THE MARBLES OF VERSAILLES
The Palace of Versailles may be known for its fabulous gardens through which Marie Antoinette and three different King Louis (XIII-XVI) once galavanted, and its metamorphosis from Louis XIII's country hunting lodge to foremost symbol of France's former absolute monarchy to modern Parisian suburban palace/tourist magnet. But the sheer amount of small details within the palace and its gardens that are not only noteworthy but breathtaking is astounding. We wove a bit of the palace's glory into our Autumn Winter 2012 collection, after Humberto and Carol visited and became obsessed with one specific grandiose detail: the marble.
Though much of the floors and walls in the palace are covered in beautiful wood and stone and painstakingly painted ancient paintings, much of it is also covered in some of the most gorgeous marble we'd ever seen. And not only the floors and walls and ceilings but the mantel places, doors, stairways, railings, and entire ballrooms are made of exquisitely carved marble in a beautiful array of colors and patterns and emblems. Inspired by the stately beauty of the marble, we created our own marble pattern on pleated skirts and dresses, shirts, and not to mention those Vans, before moving further into exploring the entire world of interiors throughout the collection. Check out some of the photos from the very trip that inspired the collection, and some others graciously provided by the people at the Palace of Versailles themselves, above.
CARL BURGESS + THOMAS TRAUM = MARBLE PUNCH
Carl Burgess, a.k.a. MoreSoon, is a London based filmmaker and designer. Through his work he combines the digital, hi-tech, and modern world with human emotions and humor. Kenzo recruited Carl for to work on "Marble Punch", our Fall Defile 2012 video. For this project he teamed up with long time collaborator Thomas Traum, and the two of them took a moment to talk to us about their process and inspirations for this project.
How did the idea behind "Marble Punch" come about?
We started from the print patterns which we absolutely loved. We were fascinated by the idea to create an environment directly inspired by the prints in which the clothes would blend in or be in some kind of dialog to the rest of the scene. We imagined this powerful woman walking through this environment crushing and smashing things.
How did you go about designing the marble interiors in the video?
We looked at a lot of modernist houses for inspiration, for example Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona house, and californian modernist houses from the 50s-60s. If you look carefully you can see sections of Rohe's Barcelona pavilion. Also we looked at some perfume ads from the 80's, their minimal stripped back styling.
We were interested in using this kind of pinnacle of modernist design and reproducing it in a very flat "default 3D" look. The default look helps us showing the amazing KENZO patterns as they are. We thought its interesting that in the end the rooms still keep that modernist feel and airy sophistication even after being only reproduced in such a minimal way.
What was the first video you worked on? What came first, graphic design or film?
Carl: The first what I would consider proper video I made was a promo for a band called Ratatat. It was made with stock footage I had collected over the years edited together into an unsettling compilation. It was before I had ever shot anything so it was a good way of being able to use actors in a creative way with no budget.
Thomas: I generally work less as a director myself, but I have done a lot of animation work. I was never into classic graphic design, more into interaction design and motion. Same as Carl, I worked a lot on interactive experiences for films. I generally try to mix animation with technology, be it a music video, concert visuals or websites.
Does your work as a graphic designer permeate into your work as a director?
I think if you want to make something look good in motion you need to first master the skill to make something look good in a still frame. I learned a lot about colours, proportion which helps you a lot. I think directors and designers also share the obsession about details. I see myself more as an image maker, if its still or motion.
What's next for MoreSoon / Thomas Traum?
We are working on a new project called T-E-R-R-I-F-I-C. It'll be all about creating new pieces of work clients wouldn't necessarily commission us to do but we think are really relevant. It will be a personal reflection on things around us we find very fascinating at the moment. From face tracking to domestic ass shake videos to the instant realtime web.
SALONE 2012: MAD ABOUT MARBLE
Massi Pippolo, traveled to Milano to one of the world's most exciting design fairs of them all: the « Salone del Mobile ». He came back inspired by young talents and thrilled by the come-back of a classic: marble. Here is his report:
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