Haute couture meets home textiles

Louis Gérin

Louis Gérin founded the high-grade ‘Les Garçons Paris’ fashion label with Grégory Lamaud. Additionally, the two designers run the 2G2L Fashion Design and Consulting agency, and contribute to the Heimtextil Trendtable as new members. We spoke with Louis Gérin about the influence of fashion on home textiles and sustainability in the textile sector and discussed the definition of fashion.

How does fashion influence the world of home textiles?

The influence is not direct via designs or colours. It is rather the esprit and charm of French prêt-à-porter fashions that influence the international design scene, especially in the decoration segment. I would even go so far as to say it is the personal style and charisma of the individual designers that represent the source of inspiration in this case. From my point of view, it is currently a somewhat eccentric style that we call ‘bobo’, which stands for bourgeois-bohème. And you can see this not only in Paris but also in London, New York and the Scandinavian countries.

Haute couture and home textiles – where do they overlap?

These two cosmoses come into contact, especially in the contract sphere. Many hotels commission renowned fashion designers to create their interior furnishings and give the establishment its own personal style. Naturally, it is a powerful distinguishing feature if a Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld or Christian Lacroix lends his signature to a hotel. In this way, design comes to consumers as ‘prêt-à-porter’ and gives them an idea of how they could furnish their own homes.

What does ‘modern’ mean for you personally?

Modern is an international luxury standard. If you ask me about the current character of modern design, I would say it is a blend of eccentricity and historicism. Modern is the reinterpretation of styles and handicraft technique with new and up-to-date materials – you could call it a ‘re-technique’. The demand for credible sustainability in the textile industry, the critical view of consumption and the trend to recycling – all of this is also modern. A global critical awareness of excess consumption is also an aspect of the current zeitgeist.

Spring, summer, autumn and winter: for all seasons, we buy new clothes or decorative articles – and that although we have everything from the previous season. In many cases, we consume more than necessary. As a fashion designer, how do you see this situation?

I have given this subject a lot of thought. We encounter it frequently – in discussions with colleagues or representatives of completely different sectors and disciplines. As a fashion designer, I am naturally divided about this issue. After all, it is my job to develop and design a continuous series of new things. Unfortunately, people’s desire for perpetual consumption and financial wealth is based on a misconception. This attitude to life is a dead end that will destroy the world’s natural resources. Chemical dyes, plastic, synthetics, poisonous substances in textile manufacturing and propellant gas – all are the result of an artificial concept – the concept of ‘monetary value’. And, in my opinion, it is no longer modern.

How can the demand for sustainability in the fashion world best be implemented?

We should vouch for the traditional values of society and mankind. They are love, sharing, generosity, respect and veracity. Only in this way can we perhaps put a stop or a brake on the massacre our planet is suffering at present. Designers, stylists or artists in general can transmit a message via their work. They cannot force their opinion on the recipients. Art should not be political, religious or socially critical. That doesn’t work. This would be an abuse of creativity. However, we designers can call for people to redefine the purpose of life or motivate them to seek another purpose other than consumption.

Kerstin Böhning

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