Studio Crafts Fabric-Like Gypsum Walls
At a recently remodeled London boutique, Dutch architect Anne Holtrop has crafted several hand-casted walls and columns in textile molds.
The design decision is reported to reflect concept store owner, Maison Margiela’s garment construction techniques.
Featuring co-ed collections and accessories, the concept store now boasts individually hand-cast walls and columns made from textile molds to give the illusion of fabric blowing in the wind. Decorated in natural folds and dents, the natural plaster finish complements the store’s pale, tonal color palette.
According to the fashion house, the construction technique is designed to disrupt the “anonymity of the lining” and reveal the inner workings of a garment through architectural elements.
“After removing the textile formwork, the imprint of the textile remains visible on the surface of the walls and columns, together with the pleats of the textile and volume of the gypsum that pushed the formwork out,” explained Margiela. “The walls and columns are turned inside out—we look at the lining, the interior of the wall.”
Holstrop's gypsum-cast design was first introduced during the label's Artisanal AW 2018 show.
In contract to the natural materials featured throughout the store, other surrounding walls and ceilings found within the boutique’s dressing rooms were coated in layers of hand-brushed, high gloss paint reminiscent of Japanese lacquer cabinets.
In addition to the gypsum casts and coating choices, Holtrop also worked to lighten the store’s travertine floor and carved fixtures using a development that involved filling the stone’s natural indentations with color-contrasting epoxy resin in optical white. The decision was inspired by Margiela’s “décortiqué” characteristic technique, where a garment is cut open to see its construction.
“All that remains is the skeleton, the core components, which enable you to recognize what the item once was,” said Margiela. “It entails cutting around the seams to emphasize the structure and detailing.”
On the travertine design, the studio further explained that, “Normally the porosity of travertine is carefully filled with an epoxy in exactly the same color as the stone. With an infill of white epoxy, the porosity of the stone adds an accurate drawing, a staining of the material itself.”
All new design elements were decided in a means to uphold the Parisian label's all-white studio.