MONCLER X GREG LAUREN - The Summit of All Contradictions

MONCLER X GREG LAUREN - The Summit of All Contradictions - LECLAIREUR

Los Angeles rises to the top. Two worlds meet, to combine the functional and the spiritual. Moncler has found, in Greg Laurenthe perfect - and unexpected - playmate. Play and work become one: in the hands of the American designer, the classic down jacket takes on a new dimension, finds a new soul.

A new opportunity for us to dive into the poetic spirit of Greg Laurenwho has always been able to share his vision and tell the story in the manner of the great storytellers: with heart and passion.

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Greg Lauren and Moncler... How did the idea for this collaboration come about?

GL: When they contacted me, they simply said "Greg, we'd like to work with you". The project was still non-existent, what interested them was my agreement in principle. I was obviously thrilled. My mind immediately started to race. I approached the project as one of my own: what does Moncler represent to me? The heritage of a particular craftsmanship, rich in history and years spent producing high quality products, certainly, where function and performance were paramount before becoming symbols of pure inspiration. It is this part that particularly speaks to me. Moncler down jackets are worn all over the world. Every time I'm in Paris, I see entire families wrapped up in their Moncler jackets with style.

It was such a diverse playground. It took deconstructing those bright blue and red jackets, assembled with precision, skill and craftsmanship. That's just how I work. Disassembling them, taking them apart was a lot of fun. As well as mixing them with fabrics that are dear to me - damaged military canvas, worn denim - that have a history, a soul.

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How does a collaboration with Moncler fit into your artistic direction, as you live in sunny California?

GL: In my last collections, I was already exploring the idea of sunny California crossed by autumn, of the experience you have at the beach in winter, when it's cold. It was an opportunity for me to discover the beach and Malibu in January... It's nice, in a different way, and it's a change from the idea of Los Angeles and the Pacific Coast under a bright sun. California goes much further than a Beach Boys song.

What characterizes me, and has been my upbringing, in terms of clothing is this idea that clothing, more than ever, opens the door to a new form of freedom of expression. Not from a creative point of view, but literally. The identity you want to assume, at any given moment... the way you want to be perceived by the world... All of that is defined by the clothes you wear on your back when you leave home. This idea is with me all the time.

My lifestyle in L.A., as well as my creative life, is filled with these experiments around representation through clothing. In California - which has outgrown its restrictive status as the epicenter of film, the limits and boundaries are what you define, and stop at your ability to go beyond them. Every character, every archetype you project yourself into, is a carte blanche to discover. In Los Angeles, people travel here and there, only to return, or they come from all over the world and end up in Los Angeles. It's a very futuristic melting pot, compared to New York, where the mix is more historical, in a way.

Working with Moncler has been great: I love incongruous mixes, I love combining characters and juxtaposing materials that shouldn't coexist. Putting together elements that shouldn't go together, and seeing them create a story, is an essential aspect of my work. It's my favorite thing to do in my collections.

 

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How did the collection come to life in the studio? And how does a collector's collection turn into a 200-piece capsule?

Some pieces didn't end up in the capsule, but were incorporated into the presentation. It's very exciting to work on an idea that often seems unusual to others, when it seems so natural and obvious to me, and to have the satisfaction of seeing that idea come to fruition. I couldn't imagine it any other way. There is something magical about letting the artistic take over. When I look at a Moncler jacket, and before I even touch it, I know what it would look like made with my fabrics. So we tried many combinations.

The first time I opened a jacket, feathers flew everywhere in the studio. My team and I had to figure out how to put this high-tech nylon - which is as strong as it is light - together with much heavier fabric. We felt like musicians practicing the same piece over and over again. The first few times it doesn't work, you think it's never going to work, and then suddenly it's perfect. The first time I had the blue Maya in my hands, one of Moncler's most iconic pieces, I put it on my table as I usually do, and started combining it with pieces of military duffle bag, adding rustic rivets next to their immaculate metal pieces - Moncler jackets are perfect and indestructible, down to the last detail. Instantly, it made sense, because whether it worked or not, whether people understood or not, the contradictions thrilled me artistically... The smooth, shiny fabric, the matte black pieces, next to the canvas covered in hand lettering, dating back to World War II, and the rusty rivets... Suddenly, it felt like home. I've spent my career mixing things that aren't supposed to be mixed. So the Moncler proposal was an obvious choice.

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Throughout your career, you have worked with a wide variety of materials, from paper to military surplus... What was the most surprising challenge of this collaboration, or its most unexpected gift?

Most Moncler collaborations start from someone's point of view: an artist lends their aesthetic to a pre-existing format, or to pieces that will be made as usual, but in a different color scheme. That's why I really like what Thom Browne has done with Moncler - he's managed to change the tone of the conversation.

What I always find amazing is when you take something with a very clean, very refined character and break it down to mix it with something more... I miss the proper term, but when I look at pieces of fabric that are overflowing with history, I feel in my heart, in my gut, even, that there is a connection that is made, and that seems to touch people. And that's exactly what happened here. I took a very beautiful product, which is aimed at a specific audience, and allowed it to open up to another world and express something new. The reaction of people to the presentation was important, it was people of all genders and backgrounds. Everyone, regardless of background, was excited about the collection. That's the real gift.

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Do you have any specific memories related to snow or winter?

Snow in New York is something unique. For as long as I can remember, I've been playing and making angels in the snow in Central Park, in a sort of beautiful child's winter coat. And since memories sometimes get mixed up with photos, I have this image in my head of my dad walking me in a stroller. Or other images of him or my mother carrying me in front of the snowy park, all bundled up. When I think of my childhood and the snow, that's what comes back.

 

Reach new heights with the collaboration of Moncler and Greg Lauren at Leclaireur Hérold.

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