Nouvelle Affaire is a boutique which is a bit like an art gallery. It is a laboratory of experimentation where artists and designers are invited through the curation of Pascal Humbert and Catherine Traoré to collaborate on new affaires. It was born from the association between designers Pascal Humbert and Catherine Traoré in June 2009.
Initially, they designed uniforms for Philippe Starck for the hotel SLS in Los Angeles. They created a new aesthetic vision for these garments when Philippe Starck decided he wanted to combine his interior designs with that of the staff uniforms. The boutique is located in 5 rue Debelleyme, a picturesque small street in Le Marais in Paris. They were recently in the 29th international fashion and photography festival at Hyères and they exhibited their collaborations with the artists Marianne Maric and Baptiste Debombourg. We met up with Pascal and had a closer insight to what they are about.
The 80s and 90s were important and fascinating. It’ s when our interest in fashion and clothing started. Azzedine Alaïa, Comme des Garçons wowed the fashion world, it was a period of great freedom. It was amazing to see how women became addicted to their creations and would wear them from head to toe. Because of their interest in historical costume, they managed to create clothes that were new and contemporary, clothes that people wanted to have and to wear.
Surrealism seems to be an important movement in the world of fashion with figures such as Schiaparelli and the artists with whom she collaborated. Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons or Helmut Lang offered a new take on the movement at a later date. Our proposal is Nouvelle Affair. We are fascinated by women, what makes people turn to look at them, their allure, their personality, their humour, a sincerity and magic beyond the clothing.
The clothes are made in limited edition by crafts people, in order to keep the exclusivity for the shop. We work with small Parisian and French workshops, as well as artists. A way of sharing what we consider an adventure.
Vivienne Westwood's shop Sex, which was later called World's End, in London, was somewhere unavoidable for us. Nouvelle Affaire exists since six years ago, it was necessary for us to create our universe and to make it public and we have done so with this space we created three years ago. A laboratory, a theatre where the clothes are accompanied by objects, accessories, music and by the color of the pink decor and lighting, dynamic and soothing at the same time, which is important in order to work with black and navy blue. This colour of pink has become a classic for us. The decoration changes and evolves but the pink will always be there as a source of security.
Our clothes are always conceived upon the same bases, the shirt, t-shirt, trouser and jacket, of these four minimalist pieces we conceive dresses, coats, casual jackets, skirts and accessories, these are the details which transform and take us towards other clothes.
We want to cross the limit and make amazing things, take things further in a way that has never been seen before, things which are very inspiring. Strong movements where artists, makers and thinkers go in the same direction, research.
When Jean Pierre Blanc offered us to do a project in the hall at La Villa Noailles, we immediately thought of these two artists to work with us, Marianne Maric with her light women and Baptiste Debombourg and his work with deconstruction. La Villa Noailles has always invested in artists like Marie Laure de Noailles and her husband have wanted. It was a real gift for us that we justly wanted to share with artists.We reproduced our shop in Paris, but four times the size, the shop was hidden behind pink curtains to make people curious. Marianne's amazing dresses and Baptiste's disordered neon lights jostled the horizontal lines drawn by the fabric. The idea of reproduction was fascinating and made us not want to stop there.
Nothing is decided, anything can happen.