CO-CREATION – A SERIES OF UNIQUE ARTWORKS
After the successful edition of Les Canaux de la Mode in 2008, three Dutch fashion designers teamed up the past year with four French couture craftsmen to create undivided fashion garments as well as accessories. The selected designers are: Marga Weimans, Marloes Blaas and Melanie Rozema. The French couture craftsmen are: Jean-Pierre Baquère (glass), Severina Lartigue (silk flowers), Nicole Roca (paper) and Laetitia Schlumberger (corsets). Each designer collaborated with at least one craftsman. The results of these unique artworks illustrates the skills of the long and fruitful process of creation. The project is exciting, both designers and craftsmen had to face several difficulties that made the collaboration even more fascinating: the distance, the language barrier and the different cultural backgrounds were constraints that made the project even more challenging.
Les Canaux de la Mode will introduce the artworks during two intriguing exhibitions – one in Paris, one in Amsterdam. The long process of creation is often eclipsed by the end result shown on the catwalk. However, these exhibits – thought and set up by the Amsterdam-based And Beyond Studios – will emphasise the fruits of hard work made by several hands and as many heart. The exhibition will show both the process of co-creation and the final results and will make your fashion heart beat faster.
Marga Weimans & Laetitia Schlumberger, Severina Lartigue, Jean-Pierre Baquère, Nicole Roca
Marga Weimans collaborated with the four craftsmen involved in the project to end up with one architectural and dramatic dress. Even though they didn’t speak the same tongue, they actually spoke the same language: artistic and creative. Through this garment, the designer and the craftsmen combined their sense of innovation and tailoring serving one strong point of view: showing how elements of nature and space can be incorporated into a design. These elements of nature and space are encountered through the different crafts.
First of all, Marga Weimans worked together with the corset-maker Laetitia Schlumberger to build the base of the dress, a corset which supports the other elements that are articulated around it. Starting with this garment, the two women inspired each other in order to give a strong backbone to the dress.
The work of Séverina Lartigue was added, who tailored flowery elements that give a strong sense of her possibilities as a craftsman: a mix of flowers, both literal and more abstract, rough and coarse elements that suggest flowers, make the link between reality and the interpretation of it. These elements definitely match the dreamlike and oneiric vision on the world that they both share.
Moreover, the point of view of Weimans, combined with the savoir-faire of Jean-Pierre Baquère, result into a series of unique leaves of glass. The expected fragility of this material actually reinforces the design giving incredible relief and depth to the piece.
Finally, the creations Nicole Roca made out of paper give perspective to the dress. Sticking to the theme of nature, its beauty as well as its brutality, Nicole crafted ornaments that resemble the bark of a tree.
Melanie Rozema & Laetitia Schlumberger
This four hand collaboration resulted in a Couture dress which displays a strong technique both in styling and tailoring. At the beginning of their collaboration, the two women were both pregnant, and their work focused on a rather constraining garment for femininity and motherhood: the corset. On the other hand, the thoughtful sewing together of the fabrics gives a new light to this outwardly curbing element. The fabric which is articulated around the corset evokes a shell-like form or the motion of a wave. The drapery and its wavy movement of growing and outgrowing resonate la mer (the sea) and la mère (the mother). Playing with the volumes through their design, Rozema and Schlumberger think about the body, its proportion and its evolution. The tour de force of the garment remains in its construction, revealing softness and strength, sensibility and power, in other words, femininity.
Marloes Blaas & Severina Lartigue
When Baas and Lartigue first meet, the designer shared her vision with the craftsman by showing her ancient pictures of families from the postwar years. At this moment, a real connection takes place putting the two women on an equal foot in terms of creation and inspiration. First, the sepia-color panel strongly echoes with the inspirational ancient photographs one could find in a grandma’s attic or in dusty boxes on a flea-market. The idea of a shawl, which pops up on several pictures of women, constitutes the starting point of a fruitful collaboration. The symbolism of the cape speaks for itself. Postwar women show how femininity and comfort, elegance and convenience can be combined: a shawl warms you up, and at the same time leaves your arms free to be active, work or care for the children. This garment could reflect the idea of a mother who protects her family by chaperoning them under this imposing piece of fabric.
The subtle work of Lartigue – a floral garland around the colloar – is in good balance with the imperial textile and design of the cape. By incorporating these poetical elements, the garment becomes accessorized, showing that women don’t necessarily need to sacrifice elegance to still feel at ease in their clothes. Knowing that wearing accessories during the war was challenging and considered an act of provocation, the two women clearly convey a strong point of view.
Marloes Blaas & Jean-Pierre Baquère
Through this artwork, Marloe Blaas and Jean-Pierre Baquère give us a modern interpretation of the hair-net. In its common usage, a hairnet has the practical function of merely holding long hair in place. But through its reinterpretation, the designer and the craftsman extracted the essence of it to build a unique and fashionable item. How could glass, a fragile, fixed and brittle material, resemble the elasticity of original hair-nets? Through an ingenious technique of assemblage, the piece is made mobile and loose. The creation is indeed composed of…. pieces of glass, each of them put together by using strings, keeping then the spirit of a net. Using a flame working technique, Jean-Pierre Baquère shows us a painstaking, fine and subtle work while Marloes Blaas proves her sensibility, asserts her aesthetics and shows her talent not only for imagining clothes, but also jewelry.
PAPER OUTFIT, DENIM-LIKE PANTS AND KNITTED SWEATER
Marloes Blaas & Nicole Roca
During her research for this project, Marloes Blaas was inspired by the use of cheap materials in clothing during the recession in the 1930s. Coming up with this data referring to paper in fashion and clothing, the designer managed to share her creative vision with Nicole Roca who carried it out through two garments as well as accessories. For the sweater, the paper was cut into thin strips which were then skillfully knitted together. The stitch is consciously spaced out to reinforce the light aspect that the material already states. It was then painted in a very up-to-date way. The design plays with contrast, mingling a frothy and light texture with the heavy image of a chain mail. These designs are original in the way they question materiality and transformation. Through the pants, the two women explore the relationship between paper and textile, paper being used here as a surrogate material to approach the optical effect of a textile as close as possible. The crumpled aspect and the folding techniques as well as the sewing-together of each piece show the mastery of the craftsman coupled with the ingenuity of the designer.
Marloes Blaas & Severina Lartigue
Les Canaux de la Mode
Marga Weimans : www.margaweimans.com
Laetitia Schlumberger : www.lingerie-dement.com
Séverina Lartigue : http://severina.lartigue.free.fr
Jean-Pierre Baquère : www.idverre.net/baquere
Nicole Emilie Roca : firstname.lastname@example.org
Melanie Rozema: email@example.com
Marloes Blaas : www.marloesblaas.nl