According to some thinkers, the myth of Atlantis, of an idealistic city sunken by water, reveals a fundamental need within each human: the belief in an ancient yet ever-relevant utopia.
Today, as land and sea are in shambles, the ocean floor is at the heart of Maison Michel’s Spring Summer 2019 collection. As the dreamy meets the scientific, it draws inspiration from Ernst Haeckel’s illustrations of sea life, and the documentary Les Abysses: le mystère des créatures lumineuses, where mind-boggling fluorescent fish seem to compete with the most cutting edge 3D animation.
The journey unfolds over three chapters. It takes off on a boat near a seaside resort; the warm wind doesn’t indicate the shipwreck about to take place. In a palette of aquamarine and sky-blue, like the sea line melting into the horizon, visors, berets, floppy hats and bell hats are reworked in light tweeds and water-repellant nylon, and embellished with cords or worn-out chains.
In the second chapter, the collection dives into the water. The sunrays illuminate the shells, the sand, and the seaweed. Raffia flowers and graphic embroideries adorn a burnt orange felt cap, a textured bucket hat or a fedora; each detail celebrates the richness of maritime flora and fauna, like a parallel, complex society.
The third chapter, a deep-sea exploration, gives another level of density to the collection. Midnight blue, black and deep purple embrace silver and iridescent notes, faux leather, sequin and studs, for a watery and slippery effect – like a mutant specie living underwater. Military caps, turbans, head wraps and veils come in sheer, luminous textures, as a nudge to the shimmery oceanic creatures.
This paradise found proves that surrealism and futurism might already be at hand reach – right under our feet.