Maxim Guy - Collection designer - inspiration

What inspires you?

Inspiration is not something that pops into my mind from nowhere: my travel memories and emotions provide a beautiful and endless archive.
Music allows me to daydream and escape at any time, even while walking the streets of Paris. I hate crowded places, attitude, trends that become uniforms, reality TV.

Could you tell me how you went about creating the Garden of Earthly Delights prints?

Actually, those particular patterns came from Catherine’s original vintage archive

Could you tell me how you went about creating the Garden of Earthly Delights prints?

The Garden of Earthly Delights prints are inspired by traditional Bengalese patterns, in turn influenced by 19th century England.
This was the real beginning of the ddoo adventure. We were all at Dominique’s apartment in Paris and we had the idea of assembling a basic travel kit made of simple but well assorted clothes.
We started choosing vintage pieces that we liked and we thought went well together, and little by little we reached the concept behind our future brand.
Our first shot was to pair up a beautiful old kimono with some red bohemian trousers of Indian inspiration, our future pareo trousers… et voilà!
The ensemble was so obviously right that we decided to add more tradition-inspired items, such as the fisherman trousers, the kaftan and the pareo skirt.
For those, we used a personal interpretation of the Bengalese patterns.

And the Firefly Hunt print?

The Firefly Hunt prints are a different story.
From the very beginning, Dom, Cat and I really believed in “slow” fashion, dreaming of a collection not tied down by seasons but rather linked to a destination or a narrative. Once our journey to India was agreed by all the then-members of the collective, we realised that one single story would not be enough.
Japan quite naturally became our second destination, because it is a modern country firmly anchored in its cultural heritage and also because we always collected in our archives many books and vintage clothes from there.

 

The patterns for the Dragonfly, the Camellia and the Peony prints were all chosen quite fast one afternoon, each inspired by reviewing hundreds of swatches in our Japanese archives.

The purpose was then to transform those patterns into prints that would suit the different volumes of our key shapes.
We really insisted that one print should be thought for the entire length and width of our garments, as we try to avoid seams and (yokes) as much as possible.
That is why all the ddoo prints have a basis, a faded ground, a contrasted top (or bottom) part and/or an evolving pattern in order to give a sense of “pièce unique” to each shape.
This concept was always in my mind while creating the Dragonfly or the Camellia print. More technically, I had to draw each pattern by hand (dot by dot) in order to respect the vintage effect of the original inspiration.

For the Peony print, the idea was to create a giant pattern that would evoke the colour more then the outline.
We found the Chugata flower (see the image below) really delicate and simple at the same time. So we decided to make it so big that it would pop out of the clothes!
I painted it maybe ten times before finding the correct harmony. In order to keep this painting effect we asked Nina, our brilliant supplier in India, to use a handmade printing technique that would suit our silk quality.
The result was great from the first time, which is rare! However, we proceeded to a few size adjustments (we made it even bigger than the initial plan) and ground colour intensity changes (we went from a saffron yellow to an almost curry orangey yellow), which you can appreciate on our Peony kaftan.

What is happening in fashion now and how do you see the future?

Fashion is now in a really strange place… I would say that too much happens too fast, which leads to a loss of interest and then boredom… at least in my case!
In the future, I imagine that the fashion industry will be ruled by two types of mechanisms: the big groups, from luxury to mainstream, and the self-made labels, focussing on mono-product or mono-concept in limited editions, with more selling online, smaller teams and, most of all, no seasonal deadlines.

Let’s end on a sweet note, “les délices” as you say: I need details!

For me, “le vrai délice” is the smell of “pain-brochette” or “alloko,” banana plantains fried by the street sellers after school. Not exactly healthy or slimming but definitely worth it! When we grew up, my friends and I discovered that “pain-brochette” and “alloko” go very well with palm wine or “koutoukou", a kind of grappa, for a party in Dabou or San-Pedro. My reflection: perhaps it is time to abandon the oeufs en gelée.