From crisp cotton and python pieces to patches with tarot drawings, Chloé’s new folklore-inspired Pre-Fall 2018 collection made waves due to a collaboration with Indian artist Rithika Merchant and new creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi. Paying homage to Karl Lagerfeld’s painted dresses when he previously worked with Chloé, the collection has been tagged as an eclectic mix of delicate prints and the brand’s sartorial past.
There has always been a sense of mysticism in Merchant’s style
Indian-born, but based in Barcelona, Rithika Merchant was trained at Parson’s and has had her artwork showcased all over the world in places like the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Portugal, India, Singapore, Denmark and Spain. Taking inspiration from myths and civilizations of the world, making them beautiful and relevant in the modern day and age, she brings in aspects of botanical drawings, organic forms and symbolism; there has always been a sense of mysticism in her style. Also, having witnessed the refugee crisis closely in Barcelona, the issue is close to her heart and she strongly believes that “All art is political in the sense that it engages society in some way, either influencing or influenced by it.”
An association with Chloé has increased her visibility in the world
When she was contacted by the designer brand she was excited to collaborate with them. Finding Merchant’s work through images on the internet, Ramsay-Levi contacted her and invited her to Paris after a few emails and Skype conversations. Spending two weeks in their studio in Paris working with the creative team, she could create drawings that could be placed on the garments. For artists to be associated with a reputed brand like Chloé is a huge deal since it increases their visibility. However, this also means that the collaboration also benefits big brands as they expand their collections and creativity.
She also admits that through collaborations, the diminutive gap between art and fashion is bridged with a spectacle like this one and is something that is advantageous for both parties.
Image credit: Vogue