Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Occupation: Creative director of haute couture label Alphonse Maitrepierre
Studio location: Montmartre, Paris.
Describe what you make: I am a fashion designer and I largely base my work around the idea of misappropriating old codes. I like to begin by taking from archives and reinterpreting the universe, notably that of Parisian couture and the digital world of today.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: It’s very difficult for me to pick a specific item that’s most important, but I’d probably say my first full collection. The trouser/silk dress was a difficult piece technically to develop, but it’s a very meaningful piece as it’s a symbol of the two worlds of my collection. The UFO-shaped leather bags from the collection were also a challenge; the challenging pieces are always the most rewarding.
Describe the problem your work solves: My work does not offer any solutions. In fact, it actually raises problems as it makes us question everything about the concept, sizes, and universes. I like the idea that getting dressed and choosing one’s character for the day helps us to feel better, to assert ourselves, to accept each other, and to live better together. In a world turning more and more towards technology, I like to think that people need to reconnect and have real-life experiences. That’s why I like the idea of creating an illusion through clothing.
Describe the project you are working on now: Apart from finishing my second collection, I’m also writing a film with Alexandre Carril about the backstage with plenty of anxiety and a touch of absurdity. The idea is to show the world of fashion in a more offbeat, humorous way by viewing it through a video game that models play remotely, guiding their own lives. It dives into the absurd and scary world of fashion starring the backstage of my runway parade. The three “gameuses” will manipulate the models, subjecting them to the hard tests of final preparations a few minutes from the fateful hour of the parade.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: I’m currently preparing for my next collection launch for Spring/Summer 2020, which will take place on Sept. 23 in Paris and will be presented from Sept. 24–Oct. 1 at the Palais de Tokyo as part of the Designer Apartment. I’m also working on the development of a film to present it in collaboration with many artists on the Paris scene.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: In my studio, we spend our time eating and smoking—it’s very important for us to feel at home. As for music, there’s always a soundtrack to carry our projects, depending on the pieces we’re working on. For couture, I like to listen to opera, and for accessories or more fun pieces, I like 2000s-era metal.
What you do when you’re not working: I like to flee to my friend’s house in Morocco to recharge my batteries. If I’m in Paris, I love to lose myself on foot, walking through the streets with music in my ears to decompress, a ritual that I do as often as possible.
Sources of creative envy: Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen (absolutely brilliant), Cristóbal Balenciaga, the polaroids of Carlo Mollino, Pokémon, the old magazines like L’Officiel from the 1960s, and the captivating surrealism of Jose Carlos Ramos.
The distraction you want to eliminate: None! It’s so good to be distracted.
Concrete or marble? Concrete.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse.
Remember or forget? Remember.
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens.
Dark or light? Light.