After working for Christian Dior and Balenciaga in Paris Anaïs Guery moved to London and New York. This young French designer then returned to Paris for Cacharel and in 2014 created her own maison to combine heritage of Couture and crafts.
Indigo blue is her signature colour. To discover why Guery is so fascinated by Indigo, I met her in her atelier in Paris.
How would you describe yourself as an artist/a fashion designer/an artisan …?
I would say I am dedicated to textile experimentation.
Shape-wise, I identify myself as a couturier who is evolving between craftsmanship and design, what is to say between tradition and creation.
Surface-wise, I have developed my Indigo dyeing process almost as a painter who would research on emotions provoked by color, shades and textures, a result that would speak to our inner feeling of beauty..
Finally , I often consider myself as a decorator willing to create a whole atmosphere by my design practice.
How did your background in fashion design influenced you for this adventure ?
My first approach of fashion was through art and traditional garments and crafts. I spent a lot of time in libraries to gather ideas of details, shapes, fabrics, colors.
I have always been considering fashion as an intangible core around what different mediums are gravitating to build an idea, an impression.
As far as I remember, I have always thought of garments in a very abstract and poetic way, not really link to a present or a future, but much more to an immutable patrimony.
Couture speaks to my rational quest for epure.
For me Fashion is the art of combining textile with body structure and very soul : proportions, lines and movement become a dancing and incarnated composition.
What fascinates you about indigo?
Indigo is a pigment born from a vegetal process : both nature and humanity are involved in its essence. It is said that you can get up to 40 something different shades, so the color becomes alive, bringing light or darkness, faded or bright. With the same gestures, the same vat, and the same textile, you will never get the same blue..
Back to my studies, Photography was fascinating to me. The power of time and light and the alchemy of print was a kind of ceremony.
Younger I had also been taught raku ceramic, where fire, water and wood were key variables.
Designing hand in hand with the elements and accepting to partly loose control is what drives me to experiment with the indigo dye which is so much linked to the atmosphere – air, water, temperature, humidity are calling the tune.
Do you associate any symbol with blue?
Blue is a kind of base to me.
In my designs, even before starting working with natural indigo,I have always used blue in many shades.. It has always been evocative of origins to me.
Between sky and sea, air and water, linked to vital elements again and so probably a symbol of pure and absolute beauty.
Is the impact of your work on society something you are concerned about?
I started working on my own project because I was not feeling concerned about the way classical fashion system works.
Creating something new that kind of erases what you just achieved before is not stimulating to me. What I am moved by is much more time proof and universal.
Things that last longer takes longer to create and produce, so you have to get yourself into a new logic.
My inspirations are also kind of immutable.
They evolve quietly, in the details.