02 / 10 / 2012
Dans l’univers de Perrine et Mathilde
Today we are going to talk shop again, but this time its a bit different. I recently had the pleasure of meeting two designers: Perrine (Désaccord) and Mathilde (Les Petits Bohêmes). They both work in textiles, but they dont make clothes. They use fabrics to make original, poetic and offbeat designs. Sometimes they work individually, but for the most part they work as a duo.
In fact, they have just completed a job together designing the new window display for our Sessùn boutique in the rue de Charonne in Paris. So I took the opportunity to ask them a couple of questions about where they got their inspiration from as well as their creative pasts.
Mathilde's universe : les petits bohêmes sur Big Cartel, Les petits bohêmes sur Blogspot.
Perrine's universe: Curiosités en tissu, Désaccord sur Big Cartel.
Hello Perrine and Mathilde! Lets start at the beginning, tell us who you are!
We are 32 year old Mathilde and 31-year old Perrine. We both live near Lille in the north of France.One of us is mad on antiques and created her own online store for children (vintage pieces and one-offs from the four corners of the globe). The other makes objects out of fabric as well as bits of furniture for children and adults alike!
Describe how you got to where you are. What have been the key stages in your artistic careers?
Perrine : I avoided the traditional route and instead went to study art and design in Belgium, which enabled me to develop my creativity and my knowledge of art. I really enjoyed it but was brought back to reality with my first job as a stylist for a catalogue company. I then became a stylist for the shoots but lost my job during cutbacks. This enabled me to focus on creating objects that I continue to develop.At the moment Im really enjoying myself what with styling photographs, window displays and sewing!
Mathilde : I studied law for four years before giving it all up and starting over as a fashion stylist in Belgium (like Perrine). I started out by selling one-off pieces that I made using vintage clothes in the Lille area. Then when I had my two children I naturally moved into kids stuff.
What is your relationship with Sessùn?
Before we met Emma, we both used to buy a couple of Sessùn pieces each season. We were lucky enough to have a Sessùn boutique just round the corner from where we live. We always found the Sessùn collection incredibly fresh, a touch retro and ultra-feminine.When Emma got in contact with us we were really flattered that she had seen our work.Meeting Emma was fantastic. But it was also a huge challenge as her pieces are always impeccable and it was our job was to add our own personal touch with her collection in mind.
How would you describe your designs?
Mathilde : They are designs but also they are sometimes just simple, unique ideas that are always poetically inspired.
Perrine : I am very meticulous. I also aim for my designs to be unique objects.
What materials do you work with? And which is you favourite?
Mathilde : I love wood and metal. I love the finishes you get when you take off layers of old paint. I also enjoy re-dyeing old pieces of fabric.
Perrine : I mainly work with pieces of material, as well as wool and fabrics that I embroider to give volume and character.
How do you work? Where do you look for ideas and inspiration? Tell us about your inspiration.
Perrine : I find some inspiration every day, whether from people around me or things I see. An idea can come out of nowhere, but at the same time I can go for a day or two with no new ideas at all. My main sources of inspiration are nature, stories, the theatre, and flea markets where I get loads of ideas.
Mathilde : I regularly go to flea markets and car boot sales to find objects that I put aside until an idea pops into my head. I spend a lot of time looking at blogs, which help me to stay open-minded. I also look through magazines and books on art and design to get new ideas.
What is your favourite piece you have made since you started out, and why?
Theres not really one piece in particular, but more of an environment that we created together. Les Petits Bohemes and Desaccord projects are both poetic and offbeat and unlike anything you normally see. They represent our revised vintage style that is very much our own.
What is your average day like? What does your workplace look like?
Perrine : I work from my little workshop in one of the rooms in my house. I spend my whole day in there. When I run out of ideas, I go and have a wander round the city to see what I can find.
Mathilde : Once I have dropped the children off at school, I head for my workshop to strip, sand and paint whatever I found that weekend. I usually spend the afternoon putting things online, or mailing stuff out, but sometimes I also take photos or do some set design. My workshop is a bit of a mess; its full of bits of furniture, fabric and old objects.
What did you dream of being when you were children?
Perrine : A vet… But now I make animals out of fabric. Instead of operating on them, I re-design them!
Mathilde : When I was little I wanted to be an archaeologist like lots of little girls did.
What are you working on at the moment?
A design for our new Alice in Wonderland series, as well as a project for a boutique / showroom near Lille.