The former right-hands to Raf Simons merge pieces from their archive collections.
From 20s Lanvin ‘Aztec’ dresses to jazz-age Detroit clown suits; from 1986’s Gaultier ‘Constructivist’ collection back to 40s war- time ‘Make Do and Mend’ garments… It is a peculiar story of fashion that the designers Pieter Mulier and Matthieu Blazy tell in their clothing collection. Although this is not a “collection” in the usual fashion sense of the word. Rather, it’s more an idiosyncratic art collection that the pair have “curated” over the last decade— that art just happens to be clothing.
“It’s a little story about a personal archive by Matthieu and me,” shrugs Pieter Mulier. He would never describe what the two have been collecting over the past decade in a bombastic way. Neither would he vaunt the pair’s first foray into styling together. “The way we collect is not for the value, but for the amazing story behind the object—its pedigree,” explains Matthieu Blazy. “It is our own history of fashion.”
The pair were encouraged to shoot the collection by their close friend, the photographer Pierre Debusschere. In something of a fit of pique, Mulier had thought he might want to be rid of his archive. “It’s just so much baggage—literally!” he says. “But when I really went through it—for 10 days—I was shocked at what I had. It was nice to discover all this stuff again; things that were in a bag, under a box, under a bag….”
What the shoot does betray are clues to the tastes and working processes of Mulier and Blazy individually as designers—the telltale signs of what they have contributed at various fashion houses over the years are there for all to see. Blazy and Mulier are undoubtedly part of the next generation of truly significant designers that will emerge over the next few years, with each recently making their way out of the shadows of their roles at respective houses. Pieter Mulier was Raf Simons’ right-hand man at Dior from 2012 to 2015, while Matthieu Blazy was the head designer of the Margiela Artisanal collection from 2012 to 2015. They also happen to be a couple, with a relationship that has spanned the past decade. The story of the archive could be seen to be as much the story of a romance with its own fashion history—the pair first met when they were both working for Raf Simons on his eponymous label.
“We like clothes that are worn and used,” explains Blazy. “There is nothing more boring than something not worn—it’s just deadstock. My job at Margiela was the first one I had where I could use my passion for vintage clothing and be completely honest about it. I love vintage because you have the idea of something very unique, often unbranded and completely emotional. Pieter has an ability to just look at things and instantly know—he does not look for labels but for something with a soul.”
This article first appeared in Document’s Fall/Winter 2015 issue.
Make-Up Artist Christine Corbel at Management Artists. Hair Stylist Tomohiro Ohashi at Management Artists. Models Estella Boersma at Viva Model Management, Lemmie Van Den Berg at Rebel Management, Ratner Yuliia at Elite Models, Sora Choi at Wilhelmina Models, and Vera Van Erp at Next Models. Photographer 1st Assistant Samuel Hearn. Photographer 2nd Assistant Louis-Philippe Beauduin. Digital Operator Jean-Marie Binet at DigitArtParis. Fashion Assistant Rosalinde Heerkens. Hair Assistant Sayaka Otama. Casting Director Samuel Ellis, Scheinbar Piergiorgio Del Moro at DM Casting. Retouching Ismaël Moumin at 254FOREST. Design Pierre Daras at 254FOREST and Léa Wolf. Color proofing Olivier Dengis at Mistral. Executive Producer Ziggy Le Vin. Art+Commerce Film Producer Rebecca Cuglietta. Shot at 254FOREST Studio, Brussels.