The House of Patterns
Renowned for his use of collage, Pierre-Louis Mascia seamlessly weaves a wide variety of inspiration onto his textiles; collating tales and visuals from around the world to create intricate, one-of-a-kind patterns which he prints across his pieces. The moodboard for his most recent collection is an introspective trip comprising the designer’s diverse thoughts and interests: Kim Jung-man’s photography expressing feelings of isolation; Jean Luc Favero ink drawings on recycled paper; Ry Cooder’s guitar music; Europe as a geographic and mythologic place; the French word “bienveillance”.
The richness of Mascia’s pieces can be attributed to his flair for selecting, distilling and deploying a vast and disparate pool of materials into a single garment and therefore collection; setting it apart from the work of other designers whose collections typically centre around a distinguished theme or small handful of corresponding tropes.
His background as an illustrator and a fashion art director cum consultant for brands like Robert Clergerie and Premiere Classe is not only a reflection of his proficiency, but has allowed him to develop and refine his sensibilities. But the opportunity to set out on his own and establish his personal vision came about when he met Matteo Uliassi, CEO of Achille Pinto, a textiles developer in Italy, who helped Mascia create a collection of scarves and bring the Pierre-Louis Mascia brand into fruition in 2007. Since then, the brand is steadily evolving into a world of collectibles, expanding from a modest accessory line to a comprehensive lifestyle brand including ready-to-wear and home-wear.
Ahead of his pop-up, happening at Hilton Hotel from August 6 to September 2, the designer speaks with us about his process, his influences and his ideal collaboration.
Club21 Pierre-Louis Mascia
Each of your collections feature a library of various inspirations. What is your strategy for narrowing your inspiration for the different prints?
It is exactly like that: a library full of info and images that need to be edited to end up in a pattern for a Pierre-Louis Mascia collection. When I work on a collection, it is like having a big wardrobe full of drawers: you need to choose which drawer to open and which elements to use in order to create a balance between shapes, colours and styles to start the collection. I would not call it a strategy but it is an instinct, dictated by what you know and years of practice in your job. As a creative director, you learn to select and edit from an awfully large amount of data.
Is there a difference in your approach to designing for scarves and ready to wear versus designing for homeware?
Actually, it is the same process. I carefully plan the pattern collection and then I apply them to the fabric and this can be cotton, denim, the cloth for a sofa cover and silk for a scarf. I just pay attention to the shape and the mood I need to achieve at the end.
For the Fall/Winter 2019 collection, you’ve gone back to drawing again. What impact did this have on the creative process?
I see myself as a dessinateur, someone that draws and sketches on paper more than a fashion designer, creating based on trends. Both creative projects have the same approach as they both start from the gesture of the hand and for me it is like a return to the basics. I strongly believe that drawing is an activity that can really help you grow and provide relief to the world, allowing it to retrieve its third dimension, especially after so many years of simply checking Instagram, looking at digital pictures that have lost their significance.
Do you have other influences apart from art and artists? Travel? Architecture?
Life inspires me, and everything I do. Even the dullest things like buying coffee can inspire me. Everything I see on the streets, and then of course art and music, literature and vintage clothing, antique hunting and flea markets in small villages near Toulouse, where I work and live. The creative process is not meant to be done indoors, you have to go outside and smell the roses.
You have mentioned that putting a look together typically comes from the guts. But, we’re curious to know what effect your upbringing has on your aesthetic sensibilities.
When I put a look together I think of myself, what I would wear every morning and then I try, as my collections are very colorful and very decorated, to mix them and think of prints in a classic way, adding harmony to it all. I have a clear idea of what I want in a Pierre-Louis Mascia look. Since I was a small child, I’ve had a clear idea of my look. I loved colorful knitwear and long striped scarves – I’ve loved scarves since forever – and since then I have a clear mind of what works and what doesn’t.
Who would be your ideal collaborator? Feel free to name one or as many as you wish.
Collaboration starts from a mutual desire, it is like love. I remember Serge Lutens collaborating with Shiseido, and when I think of a collaboration, I dream about that kind of creative relation – so inspiring and evocative. Doing make up or perfumes or even jewellery could be a cool future collaboration for the brand. My obsession now could be a collaboration with the English label Holland & Holland. As for homewear, we just signed a licence contract with the French brand “Elitis” that produces wallpapers and home decorations and the first collection is due at the next Milan Design Week.
Visit the Pierre-Louis Mascia pop-up, featuring accessories, home-wear and ready-to-wear from the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection. Plus, the opportunity to pre-order items from the upcoming Spring/Summer 2020 collection.
Club 21 x Pierre-Louis Mascia Pop-Up
August 6 - September 2, 2019
Hilton Hotel Singapore
#01-19/20, 581 Orchard Road, Singapore 238883