Sportmax's Carte Blanche for Christophe Brunnquell

Sportmax has presented the first chapter of their Carte Blanche series, inviting Christophe Brunnquell to create three garments.

Text by Susie Bubble

Last week, the first chapter of Sportmax's new project "Carte Blanche" was unveiled in Milan. The blank canvas was handed to famed art director and artist Christophe Brunnquell, who has consulted for the likes of Purple, colette, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton and has been engaging himself with graphic design-led artwork. The complete freedom Sportmax gave to Brunnquell resulted in a collection of tunic, top and t-shirt, all printed with monochrome graphics that upon closer inspection reveal dirty jokes and characters, based around the traditional Japanese ghost (Yōkai). As well as putting graphic to garment, Brunnquell developed the shapes of the pieces with the help of the Sportmax design team, keeping lines fluid and simple.

How did you first come across the Japanese Yōkai motif and why did you choose to adopt it as part of your print work?
Christophe Brunnquell: Yōkai is just one part of my inspiration, I discovered this art when i was in Tokyo last summer, but it was something that I've observed for some years.
But what interests me more is the confrontation between beauty and beast, the beatiful part and the ugly part, mixed together. Not only ghost, but also an open mouth, vanity, abstract forms, a sexual vision: this is my art language.

The prints seem to have a lot of hidden messages and insider jokes - what do you want people to pick up from the prints?
Christophe Brunnquell: My drawings for Sportmax are full of “erotic” secrets: at first view you can say is abstract, but closer in detail, it's more violent and complicated.

Unlike other art/fashion collaborations, you also got involved with developing the shapes of the Sportmax garments with the use of Japanese values of clean lines and pure shapes - how did you work with the Sportmax team to acheive this?
Christophe Brunnquell: We teamed up with Studio Blanco (the studio that has done the art direction of the entire project) and Sportmax to achieve shapes that could work physically and stylistically with my work. Clean lines and pure shapes means that you have a white canvas in which you can operate. This was perfect for me and gave the right direction to the project.

You said you wished to be known as an artist after art directing for the likes of Louis Vuittion, Balenciaga, Celine etc and working for Purple - but this is a fashion venture - how do you see yourself sitting between the two worlds of art and fashion?
Christophe Brunnquell: I've always considered fashion newspapers/journals at the same lavel as art, no difference. For editing, layout, art direction, the key is in the composition, it's the most important, like in painting, from my point of view.
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Christophe Brunnquell for Sportmax Carte Blanche available online on now.

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