Fabien Chesseboeuf trained in Fashion at the Atelier Chardon Savard (ACS), first in Fashion Design followed by an additional course in Fashion Communication. During this specialisation communication students have to collaborate with fashion design students to present their brand and create a narrative as well as visual and social identities. For this project Fabien collaborated in 2012, with ACS student Kwanseo Koo, whose minimalist menswear designs inspired by the Japanese monastic wardrobe were the focal point of a look-book and photo shoot presented here.
Fabien, tell us about the work showcased.
This work was created as a project for my course. To create it I first had to gain an understanding of the fashion collection designed by Kwanseo. I then created the brand’s visual identity (brand logo, display style, look-book and other branding tools); a literary identity (biography, press kit collection and future planning) and finally a social identity (Facebook and photo shoots).The art direction and layout of this work follow a contemporary minimalist aesthetic. I could describe my work as quiet, modern, balanced and pure. Mostly I apply myself to what I do and try to reflect on it. I listen, I watch, I touch, I try to feel and then translate and share my experience.
How did the project develop from the initial step?
Communication between Kwanseo and I was difficult as he speaks little French and English. Our discussions were very brief and simple. We basically had to communicate visually. We would work in parallel; I followed Kwanseo’s progress and collected the visuals he created as the basis of my own work. I always informed Kwanseo of where I was and in which direction I intended to go so he too could follow my progress. I started first to create his brand image through the name and logo with a signature graphic. Then came the photo shoot for the look-book, followed by a shoot on location where the garments were shown in the mood and atmosphere in which I wanted to present the brand. Shooting outdoors was the hardest, but also the most exciting. We had to go to Amiens (about 1h30’ north of Paris) a couple of days before the shoot, which took place at 6 in the morning. It was an adventure. I loved the adrenaline rush … having to control my stress.
What were you trying to achieve through your contribution?
To successfully promote a fashion collection it is necessary to address a specific target market, a certain identity. The aim of my work was to create an identity and present Kwanseo’s collection in a way that would optimize its impact. I wanted to give life to the garments in a way that inspired customers. To do this we chose to mix our two personal sensitivities, combining Kwanseo’s Asian influences with my own tastes, my understanding of the Western people who could want to buy the clothes. I focused on the Oriental elements and how they complement the European wardrobe. I introduced a new perspective on the collection, while remaining faithful to the designer’s aesthetic. The images are intended to show the garments in a more European style, rather than be a literal translation of what was imagined by the creator. Their aim is to get attention, impress and seduce.
Once you had created this beautiful promotional work did you try it in the market place?
Aside from having this work assessed by ACS, I posted it on Facebook and my tumblr so that it would gain exposure and people can see what I am able to do.
As part of the ACS project I contacted the fashion press to publicize Kwanseo’s work. I wish I could have marketed the brand further; unfortunately there was little time left for it. Projects such as these could be extended to a collaboration with an existing brand with the creation of a capsule collection, or getting a celebrity wearing the garments. I have so many promotion ideas I would like to explore.
Do you have specific sources of inspiration?
I read a lot of fashion magazines for men: CODE, FANTASTIC MAN, DAPPER DAN, SILK Schün, and PORT. My inspiration comes from these as well as my own aesthetics and tastes in clothing. I think taste is not only shaped by what we see, but also by our individual character, by who we are. Upbringing and individuality give each of us a personal style and approach to fashion different from that of our neighbour. We are different individual; I am different from my neighbour and my sister. My aesthetic choices reflect that. Everyone has this individual base and then absorb ideas that nourish, regenerate and triggers their creativity.
For the project with Kwanseo for example, I was inspired by bearded boys, who I have an attraction to. The so called ‘Hipster’ movement also influences me and is something I am part of. I felt the Japanese aesthetic of Kwanseo’s collection would be effective offset by hipster styling. It would strengthen the collection, make it … pop!
What does the future hold in store for you?
After my graduation I got an internship at Crash magazine as an assistant editor. It was a great opportunity to discover the world of art and fashion press. I am currently looking for more work experiences. Every job is a new challenge and I try to take from each as much as I can… I would like to carry on searching for even more beautiful ways to communicate.
I like to improvise, to provoke … I rarely plan. I believe in instinct, luck, perseverance and hard work. I want to go further but right now have no final destination!
For now you are in Paris. What is your favourite place in the city?
As a student I found “refuge” in the wonderful library of the IFM (French Institute of Fashion). This is more than a simple school library. The place is quiet and beautiful, with a wealth of documentation about fashion.
Paris in general is a city rich in excitement. Walking its streets, reading posters, looking at shop windows and people watching are all moments when you can feel, get excited and be touched.