One of the most exciting moments of fashion week is receiving an invitation for a show. They are varied, some more exciting than others; some so brilliant that its recipient is keen to keep hold of it after the season has ended. A fine example is the Givenchy invitations that M/M (Paris) have designed for the house for almost the same time designer Riccardo Tisci has been at the helm. The acclaimed design duo have a longstanding relationship with Tisci and have designed men's and women's ready-to-wear and couture invites including large-scale posters, portfolios with ribbon ties, a printed silk square, a delicate hand-sewn booklet and postage stamps. The intention for M/M always to explore the inspiration of the designer rather than the output.
We would add layers to the images [on the invites], using archive images and some of our illustrations. The men's invitations have always been very consistent comprised of monochrome portraits
This month, M/M (Paris) celebrate their 20th anniversary. Alongside a glorious monograph of their work and an exhibition at Gallery Libby Sellers London, the pair have released The Givenchy Files, a hardback, numbered edition celebrating their designs for the Parisian house.
Dazed Digital: When did you first meet Riccardo Tisci?
M/M (Paris): Our collaborations often happen quite organically. Riccardo really liked our work and visited our studio in spring 2003 to buy a couple of our Alphabet posters. Two years later he was appointed creative director at Givenchy and invited us to work on the invitations.
DD: What was your first invitation?
M/M (Paris): It started originally for the womenswear and we tried to create a proper object for each of the collections. The first was a giant poster on super thin poster that was silk-screened. Then we did a mask, stamps and a bracelet.
DD: With your later invitations, there seems to be more continuity?
M/M (Paris): Three or four seasons ago, we decided to make the invites more consistent, creating photographic prints which would give an insight into Riccardo's vision for the season. We would add layers to the images, using archive images and some of our illustrations. The men's invitations have always been very consistent comprised of monochrome portraits.
DD: How would you describe the working process with Riccardo?
M/M (Paris): For couture, we create large-scale posters and Riccardo provides us with images from the Givenchy archive and we would work with it using layering, printing and colour techniques. With womenswear, he will provide us with his inspirations, key words and themes for the season.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, M/M (Paris) feature as Guest Lovers on AnOther Loves
M to M of M/M (Paris) is published by Thames & Hudson this month. Their exhibition Carpetalogue, 1992-2012 runs at Gallery Libby Sellers from October 10–December 15, 2012
Text by Laura Bradley