THE BLOG
01/30/2012 02:07 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2012

What Does It Mean to Be a Couturier?

It is often difficult for me to evoke the work that I do, because it does not have any written rules -- it is more of a professional moral code; a personal ethic enhanced by communication with the outside world. (It is a work of promoting ideas in order to develop a style whose permanence will be recognized through its own unique vocabulary and language.)

It is also about not complying with popular beliefs. Willed ambiguity shapes and nurtures all of my thought processes, which, when translated into action, leads to diversity and surprises. In this way, I can generate "terra incognita" in my own mental universe.

Rule number one: ignore petrified conventions in order to preserve style's power to discern and innovate. Creators, lest they become fragile and nervous, must learn to emerge unscathed from the cruel and beautiful work which so often subjects them to the judgments of others. They must learn to respond with fierce determination: to follow their passionate discourse in anticipation of desire and expectation.

But how does one build an architecture of style? Style is a personal morality, an ethics of behavior with a rich vocabulary, ripe with coding. It is flexible, and subject to the undulations of popular thought that tend toward an absolute notion of creativity. The world of colors, shapes, intuition, spontaneity, charm, emotion, the dreams of youth, all memories of events, places, loves, faces, disappointments, and flashes of happiness -- they are all a part of style. The magic and jubilation when everything seems possible, when we don't have to force our talents because why add vanity to what we already understand.

All past creative thoughts exert a mysterious influence over us, a sort of fascination of emotions -- we are often surprised to discover ourselves in what we have done. This business is not an art, but like art, it has no rules, no laws except extreme precision and extreme discipline. It is ruled by the duty to be scrupulously faithful to oneself, with rigorous and intellectual honesty.

Style opens the doors of dreams, of the Baroque, of all exoticism, the disruption of established facts, and lyrical illusion. It is about developing hostility towards all the ridiculous clichés of what is chic, and towards the academic school for its lack of passion and imagination. It is about remaining hostile towards the accumulation of details and accessories hat try in vain to make up for their lack of creativity.

Abolish the art of pageantry which tries to force success through artifice and childish accidents. Abolish the art of deception that favors clever constructs over real worth.

Style reflects a moral position and shape creates a personal aesthetic. In both, it is important to maintain independence of thought and action.

It's about creating an aesthetic of existence, about creating one's self by turning one's work into an art of life and treating one's life as a work of art. To do this one must invent oneself through one's work, through determined action. This produces a sort of vertigo. It requires harmony and action.

"In every work, chaos must through through from behind the veil of order" (Novalis). It is with imagination and fervor that we must showcase the diversity and modernity of this business. That is both its nobility and its fragility.

I like to quote Sigmund Freud: "After thirty years of researching the feminine soul, there is one matter which I have never been able to answer -- What do woman want?" It's a question with no answer but rather an imperative to look for new reasons to hope.

So, how to remain both eternal and absolute? Maybe adhere to the requirements made by an individual morality, an ethics of behavior. We must make masterpieces out of our lives because "we only fight for causes after which we model ourselves, for which we burn, because we identify with them" (René Char). We must acknowledge that fragility and anxiety feed on poetry. Thus there is glory at the height of appearance. It is style which introduces our moral position.

"Luxury is a problem of means, elegance is one of of education."

Être Couturier ?