Thursday, 16 February 2012

My old friend Paris

Having just arrived back into London after a few days back in Paris I can confirm that my longing and love for the city are ever existent. The reason for this wonderful 2 night break was of course work based, with us Chelsea students having clubbed together to buy a stand within the Indigo section of Premier Vision to sell our samples.

This short project which culminated in the Paris trip was certainly stressful. Having 6 weeks less than other students due to being on exchange and being plagued by an ever breaking Harris Loom didn’t help with the panic of trying to produce credible fabrics suitable for the fashion industry. But thankfully I managed to cobble together a somewhat clashing collection inspired by the gothic decadence of the interior of William Burgess designed Cardiff Castle.

A few snaps of my Indigo collection-

I had already been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to visit Premier Vision back in October during my time studying in Paris. What I found then was an insiders look at a hostile industry fed on cheap, mass produced products that startled me significantly. Yes, admittedly there are producers within PV which don’t conform to this rather pessimistic description but as a student, you are made to feel like such an outsider, prohibited from entering the companies maze of white boxes. Unless you are a buyer, forget it. Yes the sparsely scattered interactive areas let you feel and look at a selection of the current wares offered by the various companies, but beyond this, the companies remain inaccessible entities, closed doors. Having already experienced the shock of feeling so totally disillusioned with the industry I am ultimately working towards possibly embarking on a career within, this time I was prepared. I took a much more relaxed approach to the whole show and instead of frantically trying to sneak into the top secret boxes, I left the exhibition at 3 to go to see an exhibition at the Pompidou instead. Much more inspirational!

I am really pleased to hear that several students did manage to sell samples to big companies such as Vuitton and Bottega Venetta. But also extremely cross to learn of how one sample was sold to a certain well-known brand for a knockdown price of 250 euros (samples usually sell for 400 euros plus). It certainly feels like the equilibrium between designer and company needs to be addressed. I suppose this is just an age old predicament which is inevitably linked to such an industry.

The pressure, ‘forced-down-your-throat’ trend predictions and general nervous atmosphere evoked at PV was thankfully a world away from that felt wondering around my familiar Parisian street and sipping Citronnaud at small, cozy corner cafes. The mentioned exhibition, Danser Sa Vie is one filled with inspiration for the mind and soul and makes one realize the depth of connection between movement and mood. Dance has and undoubtedly will continue to be an invaluable source of inspiration crossing all creative boundaries into the art and literature world. Going to watch dance, be it contemporary or classic always brings me such pleasure and positivity. Is it the energy, the ability to physically express matters of the soul or the rhythmic pulse of movement and music entwined I will not know. One thing I am sure of is that my reminiscing of my visits to both Theatre Chaillot for the contemporary and Palais Garnier for the classic has left me eager to get back into regular jaunts to Saddlers Wells in London!

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