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To strike upon truly original creative insight is to look in the most unexpected of places. The new ‘Oxydation’ Fabric – a fresh offering by Jean Paul Gaultier for Lelievre Paris – was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal’s spring trend hot list The Off Duty 50. Distributed exclusively by STARK in the U.S., it is perhaps the most perfect example of unconventional inspiration.
“Jean Paul Gaultier is a fashion icon who takes inspiration from the street to his designs for fashion and home design. We're thrilled to represent his new fabric collection for Lelievre," said Chad Stark of the partnership and this new product.
Beauty In Imperfection
The hallmark of creative innovation is a willingness to see beauty not only in the unconventional; but in the genuinely unappealing. Rust is hardly cited as any kind of muse, let alone seen as artful. And yet in the hands of Gaultier and his team, the vision becomes not only clear, but one might even say obvious. The fabric shines with verdigris – the word itself a poetic invocation of the industrial – the bluish-green patina that signals oxidation has taken place.
“I have always wanted to show that we can find beauty anywhere. There is not one kind of beauty but many kinds. Seeing an oxidized surface inspired me to do this print and show the beauty that can be found in something that we do not consider perfect.” - Jean Paul Gaultier
The Origin of Oxydation
To find out more about what actually transpired to bring this unique design to life, we got in touch with Ingrid Lager, one of the Lelievre creative designers who worked on the project with the Jean Paul Gaultier design team. “The design for this fabric has its origins in pieces of oxidized copper and nails found by Jean Paul Gaultier in the 1980s,” Ingrid stated. At that time, the boutique was wholly decorated in shades of verdigris, as well as other elements inspired by the writing of Jules Verne, like decorative portholes built into the flooring.
Visual inspiration from the effects of time and weather on surfaces had already been reimagined in the Jean Paul Gaultier canon, so it felt natural to return to the image of oxidized metal for a fabric collection now. Ingrid added that “the colors have been revitalized through the introduction of luminous tints of orange and yellow.” The beauty of the imperfections remains while presenting a freshness as yet untapped.
Designing with Oxydation
Current printing technology has also enabled the fabric to appear textural and dimensional As a result, the ‘Oxydation’ fabric is delicate yet resilient, just as applicable on intensively used seating as it is on decorative chairs.
“Oxydation fabric is particularly interesting because it presents what is normally a hard surface – oxidized metal – on a very soft, brushed cotton.” - Chad Stark
On a purely guttural level, when considering the spaces in which to use Oxydation fabric, Ingrid pointed out that it ultimately comes down to – as they say in French – a coup de cœur, or falling passionately in love.
Whether it’s the colors, textures, or unconventional natural elements brought to a room, it’s not difficult to see how one could fall passionately in love with the unique character of ‘Oxydation’ fabric.
“There is a surprise element which touches the senses. We cannot be indifferent. It provokes a reaction in all who see the design.” - Ingrid
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