Marianne Maric is a talented artist/designer from France that many of you may remember from our previous article about her awesome lamp girls. Recently she collaborated with one of Yatzer’s favorite groups, The Dø (Olivia Bouyssou Merilahti & Dan Levy), and, of course, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to cover the story. Marianne is a great friend of Finnish singer and composer Olivia Merilahti, the lead singer of the group, since they have done many shots together in the past. This time Marianne, in order to celebrate the release of The Dø’s new album,''Both Ways Open Jaws'', created especially for her a dress with magic powers! The so called “reflective dress” functions like a second skin that captures the light and reflects it, making you almost disappear inside it. Marianne says about it: ''I have always felt a fascination for firefighters' outfits and their disturbing visual appeal even by daylight. The ''fabric'' used for these clothes reflects light and has almost a crystal effect. That’s why when you take a picture using a flash, the fabric gives the impression of being radiantly white.''
Despite the reflective effect of the dress, it accentuates the curves of the body, making it look otherworldly, almost unreal. It comes as no surprise then that Marianne Maric used in fact a ghost story as the ''materia prima'' of her dress. She explains: ''I was inspired by the legend of the White Lady (La Dame Blanche), a ghost with the shape of a woman that can be seen by night on the road. The legend says that when you see this phantom you're going to die in a few minutes in a car crash. So, following that thread, during my residence in Les Arques, I organized a shooting, on a road by night with girls wearing dresses I made from this peculiar fabric. Because of the reflection of the fabric, you see those girls only when closely approaching them with your headlights. Those girls are like ghosts, if you want to take a picture of them, the flash blinds you.''
Ghost stories are always fascinating because they bring us in touch with unknown part of ourselves. Marianne transformed a legend into a dress and, of course, couldn’t find a better person to wear it than Olivia Merilahti. Olivia, with her extraordinary beauty and unique fashion sense, put her personal touch and became the perfect model for the reflective dress. We found Olivia and asked her a few questions about this amazing collaboration and the way she felt inside Marianne’s creation. Enjoy!
Olivia you are certainly sparkling in Marianne Maric’s reflective dress! Can you tell us something about your relationship with Marianne? What do you like the most about her work?
I admire Marianne's ability to work with so many different genres, fabrics and tools. We met her three years ago when she came to photograph us before our shows, this was the beginning of a long term colaboration. The impressive thing is that it used to take her five minutes and the result was always great. Then we asked her to follow us to my summer cottage in Finland where we shot the pictures for our second album, it was all very wild, very spontaneous. I'm a huge fan of Marianne’s lampgirls and, obviously, of the reflective dress. She has the ability to bring people together too, like a connector.
How does it feel wearing this particular dress? It is very interesting that, because of the fabric used, it seems that the dress actually ''wears'' your body! How did you come up with the concept behind the photos?
It feels very exciting because it comes to life with light, so it's more like being a light bulb that is switched on and off. I love the idea of disappearing and reappearing in the dress. Dan and I wanted something magical and mysterious for our album pics, like a Lynchian fairy tale, and the dress was a perfect element for our story.
What is your particular relationship with fashion? In which way your style reflects the music you listen to? And where do you get your inspiration from?
Fashion as art, as well as craft, is very inspiring and exciting. It should remain free and creative, not something to follow blindly. I guess my conception of fashion is more on the dressing up side than simply getting dressed. I do love haute couture! I don’t know if my style reflects the music I listen to, it may rather reflect the music I make-a personal mix of many different influences. I draw inspiration from people's stories around me, from movies or pictures I see, from dreams I dream.
We at Yatzer are great fans of The Dø! Can you give us some details about your new album, ''Both Ways Open Jaws''? Any plans visiting Greece soon?
Thanks! Our new album is a musical journey, it goes from North to South and East to West, and we hope it will lead us to Greece too!
The Dø - Slippery Slope, BWOJ // Both Ways Open Jaws