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Coppelia Pique, Art and Fashion With a Sensual Noir-ish Element

Coppelia (The girl with the enamel eye) is a darkly comic ballet based on two short horror stories by ETA Hoffmann: The Sandman and The Doll. The very first performance took place in 1870 at the Theatre Imperial del l’Opera and Coppelia has been the inspiration of the French fashion designer and artist Coppelia Pique.

Coppelia Pique’s work is all about creative hybrids, stylishly blurring the increasingly fine line between art and fashion, and taking it a step further with a sensual noir-ish element….. From couture design, to jewellery design to her very own perfume, Coppelia L'Elixir de Vie,  launched in 2011 with the perfume resembling human blood – Coppelia Pique’s unique talents run far and wide.

Creative Mapping delved into the macabre and wildly imaginative mind of Coppelia Pique to find out what her tick.


"My imagination is a source of eclectic ideas and emotions that want to express themselves.... at first it’s chaotic. Everything is interesting for inspiration, but for the most part mine come from literature, mythology, art and landscape." Coppelia Pique


CM: Tell us more about the inspiration for your designs.

Inspired by Hoffman's fantastic tales, I built my universe and trademark around Coppelia, a ‘girl with enamel eyes’. My heroine embodies an ambiguous woman who is fragile, mysterious but never still. Coppelia escapes time and reality.This hybrid being participates in the formation of an impalpable universe, inanimate, almost eternal. The doll has escaped from a tale, coming to life after the man she loves almost lost his soul by drinking poisoned wine. She exhales with this breath of life. Her ambiguous nature is a woman with the soul of a man. Clothes are no longer conceived as static forms, but as materials penetrated by a flux of energies and the breath of life. With their poetical and uncluttered style, my collections, couture or ready to wear, uses geometrical appliqué works contrasted with more fluid and fragile drapes and pleats.

CM: What was your journey from finishing studies to being here today as a creative professional?
I graduated from art school and worked primarily as an artist, and in parallel as independent creator . My desire was to offer original designs. I got involved in the contemporary art area, including performance (Centre Georges Pompidou, MAS), exhibitions (Gallery Debruille-Zlotogora, Hall of Mirrors) in France and internationally (Italy, Germany, Japan ...), and continued to work in this way for my online brand.
I worked with a passion to bring together my vision of femininity and fashion with current techniques and skills that I’d acquired through my experience in design.

CM: Does inspiration just come to you or do you actively have to seek it?
My imagination is a source of eclectic ideas and emotions that want to express themselves.... at first it’s chaotic. Everything is interesting for inspiration, but for the most part mine come from literature, mythology, art and landscape.

CM: Talk us through a day in your life:
Keep moving but stay alive, that could be the motto of every designer. Indeed, it’s a perpetual renewal between management and creativity... with a touch of communication.

CM: How long does it take to bring a design from concept to completion?
In general the official fashion week dates run our creation schedule, so we need to be effective from the start. However for art projects such as the one I did with haute horlogerie house Cacheux, where I designed two watches, it can be much longer. With the centerpiece of my first couture collection, The Peace, I had to start over several times before being satisfied.

CM: What do you want to achieve with your work and creativity?
Something universal that can bring peace and love into our societies. As I'm working on abstract pieces and gender ambiguity, it seems to me that this is the most appropriate response.

CM: What are some of the challenges you face in your creative field?
Time and money, like every young designer. And responding to the demands of your audience.

CM: What do you feel makes your work different or standout?
That’s hard to say when it’s your work but yes, I try to found cross between abstraction, obsession of lines, personal remembrances & emotional memory, geometrie and mythology. Environmental and politico-cultural issues are of course watermark.

CM: Which other designers do you especially admire or feel influenced by?
I admire designers who make their own revolution: Margiela, Kawakubo, Demeulemeester, Yamamoto, Ghesquiere, Simons, Theysens, Galiano, McQueen, Pugh, Vionet, Worth, Pearl, Balenciaga & Dior& Coco and so many more, and all for different reasons.

CM: When you’ve finished a collection, are you ever truly satisfied with the results?
No.

CM: What are you most proud of in your career so far?
I think it’s the day Karl Lagerfeld came by to surprise me at my first exhibition.

CM: What inspires you about the city you live in?
Paris could perhaps be compared to a mature woman, harder in love after many disappointments, but we cannot stop loving her. The Japanese call this female ideal the ikki.

CM: What would a dream creative collaboration be for you?
To create a masterpiece, something people will really want - like a fetish. Or a collaboration with artist like Nasseri or Gupta.

CM: If you had to live another life entirely, what would you be doing?
Not human... more a landscape or an animal.

*Photography credits:

Quentin Legallo, Yves Marchand & Laura Gassot, Ela Zubrowska, Franck Glenisson & Sylvia Gobbel, Liza-b, Nicolas Guérin, Reno Wald,  Elodie Besse,  Yves Marchand, Élodie Besse, Nicolas Boisseau.

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