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Vulpes vulpes n°2

Experimentation, innovation and surpassing things are words that define the process of research and creation of Espèces – in the sense of identity – because Sébastien Lacomblez and Marie Artamonoff assert a certain level of independence faced with the commercial logic of the masses.

Espèces are designers nourished by their creations, which have been appropriated from their personalities and their personal training: a course in plastic arts with a specialisation in digital art in Mons for Sébastien and jewellery in Namur for Marie. This is an intersting complementary that can be seen in their jewels and their current ready-to-wear experimentations. What is technically acquired in one area is transposed into the other and influences the choice of a certain aesthetic.

Sébastien’s interest for zoology was the perfect excuse to launch the line, which happened in a rather organic way. Using silver, gold and bronze – as well as a diversity of animal parts and bones – the idea for the collection first came in September 2011, when Marie purchased an animal skull for Sébastien’s birthday, making a single cast for herself.

An interested in the science of living things was the leitmotif of the creative process. Bones force us to go beyond ourselves as they have become objects of strangeness that defy notions of time and mortality. The ergonomic from of the objects transcends the status of ‘necklace’.

In a satured market, Espèces has made the choice of marketing themselves out as their unusual items lead to a form of exclusivity. The so-called ‘little structure’ made the choice of developping initially at the international level, increasing the number of its points of sale to gain necessary legitimacy to display their collections in the renowned boutique ’Stijl’ on the rue Antoine Dansaert in Brussels.

In 2015, Espèces pursued its work related to bones, proposing new models and materials and enriched its vocabulary by incorporating patterns into its productions with the launch of a new jewellery line and an experimental ready-to-wear collection. These novelties are inspired by patterns that are present in nature and in particular the way in which they are generated. The Conus textile – also called the golden fleece – is a poisonous shell whose patterns are similar to cellular automatons – mathematical objects, evolving in states according to simple rules, by imitating the self – reproducting capacities of living beings in a certain way.

The duo developed an IT programme that generates drawings and puts in place a unique item system within a series in partnership with a Belgian industrial knitting firm. These drawings are used to produce the knitwear, a technique making it possible to reproduce the design precisely: each pixel is equivalent to a point of the mesh. Each pullover, each scarf and each pair of leggings is unisex and unique. The client chooses from an array of patterns but each item of clothing will have its own variation of the drawing. Headscarves made of silk are also produced from the prints. A line of jewels made of silver and gold taking up their patterns by subtraction and by extrusion also emerged from this idea.