship. Every time I went to parties in Paris, before he started this one, when I was on the dance floor, he was always there. He has all this big energy, and I wanted to dance with him, you know? So we started dancing and doing dance battles and everything!
When I saw LA CREOLE on Instagram I was like, Oh?! Oh, OK! I didn’t get to the first party, but I saw pictures and videos and I was like, “What! OK, what is going on?” I saw freedom. I was like, “I have to go!” So I went and it was honestly one of the best parties I ever went to. I remember seeing the walls sweating. Everybody was crazy. Most of the time, when you’re in Paris and you go to parties – especially in the fashion industry because I work in the fashion industry – you have to be cool. To me it’s hard, I’m always too natural. So being in an environment where you can just dance is great. And listen to music that you grew up with because it’s a lot of Black music. There’s other music too, of course, but a lot of Black culture music, like soca. Hearing it at a party and being able to enjoy it with my friends without judgment, without limits, was the best thing ever.
What gets you excited to go out?
I need to feel sexy. Because as a woman, there is a lot of control everywhere: men want to control your body and society wants to control your body. When I party, I need to feel like it’s my body and I own it and everything about it. I love my boobs, so I’m gonna be like: OK, I have to show them. I love my lips, so I have to put on this brown lipstick. I put on my best playlist beforehand – it’s my workout playlist, maybe because I know that I’m gonna have to move! I start the party before the party so I go already in the mood, you know?
Has LA CREOLE cemented the community you already knew or has it prompted new encounters?
I think that because of the Black Lives Matter movement, we’re less in the shadows. In France in particular, with all this racism and hypocrisy we didn’t have much freedom to talk about this, without being sidelined. But because of the movement and social media and everything, there is a kind of bonding. At some point, we just find each other. We’re in the same community – not just Black people, but people of colour in general. We all know what we’re talking about: it’s the same culture that we share, it’s music that everybody knows and binds everybody together. I met a lot of people on the dance floor… I think dancing creates a kind of family. But also, in a more political way, all these movements create solidarity. This is why we feel safe.
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What draws you to LA CREOLE?
Fanny [Viguier] first told me about the kind of music LA CREOLE played and that it was a queer-friendly safe space. I’d been missing soirées where you really dance and I wanted to go to where people aren’t there to look each other over but to really enjoy the music, you know? We arrive and don’t miss a step, we get right on stage. We take breaks and talk and sing. We’re happy to see each other. I never stay till the end, I don’t have the energy, but when I’m there, I’m all in.
What makes the vibe unique?
I love Afro-descendant music but also hip-hop, dancehall and the classics. When I get there, it’s a mix of all of that by quality DJs. There’s a true sound spectrum. You don’t hear that elsewhere. I haven’t been to many festivals, but it has a festival feel. Everyone is there to sweat. The DJs and dancers are at the centre of everything. It feels good not to worry about who’s in attendance and why. It’s about expressing yourself. Given the name LA CREOLE, it respects this métissage, this melting pot. There are queer spaces, but they are very white. We didn’t have a space for this diversity before, so it’s important to create it. LA CREOLE is open to everyone and people from the Caribbean gather and we are glad to find each other. We exist and we’re here.
What’s your club-ready ritual?
I live far, so my friends come over and we go together. We put on ‘90s R&B. I always eat before I go, so I know I’m not hungry. I don’t drink. I want my outfit to be comfortable – it’s always super hot since everyone’s dancing – and as close to nude as possible. It feels good to be almost nude on a night out with no one judging you.
LA CREOLE FLOOR FILLERS
Talent: Mariana, Stessy, Diamante, Noam, Antoine, Matyouz
MUA: Hind Soussan
Photographer: Fanny Viguier
Stylist: Vincent Frederic
Photo Studio: Radical PR
Production: Katherine Bampton
Creative Direction: Clara Goodger
Project Manager: Victoria De Zanche
Branded Content Editor: India van Spall