Designer Q&A: M. Christian Lacroix on his collaboration with ege Carpets
M. Christian Lacroix has cooperated with ege carpets’ design team on creating a series of impressive wall-to-wall carpets.
The Atelier Collection was shown at Clerkenwell Design Week at ege Carpet‘s showroom, with a talk hosted by Lacroix himself. After attending the talk, we were interested in hearing more about the project and were able to ask Lacroix a few questions about this beautiful collaboration. How did the collaboration with ege come about?
I first started working with ege around twelve years ago, for hotels. I was in search/need of not average carpets, new products, and to be astonished. My business manager at that time heard about them and we went to their former Paris suburb show-room. It was “love at first sight” with their work and I proposed a challenging project to them: a special carpet to fit for all corridors in Hotel Bellechasse, which I was refurbishing then. It started from ink sketches of mine, following the unbalanced walls of the spaces of this old building, each meter different from the previous and following ones. They brilliantly succeeded and we never stopped collaborating for Hotels, then for scenography, exhibitions, museums, installations and more.
One day we realized that we had created so many one-of-a-kind carpets designs that we should use some for a collection under my name and theirs. But because of the end of my collaborating with the house bearing my name which doesn’t belong to me anymore we had to resolve the signature issue. And we found a solution last year.What was your inspiration for this collection?
As the names suggest, it was a matter of different fabrics; ancient or exotic I used to collect. I looked at old books engravings that used to impress me from when my grandfather used to take me to Arles, old Library in the former archbishopric. I was also inspired by Fashion books, I found as a child too in my grand-parents attic, theater, stones from my native town full of Greek, Roman testimonies. This collection was the quintessence of what I love and what I like to express in my work.
You said in your talk at Clerkenwell that ‘Design has to say something’. What does this new collection say?
Each design says the character of the space he has to have coherency with. For me this collection says my personality, my almost hidden garden, the ambiance which seduces me from the begining, from my childhood and I wish to share. The collection says that nothing is impossible, that floor is the first view you have entering into any space. From offices to hotels this is so important for welcoming visitors. They say “Welcome” “This is Us”, “Please share and let’s go further”. It’s a signature. The Atelier Collection tells my story of nostalgia, my past, my favorite atmospheres and elements, the foundation of all my inspirations.Did you have to change the way you would usually work as an artist when designing for a carpet collection?
No, I think that we all have to feel free if we want to create anything a bit interesting, new or pleasing. Of course we have unconsciously some borders in mind, professionally, about colors for instance since a carpet is not a canvas. But I must say that ege are so creative, innovative and open minded that they succeeded in creating for me, a special range of new colors including fuchsia and fluo lemon green, a bright red etc So, even for colors we have no limits.
What problems if any, did you have to overcome on this project?
Not really. It was much more a matter of chosing designs among all our archives, and starting from these, building coherent themes and families with mixing & matching possibilities, coordinating wide scale patterns with simpler designs, plain colors and completing each range in different sizes/measurements for different corridors. If you could sum up design in one word, what would it be and why?
In french I would say “Supplément d’âme”, not easy to translate into English as an expression. Possibly, “additional spirit ” What I mean is something adding both a new and seducing flavour, something both innovative and useful, practical and exclusive, giving the mood of a space and a period, “le ton” we say…