Last month I shot the A/W lookbook for Bungalow 8. This post contains: an interview with the designer Mathieu G + all that we did before the shoot – ideating over emails, location scouting, layouting + a preview.
Childhood and growing up
I had a whimsically happy childhood that was spent growing up in the country side in Normandy, France. I loved to dress up as various characters – from historical figures like Louis XIV to some obscure dancer. It was a way of dreaming for me, based on what I was experiencing at that time -a creative outlet to escape the monotony of my environment – which was a very grey, boring country side.
What I wanted to be as a kid, changed a 1000 times. One of my most recurrent dreams was to become a gardener – to grow all the vegetables of the world.
My mother and my grandmother were always supplying me with costumes and garments that they would actually make. After my grand mother expired, it all stopped..so I started to do it myself. And by the time I turned 15, I realized I was really good at cutting clothes. At that time I was thinking more about doing theater costumes because many of my classmates were in to theater and I was somehow drawn to it. My first job was to do some costumes for my friends’ dance shows and performances.
*The first bit reminds me of this film that I watched a few years ago – Ma vie en rose*
Lanvin and YSL
At Lanvin, I was a part of Alber Elbaz’s team & worked in the women’s wear design department. At YSL, I was in the product design/merchandising team. It was all great, I learned a lot…but I left so I could evolve on my own.
Work process and inspirations
My work starts with the body and its geometry. I believe more in shape and cuts than decoration. Working with very detailed, refined techniques and tricks allow me to incorporate comfort in the designs and then it goes beyond geometry..it becomes about understanding how the body moves.
I never really start with a theme, but more with moods. The sense of the collection usually appears to me at the end of the process- like an invisible thread that suddenly surfaces.
I let my daily inspirations express themselves..from what life brings to me, the women and men I meet, to the places I visit. I feel the constant need to evolve in diverse atmospheres, and that is the best way for me to stay curious, and therefore creative.
How is Bombay street fashion different from Paris’?
In sense of style & color I feel Bombay is more creative. It is going out of its codes and is more experimental, while Paris goes more and more uniform.
Relationship with India
For me this is a place where I am constantly evolving as an individual..and also from a business point of view. I think, today, India is growing in a manner that it appeals to a more contemporary way of life while keeping its identity intact. I have been in India for two years…traveled to Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, and Pondicherry.. so far my most favorite part has been South India because of its relaxed and resorty mood. I don’t know much Hindi unfortunately, but a sentence I like and can say is: Mai sabse gora hoon is gaon ka(I’m the whitest guy of this village).
Read a two year old article on Mathieu’s association with Bungalow 8 here.
Preeti is wearing clothes from the collection. Even though this ensemble does not feature in the final selection the way it is here..but well..I like it.
With the last photo being our rough reference, we ended the day deciding we’ll shoot indoors.
But things changed – like they always do – as we exchanged more ideas and emails. Finally these images taken from Nidhi’s blog became our references for the shoot.
More trial shots. This, I think, is the bedroom lit by the 4p.m. light at Maithili’s house. The first two shots are supposed to be the opening and closing pages of the book, followed by roughly how each layout would look + photos of elements taken from the room.
Nidhi’s polka jacket is from the rack on Hill road, Grey t-shirt is from an export surplus store in Pune, satin pants from Forever New, and brogues from a leather export surplus store in Chennai.
Read more about Nidhi here.
A quick preview of the collection.
Autumn is already over. I hope to put rest of the photos up before the winter ends.