Maison Kitsuné, the French lifestyle brand successfully fusing music and fashion, have added another creative layer onto their A/W11 collection by collaborating with artist Jean-Philippe Delhomme on a series of illustrations. Having worked together on previous projects, there's a mutual respect and familiarity between Kitsuné head honchos Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki and the "culture chronicler".
The result is a collection of drawings - some of which are here shown exclusively to Dazed Digital - showcasing the characteristic Kitsuné style, with added touches of Delhomme's dry and witty observations. The result is the perfect match between a Kitsuné's smart yet edgy clothes and the artist's ability to tell a long story in very little time and just a few paint brushes and a caption...
Dazed Digital: How did the Maison Kitsuné collaboration come about?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: Gildas called me one day from Paris as I was living in NY. I thought he had a good voice, and liked his frankness. I was already aware of what they were doing (had even bought a jacket before) and thought it would be fun to collaborate. I like the name "Kitsuné", and the fact they are doing music, not just clothes.
DD: What inspired you?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: I need to sense some humor and distance in the way people pursue their own projects, even more when it is a business, and that was the case. I think clothes should be well crafted, but they should never be taken too seriously by those who designed them, and even more by those who wear them. We become characters based on the clothes we wear, and when we want to be taken seriously, it opens on many funny situations.
I like also the fact that Maison Kitsuné's clothes have a certain classic style, a slightly ironic twisted bourgeois. And it stands for his Parisian identity when everybody wants to be contemporary Americana.
As the author of the blog unknownhipster.com, it always makes me smile when I see the word "Parisien" written on a tee-shirt: it's like defying the Williamsburg dude.
DD: Did you write the captions as well?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: Yes, I'm also a writer. Besides my illustrated books, I've been publishing novels in French, and sometimes write satirical articles for French GQ, or French Architecture Digest. The captions are part of the drawing, although I sometimes do speechless drawings.
DD: What kind of situations are you trying to catch; absurd, funny, everyday, extreme etc?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: I like the situations which are almost normal, but pushed a little forward, so they reveal some absurdity. Failed pretentiousness, and delusion are always a good theme. And I'm always drawn to draw girls who suggest a slightly crazy, and uncompromising, part.
DD: What is it with the Maison Kitsuné aesthetic that attracts you?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: As told above, this distanced "classic" style, with an understated humor. And then, well, you can really wear them: you can take the subway without screaming rich asshole (although you are), or go to an exclusive event without being refused at the door (although you should).
DD: Have you worked with many fashion brands before?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: I have been doing several advertising campaigns for Barneys New York in the 90's, and currently collaborate with Le Bon Marché in Paris and Shinsegae department store in Seoul.
DD: If you could chose a piece from the Maison Kitsuné AW11 collection, what would it be?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: The yellow dress for my wife. Masaya gave me the plaid shirt which I did on one of the ads. And I have some great jackets that I wear all the time.
DD: What's next for you?
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: Publishing the Unknown Hipster book...
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