Casa Brutus, PRADA Invites / Herzog & de Meuron: Language Restraint
Interview Jacques Herzog, May 2018
Q-1: What characteristics did you find as a result of researching Prada's nylon fabric?
Jacques Herzog: The material was given: black nylon. Our impulse was to use that typical Prada fabric but transform it, to reveal other qualities than just the deep ‘blackness’ that it is known for. We described all our intentions and thoughts around our design proposal in a statement called "Language Restraint”.
Q-2: What was the reason you referred to the approach on surface (such as printing paintings/photography or covering with stones) that was done in your early architectural work for designing fashion items?
JH: Printing is only ONE of many tools we use in architecture – and it’s a relatively modest one! But true, we have also used it provocatively in some of our projects since it has been criminalized and removed from the world of architecture because it has been considered as something banal, cheap and superficial. Printing is part of our interest in the world of materials. Applying it on concrete or plastic or wood transformed these materials into something new and unexpected. Some materials suddenly seemed like textiles even if they were cold and hard. This transformative process is what we are so keen to reach with our material research! Our "Language Restraint" project for PRADA can be seen within that context.
Q-3: This question is regarding the inter-relationship between the shirt, T-shirt, and coat. Why did you decide to print negative and positive image of the same texts on the shirt and the T-shirt? And why did you print photography of bodies, the element existing in the innermost, only on the inside of the coat, which covers the shirt and T-shirt?
JH: Language, words, entire passages as ornamental tattoos? As mentioned above, text is perceived as design, pattern, or decoration, comparable to the once potent symbols and signs, now tattooed onto human bodies without number. This we express with the layering of the items: the body tattoos rub off on the inside of the clothing. The prints on black Nylon (as well as the embossed buttons) are remindful of archaeological fragments and finds. They express transience and expiry of whatever we believe will stay forever. The prints of the bodies became a logical extension of that approach.
Q-4: What kind of Prada nylon items do you have?
JH: Black nylon is a material that Prada put into fashion many years ago and combined it with many other materials – at a time when no one else combined such foreign and technical materials with the idea of noble elegance. This was the expression of a new, intellectually influenced attitude in the fashion world. Maybe it could be called an iconoclastic attitude. I enjoy wearing them in various forms and shapes, from bags to jackets to coats…
Q-5: For what kind of occasion would you use the item you designed for this project?
JH: I look forward to wear the shirt on different occasions. The fact that the prints are hidden on the inside and not instantly visible allows one to wear these items as an unexpected accessory.
IMAGES SOURCE: Casa BRUTUS No. 220, July 2018, Life Design Magazine.
Tokyo, MAGAZINE HOUSE Co. Ltd.
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