Fall in love with a world of intricate, hand-embroidered accessories with extraordinary graphic, charming and precious designs. In just a few years Céleste Mogador has turned heads across the fashion industry, and sparked interest in some of the finest fashion, concept stores and trendsetting optical boutiques – with beautiful brooches and jewellery embroidered with coloured silk threads. Eyestylist spoke to the creative director Pascale Nivet Bernetiere.
We understand you first worked as an artist under the name of Mademoiselle Héloïse – we would love to know about how your artistic journey originated and where it took you? I have always been a fan of working under a guise, as are many artists. This is why I worked originally under the name of Mademoiselle Héloïse or ‘Melle Héloïse’ for the majority of my career as a self-taught illustrator. Some years later, in 2004, myself and my husband founded our first brand – an interiors brand by the name of La Marellez. It was from that point that we knew this was the direction we wanted to go in, and so we went on to found a lifestyle brand in 2014 ‘Été 36’ and then finally ‘Céleste Mogador’ in 2016.
When did you first encounter the ‘real’ historical icon of Céleste Mogador and why did you see her to be a good fit as the name for the representation of your brand? Well, ‘Céleste Mogador’ herself was an emblematic dancer of the 19th century – in fact, she invented the French ‘can can’ we know today – the iconic dance of the Moulin Rouge. The brand I have created in ‘Céleste Mogador’ draws a lot of inspiration from centuries past, and it’s a truly unique and ‘iconic’ concept and product. So, I suppose her French iconism partnered with her historic value made her the perfect figure after which to name the collection.
No two pieces in a ‘Céleste Mogador’ collection are the same – with such a demand for consistent uniqueness, where do you find the endless inspirations for your work? Many of my close friends and those who have worked with me would label me a ‘compulsive creator’; creating things and the need to do so comes as naturally to me as, say, sleeping or eating to the average person. That being said, inspiration is rarely the struggle – an abundance of inspiration would more likely be the issue. My work is anxiolytic for me, and the inspiration for which – specifically regarding the collections for ‘Céleste Mogador’ – is mainly inspired by the Breton traditions of western France, with a twist of my whimsical and boundless imagination. These inspirations have festered since childhood, mainly from stories and tales by people such as Jean Cocteau, but in terms of fashion inspiration the one, the true and the only designer I idolise would be Schiaparelli. I like things to be quirky and perhaps even a little outdated so that almost a silly kind of appeal is created with that added comfort of something known; an egg for example is a known shape, but it’s a little stupid. Eyes have almost the same shape as an egg, but they are far more graphic – this is one of the reasons I chose to embroider them. Many search for a kind of religious, mystical or esoteric symbolism in this, but really I chose to embroider eyes because they’re prettier and far more interesting than eggs or potatoes. It really is that simple!
The design in your pieces – your brooches in particular – is so incredibly intricate, and unrivalled in style and majesty… tell us a little about the process in creating these products? We pride ourselves on creating everything to the highest standards of quality – be that in regard to materials or practices used. ‘Céleste Mogador’ works exclusively with ‘Au ver à soie’ a French silk company renowned for being a world leader in silk thread production since 1820. The beads used in each embroidery are a mixture of gold plated miyuki’s, fine glass, corals and freshwater pearls. Though I design every item under the ‘Céleste Mogador’ brand, the production of our collections is split into two halves; one collection I hand-make myself in Rennes, the other collection is made by a team of breathtakingly talented and dedicated craftsmen in a series of ethical workshops in India.
As a brand which, as previously mentioned, has delved into many industries of creative design – what can we expect next from you? Are your intentions to explore further into the areas of accessories, interiors and ready to wear or will you perhaps dip your toes into another area of the design market? Further exploration is something I have never said ‘no’ to – this can be most plainly seen in my previous collaborations with ‘Céleste Mogador’. Our brand has collaborated with Vincent Grégoire from the design firm Nelly Rodi to update the amazing space that is ‘House of Games’ in 2016, with superb interior design company Antoinette Poisson in creating a collection of wall decor, stationery and storage boxes, as well as with American designer David Hart for his collection inspired by the ‘Watergate’ scandal that showed at New York Fashion Week in 2019 – just to name a few. Whether it’s another collaboration, a new collection or a completely new line, ‘Céleste Mogador’ is not afraid of any challenges, and we definitely have a further few tricks up our sleeves – so be sure to stay tuned to see where our path will take us forward next.
Find out more about ‘Céleste Mogador’ and see the full collection at www.celeste-mogador.com A feature by Victoria G. L. Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com.