— At the dawn of M/M Paris you revolutionized the art of the atrical poster. Could you tell us about that?
— It happened really early in our career. We met stage director Eric Vigner, who was appointed to run a theatre in Lorient, a small harbour town in Brittany. He's allowed us to try a new way of talking about theater. So today we have this series of posters, about 80 of them, that follow both the style of the theatre and our idiosyncratic vision.
Why are they revolutionary? Because we completely changed the code of the theatre poster, where instead of just being an illustration of a play, each poster is our own interpretation of the play. And we are currently working on the book, which will have the complete series of these posters.
— Now could you tell us about your long-lasting collaboration with Yohji Yamamoto? How in your experience the Eastern notion of beauty is different from the Western? Was it hard to bring them together for Yamamoto?
— I think, ironically, there is this kind of a secret relationship between France and Japan. If you look at the history of art, Japan has influenced European tastes ever since we started sailing there. Even in they have nothing to do with each other, there is this kind of...
— Yes (Laughs), a secret romance. Well, it's a funny thing. Russians think that they have a very special romance with France, too, and recently I discovered that Georgians think that about themselves too! (Laughs) Anyway, back to Japan, there was always this love-hate relationship.
And I think this is what happened with Yamamoto, too. I think Yohji has always understood that his style was extremely Japanese, but always investigated cultural aspects of French fashion. And he reads the symbolism of French fashion and translates it very sensually through his creations. For me, that's the biggest difference between him and Comme des Garçons. Rei Kawakubo has more of a conceptual approach, and Yohji is a great reader. And I think he knew a long time before we started working, that he needed European people to translate his idea of beauty. Because for me, a Japanese woman wearing his clothes doesn't really exhale the curiosity of his work. I am not against the Japanese, I am just saying that it really works when you have an archetypically blond woman wearing his clothes; the contrast speaks.
Working with him was very enjoyable, it was a way to go through all the mechanisms of fashion image making. It was as if we went through palette of expressions, through all the spectrum of how to make a fashion image. And it was very good for us, because we had a chance to work with the photographers from different backgrounds and generations, big fashion models, to have a very open creative experience. So, it was basically working with incredible clothes that were covering a wide range of the history of fashion. For six years we were able to issue books promoting a collection every six months. And the collections weren't just about selling the product...
— It was a poetic approach...
— Yes, he was not just promoting, say, a new bag, he was promoting a vision; and this vision was very post-modern in a sense that he was crushing together the spectrum of time. To conclude, we learned a lot, and he also learned a lot. Even if we exchanged only five words during these six years, it was very fulfilling for both sides.