And so last week we Rude’sters boarded the Eurostar to the French capital city of Paris famed for its café culture, its gastronomy and designer boutiques dotted along the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. But we weren’t there solely for the purposes of eating, drinking and bringing to life everything we read in ‘How To Be A Parisian’. Au contraire. We were there for a conversation with acclaimed French fashion designer, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac about the launch of his newest collection – ‘The Callection’. A collaboration between the designer and smartphone leaders, OnePlus, featuring a line of covetable mobile accessories and a limited-edition design of their flagship phone the OnePlus 5 JCC+. A fashion pioneer, Castelbajac has been redefining the frontiers of art and fashion since the 1980s when he first approached artists to paint his dresses…
The fashion world describes you as a disruptor, the King of Unconventional, someone who embodies a tenacious ‘never settle’ spirit. What inspires you to challenge normal status quo?
Pure beauty doesn’t inspire me. I like the ‘beau bizarre’ I like what creates the blur. Working with technology and mobile phones is particularly exciting because it’s a cold universe. OnePlus mobiles are gems of technology and I have been so thrilled to introduce art, poetry, fun into the OnePlus5.
Today’s world is digitally led including the way we connect with friends and family. Have today’s digital advances affected the fashion design process compared to several years ago?
I have been interested in the idea of creating a new way to carry a mobile. For OnePlus I changed the rules and designed a very special element which is a holster not to carry any gun but a peace weapon, a mobile. The structure of the holster around the shoulders makes this accessory particularly sexy and powerful. As a designer, I am answering to questions about the aesthetic and functions. As an artist I am asking questions about mystery, beauty and blur.
You’ve worked with iconic figures from screen and music including Eddie Murphy, Farah Fawcett and Mick Jagger. Who has been your favourite icon to work with and what made them interesting?
I dressed the Pope John Paul II in 1997 for a special youth day that featured one million of the young people in Paris. And I worked with Lady Gaga to create the ‘Telephone’ video featuring Beyoncé. The Pope and Gaga were both very concerned with the youth and they both dedicate their talent and energy to give strength and hope to the youth. That’s why these collaborations were terrific and had a strong impact on millions of people.
What’s in store for you for 2020?
‘Beautech’ – a combination of beauty and technology. Digital poetry. Sport chic. Back to basic. 8-bit chip
When it’s time for you to get away where do you travel to?
As a street artist, I travel in the streets with my chalks.
What was the last thing that made you stop and stare?
The wonderful album of Arnaud Rebotini “small town boy” and the amazing work of my friend Jean-Paul Goude for the brand desigual.
The OnePlus 5 JCC+ will be available to buy from October 2nd at OnePlus for £499.