High end fashion is like the island of Santorini in Greece; it is a beautiful jewel in a land far away, and only accessible with a significant investment of cash. Then I came across the above interview with Isabel Marant from the Wall Street Journal magazine. The interviewer is very good; he notices little details about his subject. He notices the way she cuts open and rolls her cigarettes, and the pleasure she takes in simply being herself.
“I do fashion because I’m happy when somebody gets joy from a new garment. There is a magic side to this.”
What is particular to Marant is the deliberate choices she makes to balance between two edges of a spectrum. On the one hand, Marant is a high end fashion label. On the other, she herself embraces a low profile way of life. She notes, “When people meet me, they think this cannot be her, because I look like a bum.” It’s interesting how despite being immersed in the fashion industry, she can hold herself separate from it, and embrace a separate set of standards for herself that are uniquely and entirely her own.
“If you have a nice house outside of Paris…you have to fix the heater or the roof is broken. I don’t need that. On weekends I want to empty my head and be surrounded by green nature and breathe. I need balance.”
So on weekends, she leaves for a cabin in Fountainebleau outside of Paris with no running water or electricity, and this is the other side to being a fashion designer for her: commuting from city to nature and back again. This is her balance. This is what she needs to create.
It’s not too far of a reach to say compare writing to design. The goals are the same: the creation of joy. There is alchemy in both.