French Designer Marine Arnoul representing France at the Finale of World of Wearable Art 2019 [fr]
Check out the interview with French Designer-Artist Marine Arnoul who, once again this year, will take part in the Finale of the World of Wearable Art (WOW) competition in Wellington!
I was born in Brittany in the West of France and grew up in the Paris region. I have only just celebrated my 27th birthday!
I studied fashion in Paris and did my work placement at Mode Estah. I came first in my class and graduated at the end of 2017 with a Master’s degree in Fashion, Design and Luxury Management.
As a registered stylist, I work as a “Costume Designer” for video games like Just Dance (Ubisoft) and on audio-visual projects like music clips and series/films. I am also a stylist and image consultant for artists and fashion labels like Les Galeries Lafayette, Mina Storm...
I set up my label « Martian Agency », where I develop collections of futuristic and avant-garde fashion, as well as costume creations for clients in show business and in the audio-visual industry. I like experimenting with materials, working on unusual densities and cuts, all while using new technologies like 3D printing and upcycling when choosing my fabrics.
I am one of the finalist designers for the World of Wearable Art Awards Show. My creation will be walked down the runway in Wellington, from the 26th of September until the 13th of October 2019.
I am the only French finalist in the competition, amongst 115 finalists from around the world. This is my opportunity to meet designers from all walks of life, some of whom are world-renowned, who dress celebrities, put on exhibitions in Paris, or even teach in the best fashion schools.
I am going to see my outfit come to life on stage, and I will attend the awards ceremony which will take place on the 27th of September in Wellington. This experience is an incredible source of inspiration and amazement bringing together disciplines that I’m passionate about, like costume design, choreography, mise en scène, musical composition… This is an out-of-the-ordinary show and a unique, creative realm which I am honoured to be a part of.
Despite the confidentiality rules that you are bound to, can you tell us about your project that got you into this year’s WOW Finale?
For this year’s competition, I spent months on a costume design and concept. Considering how ambitious the project was, I started the material sourcing process and production schedule as soon as possible for each part of the garment.
When I went to the Saint Pierre market in Paris to buy some last fabrics and to be able to finally start this famous WOW costume, a fabric which was half-hidden right at the very back of a fabric remnants shop caught my eye.
As I handled the fabric, a new concept for a costume came to mind. It was love at first sight, the real kind!
The next day, I had my final concept, and I sent my husband to Paris to urgently pick up the very last of this material, i.e., a 25-metre roll of fabric in total (pure luck, it was meant to be!).
The deadline for sending portfolios was fast approaching, just as I was starting everything again from scratch.
Very long nights of testing, sewing and researching, with challenges cropping up throughout the manufacturing process.
I love playing with different volumes and it was a real challenge to create the relief patterns with such a flowy material. I enjoyed giving this fabric a second life and being able to continue my upcycling phase in this creation.
It is truly liberating to have found such a rich creative environment where I can let my imagination run free. The only limit… is time! Luckily I have received a huge amount of support from those around me.
What is WOW?
WOW is an internationally renowned design competition that attracts entries from over 40 countries. Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well executed.
For three weeks every year, WOW showcases the best of these creations in a spectacular show that takes over New Zealand’s vibrant capital city of Wellington in an explosion of creativity. This year 60,000 people will see the show.
Each year WOW ask designers to be inspired by one of the six worlds that will make up the World of WearableArt Awards. There are three recurring Sections; Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open, and three Sections that are unique to that year.
As this is your second time taking part in WOW, have you already had the time to explore NZ a little?
Yes, [last time] my husband and I stayed on to visit the North Island in a van. After all, it was also our honeymoon! Let me just specify that we got married two days before leaving for New Zealand!
We loved visiting Te Papa museum, the Weta Workshop and the Hobbit village in Matamata. My husband works in film in France, and it was a dream for both of us to go and visit these magical places.
Our first night in the van was memorable: with only a vague campsite reference on our map, we drove by night through a jungle-like forest, finally ending up on a high plateau covered with mist. It was impossible to see what was around us or to know if we had arrived at the right place. It wasn’t until sunrise that we noticed the mountain all around us, with its head in the clouds… That’s how we spent our first night at the foot of Mt Taranaki!
We met some intriguing people along the way. This year we’re back to visit the South Island this time. We are, of course, going to make the most of Wellington during WOW, which remains our favourite city in NZ.
Martian Agency is, first and foremost, a high-end clothing and costume label. For the future of my label, I hope to be involved in more music clips, events, fashion shows and fashion competitions in order to share my creative universe.
I am going to continue artistic collaborations with clothing and accessory labels and everything related to the clothing industry and textiles.
I have another artistic project which is particularly close to my heart, and that is writing. I have published the first two novels of a long saga coming soon which I wrote ten years ago. The third volume will come out next year.