An Interview: Enfants Perdus

Friday, June 11, 2010

Enfants Perdus. You may have heard this jewelry label buzzed around lately in the blogosphere. And we're not surprised as to why. Just one look at the pieces sends us a tingling sensation. Some of the enchantingly intricate pieces are even made up of grotesquely overgrown vines (18k gold) embedding clusters of a mix of trash/treasure (semi precious stones -onyx; quartz; black pearl; and diamond). The metallic surfaces (silver & gold) are weathered with a patina that echo the wearing of time & age, and reflect the traces of history ~ form emotive, powerful, yet tragic pieces.

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Entranced by these forms, we had to find out more about them - where these intense designs are coming from. We were lucky enough to have a little Q&A with Quatre Tsien, the lead designer of Enfants Perdus. So here's our mini interview. Quatre Tsien tells us a bit more about the story behind Enfants Perdus, the Milgram collection and gives us some insight to their design perspective.

Could you please tell us abit about the designer and the line? We're curious to know how and where did it all begin for Enfants Perdus? Is it a one man band or a creative team behind this?

Quatre: We’re a small team – we’ve been working together for the past few years doing work for private clients, and wanted to take our work in a direction more suited to an individual, directional vision. We started Enfants Perdus unofficially about two years ago, releasing a capsule collection privately. The positive reception we received from that work led us to develop this collection, entitled “Milgram”, and put together a broader release. Geographically, our team is based out of both Toronto and New York.

Officially, I’m the lead designer. Unofficially though, we tend to take a more untraditional approach to the process. Being a small team, everyone participates in every step of the process – Conceptualization, design, production. There are some hats we wear more often – I’m working on the 2011 collection right now, and knee deep in research and stories while the rest of the team is working on filling orders we’ve gotten for the 2010 – but we try to get involved and involve each other at every stage. I’ll work on the patinas and brushwork at times, and the others will have brainstorming sessions as we look over the design concepts we’re working with for the next season.

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Your pieces are very rich and intense in character. What kind of persona are you thinking of when you design them? And who do you picture wearing them?

Quatre: I always find myself caught in a paradox when I’m asked this question. It’s true, we have very directional pieces; the person we’re designing for though, isn’t obsessed with aesthetics. We have fine detail work, but our client doesn’t obsess over details. The type of person who wears our pieces empathizes with them, has a kind of attunement. They speak to each other, it feels right, with a kind of quiet confidence. It’s someone who can wear these pieces with a confident, quiet ease – motion without moving. We’ve had clients in the past completely removed from the world of fashion pick up pieces, and it’s this kind of connection that I find very romantic.

Could you tell us a bit about your inspirations (not specific to this line) but in general?

Quatre: History. The past, the endless stories, the rise and fall of kings. The lives of actual people can approach – and even dwarf – the most fantastical stories ever told in movies or on television. I go into a bit more detail in my artist’s statement – if you’d like to take a look at that, it’d be great.

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As for inspirations within the world of fashion, I’m a big fan of Rei Kawakubo for her continual vision and innovation in fashion; Alexander McQueen’s bravery and dramatic designs; and Jun Takahashi’s expressionism and passion.

And lastly, I'm sure our readers (and ourselves) are very interested in this: Where can we get our hands on these???

Quatre: We’re working out agreements and orders with a couple of stockists right now – a pretty international base, too, as we’ve had inquiries from Europe, Australia, and Asia, as well as back home. For now, if you’re looking for anything immediately though, feel free to contact us as a private client.

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Enfants Perdus


ClĂ udia said...

no words.... i want it all! Where can i buy them?


Dylana Suarez said...