Since he graduated from the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design, Dutch designer Antoine Peters always tried through original projects such as his “Sweater for the World” initiative to inject some playfulness into the world of fashion and bring a smile to people’s faces. His latest project – customised seating objects for Quinze & Milan x Eastpak’s “Built to Resi(s)t” collection and a collection of special accessories – was presented during Interieur 2010, the 22nd International Design Biennale in Kortrijk. The project was launched through an interactive installation called ‘The World is Flat’ during which visitors were invited to deface a sofa, colouring the black and white prints that covered it with a crayon of their choice.
Dazed Digital: How did you get involved in this project?
Antoine Peters: I was already in contact with Eastpak to do some kind of collaboration and then this project came around and it all fell into place. Eastpak and Quinze & Milan are iconic brands, so that was a good start. It was challenging for sure, but we all share the same kind of philosophy and attitude about life and design, so the collaboration felt quite natural. Fashion is an interdisciplinary subject and I love the fact that it allows you to combine forces and create something strong and innovative.
DD: Can you tell us more about the installation at the 22nd International Design Biennial in Kortrijk?
Antoine Peters: For this installation we created a ‘'flat’ colouring page-like world with the sofa, some clothing and accessories. You could step inside this world and become part of it by colouring the sofa yourself with a marker. It was pretty cool, because normally you are hardly allowed to even touch the designs!
DD: What was your reaction when you saw the sofa all coloured in?
Antoine Peters: ‘Wow!’ When I came up with the idea, I pictured it in my mind, but seeing it for real it was even more intense, because of all these structures and colouring choices people made. The sofa really absorbed all the energy of the visitors.
DD: Your S/S11 collection is accompanied by a music video, can yo tell us more about it?
Antoine Peters: I presented my latest collection with a pop video for which I even signed a record deal. At the moment the video is part of MTV’s playlist. It all started one day when I was watching MTV and saw Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue and started guessing which designers had created their outfits. Today’s videos look indeed like fashion shows. I liked the concept of turning around this idea, creating my own song and music video – and even taking care of the vocals – as a fashion designer! So I came up with the idea for a 2D presentation that also questioned the exclusivity of fashion presentations and the purpose of traditional catwalk shows while tackling also another issue, the influence, speed and reach of the Internet and of blogs.
The concept behind the video is very simple: the world is getting flatter and flatter, smaller and smaller and everything is therefore possible, even a fashion designer creating a pop song and video. The song and collection are about optimism and believing in yourself since fashion for me is like a party and you should feel good by wearing the clothes you wear or by seeing others in interesting, pretty or crazy clothes. Design-wise the main themes for the collection are presented with a colouring page-like print portraying the actual wearer of my clothes transformed into ‘flat’ 2D pin-ups.
DD: Do you think that in future you may work on further interior design projects?
Antoine Peters: For sure! For me fashion and design are two sides of the same coin and bring happiness into the world, they kick away negativity. Through my designs I try to combine casual and sophisticated elements, creating a new form of elegance, but my main aim remains bringing a smile to people’s faces.