This summer, in heavy news linked to the consequences of global warming, the house Saint Laurent hit the headlines with his parade organized in Morocco. The reason: an event lasting a handful of minutes that will actually have changed the landscape and the country’s resources forever… While the brand’s leaders at the time strove to defend their recycling and CO2 offsetting efforts, the public could not forget the six kilometers of road , built for the apartment in the middle of the Agafay desert. In addition to commenting on the extent of the controversy, I think it is more than important to wonder about the future of ephemeral installations – highly praised by luxury players – in a society that strives for more of ethics and responsibility.
Tip of the iceberg: At the same time, almost in the same place, Louis Vuitton organized the launch of a High Jewelry collection, and Cartier its worldwide meeting.
Ephemeral and Durable: (too) obvious nonsense.
What has only a “short duration” can it “last long or take into account the future of the planet”? A fortiori, if we stick to the strict definitions – here borrowed from Petit Larousse – the answer seems simple. Producing a space, an installation or even an object, with the worry of destroying it after a few minutes or a few days, actually seems quite untenable. And yet… To remove any notion of immediacy, transience, eventualization would be philosophically equivalent to accepting only the most durable lives, productions and choices, while rejecting any kind of testing and learning, and annihilating any effort of creativity. Values that are nevertheless dear to human beings – decidedly polluting and totally volatile – as we are, and fundamental to what has constituted the great progress of our society.
Are sobriety and creativity (re)compatible?
It is understood that the demand for creativity in all things cannot constitute a free pass to destroy our planet. The challenge now is to find out how to combine the surprises, emotions and wonders that ephemeral installations and pop-up shops can evoke with the imperatives of sobriety, responsibility, but also exemplarity that are more than ever ours. These agreements given by the brands characterize our seasons and are so many privileged moments that allow us to connect emotionally to them, to their inspirations, to their universe. And it must be recognized that resorting to the extraordinary is very often the way one chooses to ensure a strong memorable impression on the audience. The question is therefore the following: should the extraordinary, the marvelous be synonymous with the excesses of energy, of matter or even with producing/transporting/using/throwing away? Wouldn’t there be sources of wonder to create on a local level?
And tomorrow: to be able to dream without wasting?
If we don’t want to give up the volatile, how should we consider it tomorrow so that it can be better integrated into the new responsible standards?
Bring the example Dior. Last November, the French house marked time by inaugurating in Dubai a short-lived store built entirely from natural materials using 3D printing technology and in collaboration with the Italian company WASP, whose stated mission is modestly to “save the world”. An initiative that is still too isolated, but which tends to prove that the sector can be an example here too, by competing in creativity and ambition to rethink the basics of the pop-up, but also use it as a pedagogical leverage. with its customers and promotions of innovative actors in the field of environmental responsibility, who precisely need this financial support to implement.
If the pop-up shops of tomorrow no longer travel – especially by taking advantage of local resources – so should products whose creation process could be completely redesigned to give them characteristics specific to where and when they would be designed. During the recent fashion week in Paris, Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, the talented creative duo, were at the helm Copernicus gave us the masterly demonstration of a fashion that unites the ephemeral with the enduring. Through a happening with the iconic Bella Hadid, the purity of the apparatus and the sobriety of the means used to create a dress undoubtedly open the way for new ways to create and imagine a brand event.