STORY OF THE MONTH
The World is Beautiful

 

 

“Le Monde est Beau”

Kenzo Takada

 

 

It was with sadness that we learnt the passing of Kenzo Takada due to Covid-19 complications in Paris on October 4th at the age of 81. He leaves behind him a beautiful legacy of positivity, color, and joy, bolstered by the mantra of his 1988 perfume: ‘Le Monde est Beau’ (The World is Beautiful). In current times, with the global political situation in disarray, the ongoing epidemic, and uncertainty for all, we need positive spirits like the celebrated designer more than ever.

 

Takado, later known simply as Kenzo, came to Paris in 1964 and was one of the first Japanese designers to achieve success in the capital. With his love of mismatched print, bold color, and jungle imagery, he opened his first jungle-themed store in 1970 taking inspiration from the Henri Rousseau painting; ‘The Dream’ (1910).

 

 

 

 

As an energetic young designer, he was instrumental in the creation of the ready-to-wear and modern runway, liberating the models from the staid number based presentations that were dominant before him. Kenzo made no secret of his love for nightlife and was one of the first to bring the party to the runway!

 

 

 

 

Selling his namesake brand to LVMH in 1999, and leaving the helm 6 years later, he remained a quintessential figure in contemporary fashion inspiring many young designers, with both his attitude and his style.

 

 

Our in-house creative team has chosen a few materials from our selection to honor Kenzo Takada, with colors and transformations that we think he would have enjoyed: ‘Le monde est beau’ indeed!

 

 

 

 

Please contact us if you are interested in a particular material.

 

 

 

Art
Designing the Future

After the cancellation of all the physical tradeshows and design salons in Paris since March, we were delighted that Paris Design Week went ahead as planned in various satellite spaces in the city. We took a tour and found inspiration in unexpected material applications and surfaces!

Art
Breath of Fresh ‘Art’!

Since the explosion of the Covid-19 pandemic in March all subsequent global contemporary art fairs have been cancelled. Art Paris 2020, last month, went against the trend and opened to the public in its regular Grand Palais location. The decision to go ahead was helped by the fact that the Grand Palais has a ceiling height of 45 metres, which certainly doesn’t count as a confined space! To see all of the galleries together with such a large selection of works to look at was a breath of fresh air indeed, take a look at some of our favourites above.

STORY OF THE MONTH
Back to Life,
Back to Reality

 

 

As the days shorten and the temperatures cool down, summer is drawing to a close with flurries of rain showers as the people trickle back into their hometowns. We are preparing for la rentrée, the period that marks the end of the official summer holidays: back to school, back to work and essentially, back to reality.

 

After a uniquely distanced holiday season with the added unreality of masks; we are ready to dive into the ‘new normal’ and embrace reality. Here at American Supply we are focussing our material research into eco-innovative materials: materials that are both innovative and eco-friendly, and better for the world. Last month we talked of the benefits of Cork and explained why it was one of the greenest materials around, from conception to farming through to final production.

 

 

 

This month we present a brand new material in our library, that we are affectionately referring to as Air Noodles! Its synthetic fibers are 100% recyclable, assuring its virtuous end life, whilst it is hypo-allergenic, dust-free, contaminant-free, extraordinarily durable and non-toxic. The material has a tremendous form memory, and elasticity, with the ability to sustain weights of up to 140 kilograms repeatedly and still bounce back to shape. With its unique visual form and noodley structure created via an extrusion of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), it has advantages reserved for both rubbery and plastic materials.

 

 

 

 

Air Noodles are used in the bedding industry due to there durability, resilience, elasticity, and form memory, though we imagine them in all manner of set-design, window backdrops, and POS applications due to there fantastically unusual form and qualities. The hand is soft and non-sticky making them also ideal for packaging or innovative, luxury soft furnishings.

 

 

Contact us to make an appointment to see our labyrinthine Air Noodles in all their noodly glory!

 

 

FASHION
Fashion
Manifesto!

 

I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.
Gabrielle Chanel

 

 

 

On July 16th 2018 The Palais Galliera fashion museum in Paris closed for major refurbishment, including the renovation of its previously innaccesible vaulted basement, which once opened will double the size of the exhibition space possible. The work was generously supported by an exclusive sponsorship form the House of Chanel, so it is fitting that the grand re-opening this October 1st will see the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to Gabrielle Chanel herself, titled Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto !

 

 

When Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel opened her first boutique in Deauville in 1912, she set out to revolutionize the fashion world with her own vision, which was truly radical marking the beginning of her manifesto. Her first womenswear, incorporated the famous marinière (sailor’s top), using a mix of affordable jersey and tricot, which had only been used for men’s underwear. It was to become a recurring theme in her work, with a desire to liberate the female body from constriction and voyeurism. Aside from reappropriating menswear into her collections, she deconstructed her skirt suits by removing the shoulder pads and strictness, with darts for the bust, and worked with her couture clients to enable them to manoeuvre in their jackets with ease and without exposing their bodies. The Chanel Skirt Suit became, and still is, an iconic staple for the brand.

 

 

 

 

 

Two of her most famous creations, the 2.55 shoulder bag, and Chanel No.5 perfume, will be represented in the show, with No.5 given a whole room. The 2.55 is a must-have item for women the world over which when released revolutionised the way that women carried bags. By taking inspiration from army bags, Gabrielle introduced the shoulder strap to high society, giving women back their arms and hands!

 

 

 

 

She was a force to be reckoned with, and before inventing the LBD – the Little Black Dress – in 1920, Chanel vowed, while observing an audience at the opera, that she would dress all women in black. The LBD is now a staple in all wardrobes, and we couldn’t imagine life without it!

 

 

With such a rich legacy and an impact on the fashion industry that continues to this day, Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto promises to be an exhibition not to be missed!

 

 

 

Story of the Month
Reimagining Couture

With the traditional fashion calendar in complete disarray, designers are trying to make sense of this unique moment we are all going through, with new creative propositions in reaction to the situation. With the menswear presentations cancelled in June, Couture became, fittingly, our first experience of fashion’s lived creative response to the pandemic. There could be no better first response than fashion’s most innovative voice: Haute Couture!

CHANEL

 

Chanel presented a streamlined Autumn/Winter 2020 collection of 30 looks –  less than half of Spring/Summer 2020 – celebrated in a beautiful film showing the clothes in movement. The collection was dedicated to the socialite ladies that the late Karl Lagerfeld would accompany to Le Palace nightclub. In memory of Lagerfeld, but also in memory of nightclubs and nightlife, something we have all been missing since mid-March. Featuring wonderful floral embroidery, princess sleeves and tiaras, what better way to dress in defiance!

CHRISTIAN DIOR

 

Maria Grazia Chiuria – Christian Dior’s creative director – took President Macron’s words to heart, following his Mid-March declaration: “We are at war.” Looking back to the post-World War II history of couture and the ‘Theatre de la Mode’ created in 1945, which utilised miniature dresses on doll size mannequins, as fabrics were in scarce supply, to show couture clients the collections. She enlisted ‘Pinocchio’ director Matteo Garrone to visualise her dream in a sumptuous video, which showed Dior bellboys dragging a doll’s house (an imitation of the Maison Dior Haute Couture Salon at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris) full of the tiny dresses through a mythical world, letting the nymphs and creatures choose their own couture!

BALMAIN

 

Balmain is always quick to embrace newness, with a passionate engagement across all social media platforms and a strong spirit of inclusivity. It was with this spirit that Olivier Rousteing dived headlong into the Seine for a presentation on Paris’s biggest runway, the river itself, streaming the show live on social platforms. The live show was open for all, as the bridges were packed with spectators, and Rousteing announced afterwards that it reached a physical audience of at least 20,000 Parisians. The collection was a technical tour-de-force revisiting pieces from the archives alongside new tailoring, all set to the live music of French pop artist, Yseult: a true glimpse into the possible future of fashion presentations.

IRIS VAN HERPEN

 

Van Herpen has been testing the limits of the real and the digital for some time, so the notion of a digital couture fashion week was not a challenge to her and her team. She chose to rethink the whole process, producing only one dress, loaded with enough conceptual nuance to constitute a whole season. Treating the dress as a work of art, that can be flipped upside down or turned back to front without affecting its final wearability, she reimagines nature itself through the medium of couture.

VIKTOR & ROLF

 

Not ones to avoid ‘the conceptual’ in their collections, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren went to the heart of the matter, questioning what it means to make a wardrobe for these uncertain times. With three mini wardrobes, each comprised of a negligee, a dressing gown, and a coat, they questioned our emotions, our fears and spoke to our humanity. The campaign video that accompanied the collection was narrated by Mika, who exclaimed during the final ‘hearts’ wardrobe “We all deserve to be loved, regardless of age, color, gender, race, religion, or sexuality.” The coat that he was referencing encouraged social distancing with its three-dimensional heart forms, whilst raising a smile and speaking to all.

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

 

For Valli it was business as usual, a time to look forward not back and celebrate the craft of couture. This time the bows were bigger, the tulle was more voluminous and his love for Couture had never felt stronger. Pairing the collection with the video above that emphasises the details of the collection and features in split-screen, videos shot on his own iPhone during his runs on the seine during confinement, his message was clear: “Now, we want to spread beauty! We want to spread dreams! I want to give hope for more happy moments to come. I want to share the idea of a future that’s going to be better than the past.” (Valli in conversation with Vogue.co.uk)

Materials
WHY CORK IS SO GREEN!

Cork is one of the most eco-friendly materials on the planet. It is a resolutely sustainable source, from beginning to end-life – you would be hard-pressed to find a material greener than cork!

Growing primarily in the Mediterranean region, the cork tree needs very little maintenance to flourish. In Portugal, the world’s number one cork producing country, the production of cork is highly regulated. Trees can only be harvested once they reach 25 years of age, and are then harvested every 9 years after regrowth. To harvest the cork produced, the outer layer of skin is stripped from the tree and the tree remains unharmed and continues growing.

The harvested cork is taken to cork processing factories where it is dried, boiled and formed into various materials and products. Amazingly, 90% of the energy used in cork processing is made from burning cork dust, a byproduct of production. In fact, none of the raw material is wasted at all in the production of cork, making it extremely sustainable.

Cork, aside from its remarkable ecological qualities, is both hard-wearing and exceptionally durable, perfect for cushioning and remarkable as insulation. Its natural beauty is enhanced by colour and texture and we hold a large range of colours here, as well as worked and formed flat roll variations.

Take a look at the slideshow to see a selection of corks we have here in our library.

To see their individual qualities click on the following links: CORK, LIÈGE-AGGLO, COLOR CORK, NATCORK B6

News
Summer Break


Our materials : Sable, Lenticulaire PC Aqua Piscine & Dried Plants

Our showroom in Paris is closed for one week in August :

Summer Break 10th August – 14th August, 2020

After a uniquely challenging start to the year, with the epidemic and subsequent deconfinement, we can finally start to leave the cities that we’ve been confined in, and breath in some fresh air. 

Let’s all enjoy our well-earned freedom, in the great outdoors!