Letter from The Creative Director
Bon Journée !
I so am delighted to share our latest collection with you, in this new issue of L’Edition.
Inspired by Gustave Courbet, the artist who spurred the Realism movement, we explore a cool palette of no-fuss garments, that keep dressing in the cooler weather easy, elegant, and straightforward. We also feature an editorial piece that ventures through Melbourne’s NGV to contemplate Courbet’s ‘La Vague’ (The Wave), and then on to visit the much-celebrated Chanel exhibition, which is currently showing. As a Melbourne-founded brand, it was a joy to explore the current happenings of the city, all the while finding an authentic slice of Courbet just at our doorstep.
This latest collection celebrates contemporary pieces that feel absolutely gorgeous to wear. Much like the philosophy of Courbet, we focus on simplicity, with a touch of Blue Illusion charm, resulting in styles you’ll want to wear time and time again. With trois feminine and cool prints, an array of cosy styles and our beautiful ribbed knit set, this new offering is a showcase of timeless style with a touch of Gustave’s edginess. I hope you love our latest range as much as we do!
Meet our Gustave Floral Print, the hero of our latest collection. A delicate, art-inspired print, that showcases the beauty of nature against a background of cool blue. This eye-catching print comes in three chic styles, so whether you’re a dress-lover or looking for a feminine top to go back with your favourite Bengajean®, this print is parfait for adding a touch of joy to your winter wardrobe.
“Fine art is knowledge made visible.” – Gustave Courbet
Soft. Comfortable. Stylish. Our nouvelle matching Ribbed Knit Skirt and Top are a masterpiece of no-fuss sophistication. Crafted with a soft and warm blend that features Australian Merino Wool and cashmere, the matching set comes in a Ribbed Knit Skirt and Ribbed Polo Neck Knit which are sold separately. Available exclusively online now.
A magnifique mercredi in the city of Melbourne
Within the walls of the National Gallery of Victoria, hangs the vivid work of Gustave Courbet, titled ‘La Vague’ or ‘The Wave’.
This week’s ‘magnifique mercredi in Melbourne’ I set my sights on seeing his solo work in the gallery, a haunting painting that perfectly captured his subject. A newbie to his work and life story, some research taught me that Courbet was a leader of the nineteenth century Realism movement, and fought to represent the truth that he saw, rebelling against romanticising life in his art, and falsely beautifying reality. Instead, he favoured reality, concrete truth, and the imperfection of life itself.
As I read about Courbet, I discovered that while presenting forty paintings and four drawings in 1855, Courbet released a brochure, its introduction is today considered the Realist Manifesto. Interestingly, I think it truly encapsulates what he was trying to achieve through his style of art.
“The title of Realist was thrust upon me just as the title of Romantic was imposed upon the men of 1830.Titles have never given a true idea of things: if it were otherwise, the works would be unnecessary.Without expanding on the greater or lesser accuracy of a name which nobody, I should hope, can really be expected to understand, I will limit myself to a few words of elucidation in order to cut short the misunderstandings.I have studied the art of the ancients and the art of the moderns, avoiding any preconceived system and without prejudice. I no longer wanted to imitate the one than to copy the other; nor, furthermore, was it my intention to attain the trivial goal of “art for art’s sake” – G. COURBET
Looking at La Vague, it’s easy to be transfixed on Courbet’s heavy lashings of paint, applied with a canvas knife, and how it really does communicate the wild currents of the sea. His paintings intended to strip away the rose-tinted views of the Romantics and set the stage for his artistic and political rebellion. Comparing the painting to others in the NGV, it was clear that Courbet’s work had a grit and harshness about it. I wandered out of the room feeling happy to have experienced a glimpse of the artist, here in Melbourne.
Downstairs at the gallery, I lucked out, the Chanel exhibition was on and in its final weeks. Chanel, a designer who distilled her life down to authenticity and forged a new definition of what femininity could be. Creations based on comfort, practicality, and ease, so much the same as the principals of Blue Illusion, I knew the visit would be worthwhile.
The exhibition has been curated by the iconic Palais Galliera in Paris (stay tuned for our May collection which was shot here) and presented in partnership with the NGV. Ultra-chic, it showcases a massive collection of her garments, bags, jewellery and more. It was an absolute joy to experience the exquisite beauty of her designs and I left the gallery feeling renewed and inspired.
Before heading home, I stopped by the iconic Hardware Société cafe at their Katherine Place flagship location, a modern and stylish eatery born in the Laneways of Melbourne. Today, they have locations in both Paris and Barcelona, and quite the following—for a very good reason. After an art-filled morning, I enjoyed their mouth-watering lobster and prawn benedict, with a house-made chai latte. It felt good to be in Melbourne, the vibrancy of the city seems to have never left at all. Merci, Melbourne, for a magnifique mercredi!
SEE: ‘The Wave’, NGV permanent collection, DON’T MISS ‘Chanel: Fashion Manifesto’ at the National Gallery of Victoria until April 25, 2022
EAT: Hardware Société, 10 Katherine Pl, Melbourne
READ: Courbet by James H Ruben, available at https://www.dymocks.com.au/
WATCH: Coco before Chanel, 2009, Film
Into the Bleu
Bonjour beautiful! Part of our Courbet-inspired collection, this ultra-cool Smocked Sleeve Print Dress is set to make a statement. Crafted from 100% viscose, it showcases of our contemporary yet elegant wallpaper check print of the season. Pair it with our Seine Double Zip ankle boot for effortlessly chic style.
complete the look
Crafted using recycled plastic bottles, our two-in-one Parka is the eco-chic solution to keeping cosy this winter. Functional yet stylish, the garment combines a puffer jacket and anorak that can be worn together or separately, depending on the weather. Simple, chic et practical, we think Courbet would approve!