UAE: Hailed as a fashion world genius, his delightful way with embellishment and extraordinary gift for colour, Christian Lacroix has designed a furniture collection for Italian mosaic manufacturer, SICIS.
The collection includes 12 seats, four lamps and five tables and poufs. Each product is available in a variety of fabrics and leathers embellished by lace, passementerie, studs and embroidery.
Inspired by the history of mosaics in Ravenna, Italy, in connection with the Byzantine Empress Theodora, Lacroix said he was reminded of Arles, his hometown renowned for its Roman tiles and antiquities in designing the pieces.
“Having the privilege of being brought up between monuments, museums and 17th century houses, all well-steeped in the history of art, gave me the confidence that everything could be mixed up, particularly the most extreme styles such as baroque, neo-classical, post-modern, kitsch and pop,” he said.
However, in regard to the furniture, Lacroix wanted comfort to be the key consideration and tried to find contemporary shapes, designing them to be comfortable and pure in line, including curves, details and contours, and drawing inspiration from a catalogue of timeless styles. As well as keeping the mosaic details to a minimum.
“Having designed costumes, I am now involved in every day designs like hotels, cinemas, tramways and, more recently, furniture. The juxtaposition of intricate work and artisanal incrustations evokes exactly what I did in Haute Couture.
What appeals to me when working with SICIS is the way in which we can create the trompe l’oeil effect or a treasure’s richness, or a miniature’s complexity or the purity of a metallic tint achieved via tiny stone and glass splinters,” he added.
The designer said he comes from a region where the Greeks left the place to the Romans,where, in spite of all the invasions and bombardments, he can still see all the layers of history dating back to prehistoric times.
“In Arles, I always had the impression that the present and past lived side-by side. It gave me the idea that we can mix everything even the most extreme or paradoxical styles. It’s hard not to think of cross-breeding, patchwork and therefore mosaics,” said Lacroix.
Theodora, the Byzantine Empress, is his muse because she is the icon and symbol of Ravenna.
Lacroix added with the furniture collection, the mosaic work is kept to a minimum otherwise, it would look too heavy-handed and will be popular with people in the GCC because his approach towards the colours and decoration is taken from the Latin era, which is close to the Middle East taste for exuberant, deluxe, opulent environment with rich patterns, gilded details and operatic atmosphere.