Kate Fichard, Flora Fixy & Julia Dessirierfrom 25 April to 26 May 2019
“When I am not wearing my hearing aids, I imagine that my perception of sound is similar to yours when you are under water.” This sensation, which Kate Fichard describes to
Julia Dessirier and Flora Fixy in reference to her deafness, constitutes the founding concept of their new collection. Winners of the Grand Prix du jury Accessoires de mode Swarovski 2018 and with jewellery as hearing aids, the photographer and designers from studio FandD broaden the work they have undertaken over more than a year on an exploration of silence, particularly as it occurs in an aquatic environment. Far from the notions of absence or emptiness with which it is often compared, they consider silence as a tangible, airy, delicate, substance which is productive for both the sense and the imagination.
Their collection immerses us into the middle of an acoustic bubble where the rules of perception are modified. Within this suspended world and its underwater appearance, shapes are distorted, light is refracted, movements are softened. The eight pieces that make up their collection — whose typologies are indescribable — appear like lightweight and shiny creatures with orbits that are ample and gracious. The pleats are wavy like the ripples on the surface of the water. As they fall into translucent drapes, they outline delicate envelopes, recalling the immateriality of jellyfish. The pearls on the hood stream in droplets around the contours of the face. The shiny metals combined with the opalescent resin of the jewellery provoke beams of iridescent light. One would think they are the scales of a fish. Then one is immersed once more: wrapped up in a muffled headpiece, we can feel the watery environment enveloping us in a soft numbness. Time swells. The chain and corks float, in weightlessness. On the edges of the visor, the blue shades darken and the light becomes soft. Like an echo of deep sea creatures, the reflective fabric of the gloves emitting a few luminous touches.
Appealing to our sense of hearing as much as our touch or vision, this immersion into silence is perhaps first and foremost an exploration of the body and its sensations. The interplay of transparency, the smooth and velvety textures, the organic hues, are all means of questioning a corporeal envelope. A fine envelope, a more or less permeable border, at the same time a point of distance and a point of contact with the environment.
Their previous collection combined the technology of hearing aids with the delicate
and aesthetic dimensions of jewellery. This year, their collaboration with Chanel’s Métiers d’art inscribes itself with a similar process. By combing technological designs with the craftsmanship of the different houses at Chanel, they have developed a unique vocabulary that borders on hybrid forms. From this encounter between the ultra-precision of curves calculated by algorithms and the savoir-faire of craftsmen, a unique balance is created between the absolute and the irregular, the geometric and the organic, the rational and the fragile.