We propose to improve the mathematical interpretability of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for image classification. In this purpose, we replace the first layers of existing models such as AlexNet or ResNet by an operator containing the dual-tree wavelet packet transform, i.e., a redundant decomposition using complex and oriented waveforms. Our experiments show that these modified networks behave very similarly to the original models once trained. The goal is then to study this operator from a theoretical point of view and to identify potential optimizations. We want to analyze its main properties such as directional selectivity, stability with respect to small shifts and rotations, thus retaining discriminant information while decreasing intra-class variability. This work is a step toward a more complete description of CNNs using well-defined mathematical operators, characterized by a small number of arbitrary parameters, making them easier to interpret.