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Spring — Summer 2009

THE JEWELLER A conversation with jewellery designer JORDAN ASKILL Written by Murray Healy  Portrait by Willy Vanderperre 6  –  11

‘ALWAYS NOW’ The Season’s Silhouettes Photographed by Willy Vanderperre  Styled by Joe Mckenna 12  –  23

‘COLOUR ME CAREFULLY’ Colours of Summer Photographed by Willy Vanderperre  Styled by Joe Mckenna 24  –  35

STYLIST AT WORK A conversation with KATIE GRAND Written by MURRAY HEALY  Portrait by Willy Vanderperre 36  –  39

HEAD STYLIST The notebooks of Paris head stylist JULIEN D’YS Written by MURRAY HEALY 40  –  49

TEXTURE The Season’s Accessories Photographed by Patricia Schwoerer 50  –  59

LANDSCAPES Fine-art photographer Clare Richardson Written by MURRAY HEALY 60  –  65

THE GALLERIST A conversation with gallerist CLEMENCE Krzentowski Written by MURRAY HEALY  Portrait by Willy Vanderperre 66  –  69

Store List 70

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JORDAN ASKILL Interview By Murray Healy

Portrait By Willy Vanderperre

From the cool serenity of Paris and Dior Homme to the warmth of his creative family in Sydney, « Jordan Askill » has always been busy with what he calls his « little school Projects ». Now he’s using superadvanced technology to create smooth, seamless jewellery and sculptures from the impossible ideas in his head. — 6 —

Jordan wears Articulated Boy Head Pendant. Silver and 18kt gold — 7 —



‘There are so many beautiful things about being young and innocent, and I’ve always found it so important that people never lose that; that people never get bitter and tainted. So in my work, I always try to create fun things that are inspired by toys.’

If the ghostly cascade of horses shown here looks so pure, seamless and implausibly perfect that you’ve already assumed it’s computer-generated, then well done – because, technically, it is. While it does exist as a tangible, realworld object, ‘Wave’ was developed on a computer using a 3D modelling programme, only making the leap from the virtual to the actual at the final stage via a process called rapid prototyping. A machine that works a bit like a threedimensional printer turned this abstract model into a solid form, building it up, slowly and expensively, a layer at a time. SCULPTURE AND JEWELS ‘There’s no other way I could have done it,’ says Jordan Askill, the young Australian artist who created ‘Wave’. ‘It’s so intricate, so fragile, with so many positive and negative spaces, that I could never have rendered every single horse so accurately using traditional methods.’ Jordan is one of the first artists to explore the exciting possibilities of this new 3D technology, which brings to life shapes and volumes that previously could only have existed in the imagination. This impossible piece has its origins in the world of real objects, however. ‘I like to start with solid objects,’ he explains; ‘there’s a momentum to them. So I use a lot of 3D scanning.’ ‘Wave’ began as a toy horse from the Fifties that Jordan found at a flea market. He was drawn to it, he says, because it reminded him of ones from his own childhood, in particular a model of Artex from The Neverending Story; ‘it also had great detail.’ The toy was scanned in, manipulated into three different galloping poses using CAD, and then repeated at various scales. From these elements he assembled a structure that slowly unfurled Fibonacci-style to create a smooth wave. ‘I wanted them all merging together so that nothing was disconnected. I wanted it to resemble an organic shape.’ Another sculpture by Jordan also has its roots in the toy box: three knightly action figures, weapons in hand, arranged to form a half-opened lily. They are inscribed with the names of Jordan and his two brothers, Daniel and Lorin, with the swords they brandish added during the computer design stage. ‘There’s no particular significance to them – I just wanted a knight in shining armour. Maybe it was subconscious; I quite like that image of a boy carrying a sword for protection.’ If there’s something childishly naive in the origin of these pieces, then that’s something the artist intended. ‘There are so many beautiful things about being young and innocent, and I’ve always found it so important that people never lose that; that people never get bitter and tainted,’ he says. ‘So in my work, I always try to create fun things that are inspired by toys.’ Although these pieces stand as art works in their own right, they’re only part of a bigger design story. Jordan also creates jewellery, for which his sculptures act as research and development projects. The knight’s head in ‘Lily’, for example, crops up as a pendant, variously fashioned in gold, clear resin and hand-carved crystal. Right now he’s working on a way to translate the tip of his horse wave into a piece as well. ‘That’s going to be quite difficult as I can’t make moulds and casts of them, so they’ll have to be

bespoke pieces. I could make them out of metals and solder each one together…’ He’s still working it out. ‘But I want the pieces all really pure as one single form in a single material. So for the moment it’s going to be in rapid prototype as well. Though it’s time-consuming and costly, it’s the most accurate for me.’ His jewellery is made in consultation with expert craftspeople in Sydney: he takes them prototypes built in wax and resin and explains to them precisely what he wants. The resulting works require so much work and time to create that they can only be produced in small numbers, which he sells through Dover Street Market in London, Rick Owens’ boutique in Paris and Land’s End in Sydney. He also has a second line of simpler, less labour-intensive jewellery, delicate, wiry rings and bracelets in gold with heart-shaped motifs – ‘a less sculptural line, something a little bit more accessible’ – which he started making as gifts for friends. Jordan originally studied fashion design at East Sydney TAFE, Australia’s most prominent fashion school. While in London during his year off he worked as an intern at Alexander McQueen, and later became a studio assistant at Dior Homme at the invitation of Hedi Slimane, then the brand’s creative director; Jordan even modelled in the catwalk collection one season. This dream job saw him relocating to Paris, serving three years at Dior before launching his own jewellery there. But he was a long way from home, and at the end of 2007 he finally flew back to Sydney. ‘I’d been living apart from my family for almost four years. Although Paris was the most amazing experience ever, I don’t really want to do that again, because it’s so much fun when we can all do stuff together.’ The Askills are a close-knit and creative crew: mum’s an artist, dad’s a composer, and Daniel and Lorin are both directors. ‘My parents are amazing. When we were growing up, they didn’t make it seem like it was a different or unusual thing to do, to follow creative paths.’ MOVIES AND MUSIC Jordan and his brothers have taken over their dad’s old studio, where they’re working on what he modestly calls their ‘little school project stuff’: movies and music (Daniel’s working towards his first feature film) and, of course, Jordan’s jewellery. They’ve also been producing work together, such as the video installation they created for the Paris-based Australian fashion designer Michelle Jank. ‘As kids, we were always making little films together. So it feels fun to be all together again.’ Daniel now lives part-time in New York, and this spring Jordan is hoping to join him there. Together they’ll work on film ideas and art projects which Daniel hopes to develop from his sculptural work. ‘And I want to find a manufacturer I can work with there, or maybe in Europe, that can produce the jewellery really beautifully. I just want to keep developing ideas, to create something sculptural, something with resonance and importance – not just jewellery made for the sake of consuming something.’

Pendant of the knight’s head in ‘Lily’ made of gold, crystal and resin Previous Spread: ‘Wave’


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Always Now Photographed by Willy Vanderperre

Silk Dress  € 125 £ 99

Asymmetric Zip Detailed Dress  € 79 £ 59

Cotton Shirt  € 59 £ 45  Washed Cotton Blazer  € 150 £ 119

Cotton Top  € 45 £ 35  High Waisted Pencil Skirt  € 59 £ 45

Cotton Men’s T-Shirt  € 39 £ 29  Wool Mix Blazer  € 125 £ 99

Left: Sweatshirt Blazer  € 79 £ 59 Right: Cotton T-Shirt  € 15 £ 10  Knitted T-Shirt  € 59 £ 45

Batwing Coat  € 175 £ 129  Cotton Mix Pencil Skirt  € 69 £ 55  Beaded Bracelet  € 12 £ 9

Cotton Shirt  € 59 £ 45  Washed Cotton Blazer  € 150 £ 119

Colour Me Carefully Photographed by Willy Vanderperre

Silk Dress  € 99 £ 79 Leather Jackett £199

Dress With Zip Detail  € 125 £ 99

Cropped Long Sleeved Top  € 39 £ 29  Knit Dress  € 59 £ 45 Leather Clutch Bag  € 99 £ 79

Short Sleeved Blazer  € 99 £ 79  Silk Mix Skirt  € 69 £ 55

Cotton Shirt  € 59 £ 45  Washed Cotton Blazer  € 175 £ 129

Short Sleeved Cotton Shirt  € 39 £ 29 Silk / Cotton Polo Shirt  € 49 £ 39

Draped Dress  € 99 £ 79  Leather Belt  € 15 £ 10

Knit Vest  € 39 £ 29  Knit Pencil Skirt  € 49 £ 39

KATIE GRAND Interview By Murray Healy

Portrait By Willy Vanderperre

She might be a Superstylist in the serious world of haute Mode but, as her shiny, Inspiring fashion magazine « Pop » proved, fashion is at its most sublime when you know how to have fun with it. Now « Katie Grand » is about to redefine the high end as she launches her latest title, « Love ». — 36 —

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People assume that being an influential fashion stylist is a serious business. But it’s hard to take anything too seriously when you’ve got a psychotic, Ryvita-nibbling rabbit hopping between your feet.

Katie Grand has a very badly behaved pet rabbit called Clara. You may have seen her: she appeared in last autumn’s issue of Pop magazine, blown up beyond King Kong proportions and looming over the Chrysler building. Naughty Clara was recently removed from her hutch after biting its other occupants, two guinea pigs called Giles and Nathan, and given the freedom of Katie’s north London house – which she quickly abused. First the fluffy menace set about gnawing her way through her owner’s extensive library of rare fashion magazines. ‘Then she pissed on a pair of Richmond Cornejo boots which I’d had since I was 15,’ says Katie, ‘which I was a bit upset about.’ Which is why right now Clara is confined to the boardroom of Love, the new magazine Katie is launching this spring. People assume that running the sort of glossy fashion magazines that the designers themselves turn to for inspiration, styling high-powered luxury ad campaigns and working on the collections of the most influential fashion brands is a serious business. It is, of course, not least because of the huge amounts of money involved – and you don’t earn epithets like ‘Katie Grand-a-minute’ solely by being fun. But it’s hard to take anything too seriously when you’ve got a psychotic, Ryvita-nibbling rabbit hopping between your feet. Katie’s references are as likely to include Coronation Street battleaxes and Joan Hickson as tweedy Miss Marple as obscure surrealist photography or a piece in the Claude Montana archive. I remember one instance where she spent an afternoon poring through a Pantone book trying to match the exact shade of pink used to colour Mr Greedy from the Mr Men. Last November, her final issue of Pop, the magazine she set up in 2000, featured various contributors dressed up as animals. Even I was roped in, photographed bouncing up and down on a trampoline dressed as a fluffy pink pig. ‘Yes, that was ridiculous,’ she laughs. ‘But it was a good full stop. I felt we’d come full circle. The first issue of Pop was very jolly and frivolous, and so was the last.’ There’s plenty of speculation about what we can expect from Love, which is being published by Vogue’s superpolished owner, Condé Nast. Beyond her characteristic and infectious enthusiasm – ‘It’s always good doing something new!’ she beams – she’s giving little away. ‘Just by virtue of having different offices and working with different people,’ she says, ‘it’s inevitably going to be different from Pop.’ But as she points out, each issue of Pop was very different from all the others anyway. Published first twice and then, since 2006, three times a year, ‘it was a bit like a fashion show – each time you wanted to do something completely different from the previous season.’ Above: LOVE, Icons of our Generation’ issue, out 19 February 2009. Styling Katie Grand, Photography: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott Below, left to right: Pop Spring Summer 2002, Madonna  Pop Spring Summer 2005, Jennifer Lopez Pop Autumn Winter 2002/3, Elizabeth Hurley All POP covers photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott and styled by Katie Grand

This push-me, pull-you dynamic of the biannual fashion calendar, which sees designers kicking against the ideas they presented six months earlier, is something she’s all too familiar with: her skills as a stylist have been called upon by major fashion houses for the past decade. The nature of her role varies from job to job, depending on the requirements of each designer. ‘Sometimes you’re just there to liaise with hair and make-up, working out who’s gonna wear what, “shall we add something, shall we make this shorter” – but it’s not a design role. And at other places you’re required to work closely with the designer from the early stages.’ The greatest demands have come from Prada and Louis Vuitton: the rule seems to be that the bigger house, the more punishing the schedule. At Vuitton, during the week before a show, the

working day generally finishes at between three and five in the morning. ‘The night before the show there’s no sleep at all. And the night before that, it’s usually about 90 minutes.’ It used to puzzle her, why most of the work on such important collections was left to the final three weeks. ‘I remember at Prada making the mistake at saying, “What do you do for the rest of the year?”’ Since then she’s come to the conclusion that this last-minute creative rush is simply an inherent and unavoidable part of how those bigger houses work. ‘It’s a bit like putting together a magazine. It’s like homework when you’re 15. You just leave it to the last minute.’ Her favourite part of the process at Vuitton is consulting on the bags and shoes; she’d never worked on accessories before she started there. ‘Marc [Jacobs, creative director of Louis Vuitton] is very, very good at and interested in bags and shoes, so those meetings are the best.’ Contributing to the shoes for the latest collection, for spring/summer ’09, was particularly good fun, she says: ‘Everyone was sat on the floor with a bag of Stephen Sprouse leopard print on pony and a bit of metallic snake and a bit of velvet and ribbon, and we pieced the shoes together.’ The rawness of this cut-and-paste approach ended up forming the basis for the entire collection. Currently she also consults on collections for Topshop, Giles and Loewe – Stuart Vevers, the new creative director of Loewe, and Giles Deacon are both longstanding friends and collaborators – with Pollini the latest brand to appear on her CV. The cultural influence of the fashion stylist has grown in the 15 years since Katie dropped out of her fashion BA course at St Martins to set up Dazed & Confused magazine. It’s well known that she was unimpressed by the legendary fashion school – she claims that hanging out at the Duffer and Comme des Garçons stores in her lunch hour was more useful than anything she did at the college. ‘I was much more interested in modelling for other people’s crits than doing any work at that point.’ This would entail being dressed in baggy black leggings with twigs taped to her fingers, stuffed inside one of the wheeled cages supermarkets use when restocking shelves, or lying on a table covered in papier mâché with toy soldiers stuck on top. ‘No one was bothered about what the clothes were like as long as the story was good, which I thought was a shame.’ Dazed & Confused gave her a far more useful platform on which to develop her aesthetic, although the stylist held less sway in the early Nineties. ‘When I started, I don’t think [co-founder and photographer] Rankin had a clue what a stylist was other than someone who turned up with a bag of T-shirts. Which is what I did on my very first shoot for Dazed, in fact.’ Back in the day when she’d find herself dressing pop stars like Louise, Mark Owen, Eternal, Gina G – ‘all that stuff’ – the stylist was treated as little more than a wardrobe lady. By way of contrast, she cites the example of her most recent job, styling Lily Allen for Interview. ‘You turn up with five dresses, say, “Put this on,” and they’re like, “Oh, OK then.”’ These days, the authority of the stylist is sacrosanct – especially when said stylist has so successfully redefined the public image of Madonna, Kylie and Victoria Beckham on the cover of her magazine. So sacrosanct, in fact, that often now it’s the superstar who defers to the judgement of the superstylist. But Katie is reassuringly down-to-earth about it. ‘I think people are just a bit more open to the fact that you’re not just trying to screw them over and make them look like an idiot.’ The new era of Pop Magazine launches Fall 2009

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JULIEN D’YS Interview By Murray Healy

He’s best known for styling hair – wild, imaginative coiffEureS that set catwalks alight with their craziness. But Breton-born « Julien d’Ys » is also an artist, sculptor, photographer, filmmaker… a man whose imagination never rests, as this flick through his sketchbooks illustrates. — 40 —

‘When I’m in my atélier, I’m confusing hair, photography, painting – it’s so crazy! People say I should work in a normal studio like a normal photographer, but I say no. I want to be in my space ’cause I like the feeling – it’s more like an artist’s studio.’

It’s hard to come up with a job title that does multitasking fashion creative Julien d’Ys justice: ‘hair stylist’ just doesn’t cover it. He’s been a Fashion Week force for over 20 years, best known for the wild and crazy things he does with hair, building longstanding creative partnerships with Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto and his old pal John Galliano, and working with such greats as Linda Evangelista, Christie Turlington and a just-discovered Kate Moss at the age of 15. This prolific Parisian belongs to the old school of creativity, ready to roll up his sleeves and muck in. ‘These days hair stylists and make-up artists direct teams of assistants. Me, I can’t – I still do it all. I want to control everything!’ This can make life difficult: there have been catwalk shows where he has had to style over 40 models single-handed. ‘I once did a Giorgio Armani show with 70 girls, painting them with black and white gouache. It was very artistic. It was crazy! And I had to do all the girls myself. But I’m very fast.’ All the while he has tracked his ideas in his sketchbooks, drawing, writing and snapping Polaroids, building up an ongoing archive that chronicles his career – pages from which you can see here. Their eclectic content – pages from news magazines, test shoots and technical diagrams anatomising

complex new hairstyles, as well as quotes, sketches and snapshots from the shows – reflects the diversity of sources that spark his imagination. ‘For me, everything is vision,’ he says. ‘I take inspiration from everything – from people in the street, from the movies, from my family…’ Often he can’t pinpoint what sparks his ideas; his mind filters everything his eye detects, constantly and unconsciously. ‘Sometimes I have no idea where my inspiration comes from. Sometimes, the day before I begin working, I don’t know what I’m going to do, and hope that when I start my hand goes:’ – he mimes the action of charcoal on paper. ‘I don’t think too much; inspiration comes. It’s kind of good.’ But hair isn’t the be all and end all of Julien d’Ys. Two years ago, when John Galliano guest-edited an issue of French Vogue, Julien created images of Agyness Deyn disguised as a series of historical characters – Marie-Antoinette, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra – cut and pasted as photographic collages in his punk-Cocteau style for the issue. The imaginative universes of John Galliano and Julien d’Ys are hugely compatible: both are flamboyant, theatrical and boldly spectacular. ‘We are very connected, me and John; it’s easy for us to work together. He always surprises me,

Julien D’Ys Studio, Paris

always inspires me. And he gives me so much freedom that I always want to give him more.’ The British designer was so impressed that he asked him to work on the advertising campaigns for his Galliano line. This was something Julien hadn’t expected: ‘I was in shock!’ So now he creates the images for the ads with John every season, directing, styling, photographing – even building the sets. ‘This is new for me. I have always taken shots of the models I work with, but never professionally. But I don’t want to say I’m a photographer. I’m enjoying it, but it’s like a hobby. I’ve not stopped being a hair stylist.’

projects: ‘He is 26 years old, and this generation, they love computers.’ But playing with movie cameras is a longstanding passion that dates back to the age of super-8. Somewhere, Julien even has footage of a Herb Ritts shoot he worked on in Hawaii in 1986, where he transformed a young Madonna into a series of iconic characters. This is another enduring friendship: Julien worked with Madonna again five years ago when Steven Klein shot her for her Reinvention tour. Julien’s sketchbooks are occasionally published as limited editions, and the ones documenting that tour became the seventh in the series.

Julien’s turn behind the camera is just the latest string to his bow. He’s been painting and sculpting in his spacious-but-cluttered studio in the Marais district of Paris for 15 years now – covering his clay models giant-sized canvases in thick, brightly coloured oils. Over time all his other interests have bled into this space. ‘When I’m there I’m confusing hair, photography, painting – it’s so crazy! I have my office there. One room is full of blackand-white pictures of people that I work with, a whole big wall. I do my sets there too – I shoot for Galliano in this atelier; when he comes over, John is inspired by the space, because there are so many things. People say I should work in a normal studio like a photographer, but I say no. I want to be in my space ‘cause I like the feeling – it’s more like an artist’s studio.’

The Breton-born creative never planned to go into hair styling or fashion: ‘I wanted to be an artist.’ But his father disapproved, and, once living in Paris, the teenage Julien toyed first with architecture, then set design. He ended up working in the Jean Louis David salon and shone. He then launched himself into the Paris fashion scene as a hair stylist, and has found himself surfing a tidal wave of demand since. ‘I’ve never stopped. Hans Feurer was the first photographer I worked with, then Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton… I was so lucky to work with all these inspiring people.’

He’s also been making films – ethereal fantasies recorded on his Sony camcorder, which have been showcased on Nick Knight’s fashion website, Showstudio. He collaborates with his assistant, Ilker Akyo, on these digital

This ultimately led him to fulfil his original ambition of becoming an artist, a photographer, filmmaker and set designer. ‘It’s true, I’ve mixed everything. It’s like being a many-sided chameleon. It can get very confusing for me!’ Which explains why his sketchbooks play such an important role. ‘That’s why I keep all these carnets. These sketchbooks make me think, but they are also my thoughts and memories. They are my brain on paper.’

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Texture Photographed By Patricia Schwoerer

Nylon Bag With Leather Straps  € 69 £ 55 — 50 —

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Suede Clutch Bag  € 99 £ 79

Suede Peep Toe  € 150 £ 119

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Satin Belt  € 29 £ 19 — 54 —

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Leather Portfolio  € 89 £ 65

Leather Lace-Up  € 125 £ 99

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Suede Boots  €125 £ 99

Cotton Scarf  € 29 £ 19

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I’m a bit of a nerd. What interests me are things like the history of farming and landscape. I’d heard this part of Romania had wonderful medieval strip farming. So I went there not knowing really what I wanted; I went as a tourist

Interview By Joseph Mercier

« Clare Richardson » left a career working alongside Rankin and Liz Collins to take pictures in remote communities. She credits her childhood with instilling a fascination with belonging, an interest that led her to examine two different worlds, captured in her two books of photographs. — 60 —

‘I had this really this peripatetic childhood,’ says Clare Richardson. ‘My dad was a doctor and we moved all over the world. Sometimes we’d be in Africa, or other times a few years in Hong Kong or Malaysia. And all I wanted was a sense of belonging, and rootedness, and to know a person’s name. I’m drawn to communities that have that sense. It’s rootedness I’m drawn to. And that sense of place. And people who have that.’

But it hasn’t always been medieval villages, ancient farming techniques and gnarled trees for Clare. Previously she led a decidedly metropolitan life as an assistant to fashion photographers, most notably Liz Collins and Rankin. Her return to fine art practice was unplanned and hapless. ‘The reason I got into art photography,’ she says, ‘was because Joe McKenna decided to buy a picture off of me and pay my phone bill. Before that I was quite happy being an assistant.’

It was a search for this feeling of rootedness that attracted Clare to a small town in the United States and, later, to a remote farming community in Transylvania, which became the inconspicuous settings for her two books. The first of the two is a collection of photographs taken in the town of Harlemville, where she spent a considerable amount of time getting to know the community before documenting their back-to-nature approach to life. ‘I never go anywhere with the intention of it happening,’ Clare explains. ‘It was a long time I went back and forth. That’s what became difficult in the editing process, because you have a responsibility to the parents and children. So you have to be really careful.’ Her second project, entitled Beyond The Forest, found her in an isolated area of Transylvania. ‘I’m a bit of a nerd. What interests me are things like the history of farming and landscape. I’d heard this part of Romania had wonderful medieval strip farming. So I went there not knowing really what I wanted; I went as a tourist.’ Her visits resulted in a remarkable survey of the romantic and serene medieval landscape there, and Beyond The Forest reads like a haunting, eastern European fairytale – the people of this region of Romania are believed to be the descendants of the children lured away by the infamous Pied Piper of Hamlin.

Throughout her career – and still to this day – she has also worked as a wedding photographer; the morning after the opening of her first show at the prestigious White Cube gallery in 2001, she was up at six to document one of the 300 nuptials she has captured so beautifully on film. These days Clare can be found living in a remote area of west Wales – Carmarthenshire, to be exact – where she has now firmly put down deep roots of her own with a man named Sam (whose ‘family has owned the same place for like 300 years’ she says). The newest addition to their family is a young baby girl named Bea, who will no doubt have some fantastic baby pictures to look back on later on in her life. It would seem that this simple, rural life, ‘a million miles from any towns’, is beginning to make up for Clare’s years of transience: ‘I haven’t created much works since I’ve been here, because that natural urge to search has gone.’ With the sense of belonging and rootedness that she admired for so long in the communities she immortalised now so definitely a part of her own life, the photographer and the subject have become somewhat blurred and almost indistinguishable. One certainly has to wonder whether her next project might not just be autobiographical.

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CLÉMENCE Krzentowski Interviewed by Joseph Mercier

Portrait by Willy Vanderperre

Parisian gallery owner and lover of all things modern « Clémence Krzentowski » offers the most imaginative furniture designers a rare opportunity: freedom to create the furniture they really want to make, without the limitations of manufacturers’ marketdriven demands.« Gallerie Kreo », an incubator for innovation. — 66 —

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C L É M E N C E K r z en t o w ski

C L É M E N C E K r z en t o w ski

“Bellflower” lamp by Wieki Somers “Hanger” by Naoto Fukasawa

Upon first glance, Galerie Kreo looks like the kind of white-walled, minimally branded contemporary art gallery you’d expect to find in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. But there are no Duchamp-style, look-but-don’t-use urinals here. At Kreo, ‘you have a chair you can sit on it, and you have a desk you can write on it,’ says co-founder Clémence Krzentowski, outlining what she believes to be a primary distinction between art and design. ‘Many times people say this is a piece of art – and of course you can consider a piece as art – but we are creating furniture. At the very beginning of a good design you have the description of the function and how you will use the piece. I would say that with ninety per cent of the pieces we produce, you can really use them, really live with them.’ In 1999, Clémence and her husband Didier channelled their passion for innovative design and collecting furniture into setting up their highly successful gallery, sparking remarkable collaborations with such design luminaries as Martin Szekely, the Bouroullec brothers, Jasper Morrison and Marc Newson. They created Kreo, Clémence explains, ‘when we saw that it was very difficult for designers to express freely what they wanted to say. When they work for an industrial company they have to follow very strict specifications, so by the end it’s very difficult to create something personal and special. This was not the case 20 or 30 years ago: when companies approached designers, they

© Morgane LE GALL — Courtesy Galerie Kreo

‘When designers work for an industrial company they have to follow very strict specifications, so by the end it’s very difficult to create something personal and special. We felt it would be interesting to have a space and to ask them to work completely without restrictions.’

could propose many things. But now it is very different. So we felt it would be interesting to have a space and to ask them to work completely without restrictions.’ These collaborations have resulted in inventive, limitededition research pieces, all manufactured in-house by the gallery. ‘Producing an exhibit takes at least a year and a half and maybe as long as four years, for only ten pieces.’ As she admits, ‘this is not a regular way of producing pieces – it would never normally take so long. But because this is research, it’s more complicated than usual.’ This also restricts the number of pieces they can produce. ‘We don’t like what’s going on today, when you have “limited edition” everywhere and you don’t know why. The important thing for us is that we do limited editions because of the nature of the work, and not just so we can say it’s limited edition.’ One of the most refreshing things about Clémence and the work of her gallery is the unabashed enthusiasm for all things contemporary – she doesn’t waste time with meaningless terms like ‘timeless’ and ‘classic’. What excites her most about design is ‘the feeling that we are living right now in our time. I have this feeling when I have contemporary pieces around me, that I am not living in my grandmother’s house. And the most exciting thing is that some of the people we work with may be creating the pieces of the future.’

“Carbon ladder” by Marc Newson, “Geta” coffee table by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, “Moom” mirror by Pierre Charpin — 68 —

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BERLIN, GERMANY Kurfürstendamm 217 T: +49 30 8 8 0 0 7 794

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY Königsallee 80 T: +49 211 16 8 4 8 6 8

HAMBURG, GERMANY Neuer Wall 19 T: +49 4 0 28 8 0 9909

KÖLN, GERMANY Ehrenstraße 33-35 T: +49 2 212 509 9509

MÜNCHEN, GERMANY Weinstraße 3 T: +49 89 21O2 17 74

STUTTGART, GERMANY Königstraße 46 T: +49 711 12O 4357

DEN HAAG, NETHERLANDS Venestraat 17-19 T: +31 7 O363 57 73


PARIS, FRANCE 4 Rue des Rosiers

BERLIN, GERMANY Friedrichstraße 83



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