Responses by Virgile Flores, art director
Background: This project is a lookbook that has been commissioned by French fashion brand Maison Margiela in order to present three collections: the Co-Ed Collection Autumn/Winter 2020, the Artisanal Collection Spring/Summer 2020 and Man & Woman Avant-Première Spring/Summer 2021. The purpose of this lookbook was to present the collections to the clients that will be coming to the Showrooms. It is a high-end printed object, made to be an extension of the collection, with more of an aesthetic purpose than a functional vocation. I wanted the audience to be impressed and intrigued by it.
Reasoning: The thinking was: because the lookbook is the extension of these collections, it should work as if it was part of the show. I thought the lookbook should fit into one of the bags from the collection. From the dimensions of this bag came the dimensions of the lookbook. The lookbook also took references from methods used by fashion designer John Galliano on the collection, like the rounded holes, the transparency and the multiplication of layers.
Challenges: Work through the COVID situation, which put a lot of barriers in the process. But the fashion brand made this work. This lookbook is also like a movie sequel. It worked as part of the collections’ stories and continued the conversations from the first show with the audience. However, the lookbook should also work well on its own and come up with new questions to challenge the answers from the first show, while being very respectful to the original material.
Favorite details: I’m proud that Maison Margiela accepted the whole concept behind the lookbook and put a lot of money and effort into the printing techniques to make it look as good as it is now. There are so many printing techniques involved, from neon and metallic colors to dye cut and embossing. The lookbook wouldn’t be that beautiful without Maison Margiela’s trust and respect for this project.
Visual influences: The collections Galliano created were, on their own, so inspiring that I didn’t have to look anywhere else for inspiration. I have so much respect for his work, both for his concepts and his aesthetics. I was fueled entirely by his work and obviously Maison Margiela’s long visual history, which is very textured and deconstructed and fits with my own personal style.
Time constraints: Because COVID kept pushing the deadlines over and over, I had more time to work on this project than I would have in a first place. Having time made me think a lot about the lookbook; the more time I have, the more mature and ripe the project is. It gave me a better perspective and a better intuition on the project.