ANNE & VALENTIN
This year’s collection brought us more than inspiration moods. It came with a state of mind. The function of the designer holds an important place in our reflexions as a group, which inevitably shows in our creative space. Designers are, in essence, prone to rethink and redesign the everyday, the mundane, even. Reinventing the way we integrate elements, pondering the question of technical assembly: those are exciting challenges.
The desire for very strong visual signatures is always one of the main motivations in Anne & Valentin’s creative explorations. For this new collection, we chose to push even further the very radicality of our models, constantly sourcing and cultivating our DNA.
Play being the source of all creation, we took risks. We played. We threw the ideas onto the table like some do of a pair of dice, with a taste for danger. We shared our inspirations, explored together, plunged back into form.
The world is changing, but some things remain intangible. At Anne & Valentin, everything is made in France, know-how is preserved, relations cultivated. If Spring-Summer 2019 gives pride of place to small models, to oversized frames, it is above all marked by the choice to express itself in different languages, from the bare minimal to the most exuberant…
During this period of research and work, color, geometry and graphics were the words used most by our designers in our creative studio, closely followed by inspiring notions such as streamline and abstraction.
Painting has returned at the heart of the conversation. At Anne & Valentin, we like nothing as much as connecting the dots, on a daily basis, weaving a link between the radicality of a Henry Taylor and that of Alice Neel, the breathtaking portraitist we discovered in Arles… Radicality hit us again, during our creative process, when Childish Gambino released his This is America video. But also, well, with Massive Attack, Philip Glass, Brian Eno. These are the artists who have been spinning on the studio’s turntable of late. In preparation for this collection, a very beautiful monograph of the architect Carlos Scarpa, by Japanese publisher TOTO, also circulated, passing from hand to hand. So did Color and Meaning, Art, Science and Symbolism, by historian John Cage, and Paul Klee’s Diary.
Stripped down, streamlined, simplified, returning to the sign: this new collection refers less to the retro, which proved a major playground in the past. On the contrary, our eyes and our thoughts turned towards the future, to the possibilities it offers to master shapes, explore clean lines and offer new directions with laser technologies, for example.
And yet, it was while rediscovering Egyptian art and the contemporaneity of art from Antiquity, in the Louvre, that we experienced our greatest surprises. The refinement of the object, already, the relief, the sign, the engraving, the quality brought to things, the know-how and craftsmanship that have traversed time, are all elements that have inhabited us since.
We set out to dare. Dare to touch. Dare to embark upon paths to the future. We thrive to connect with the future, engraving the computer tablets of the present like scribes of sorts.
We’ve been reminded that, now and forever, humans have been reading. Writing. Touching with their hands. That they have been thirsty for prospects. Eager to leave traces. For 7,000 years. Those are our roots. In the manufacturing of objects that require time, effort, and unwavering faith. Like intangible sources of life.
Humor, the search for beauty, and a sense of distance are more than ever necessary.
PEARLY is a round frame that can turn oversize on ‘petites faces’. Pop and graphic, more cerebral than design, she has a purity that dresses while subtly affirming its off-beat quality. More arty than fashion, more comic-strip bubble than Seventies, more picturesque, more than wordy.
JUST GROOVE is a taut square that structures small and medium faces, thanks to the subtle design of its seemingly removed corners. The contradictions in its mostly horizontal lines, created by the alignments between its bridge and its arms, make it a unique and atypical object that strongly frames the eyes. Asserting your true self is an art.