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May 28, 2022

Paris End: Saint Laurent x Thomas Jeppe on Collins Street

Milla Maria
Paris End: Saint Laurent x Thomas Jeppe on Collins Street
Our EIC Maria Ugrinovski shares her experiences of the Collins Street Art Project, a collaboration between Saint Laurent and Australian artist Thomas Jeppe.

May 19 saw Yves Saint Laurent officially celebrate the opening of the French fashion house’s flagship store on Collins Street, which first opened its doors in 2020. Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director of Saint Laurent, personally commissioned a suite of works from Australian artist Thomas Jeppe to be exhibited during the official opening. 

What I appreciated about Thomas was how generous and gracious he was with his time and insights on his latest collection. Guests were treated to an intimate tour with the artist as he shared his insights and his creative journey. 

Having a background in interior design and being married to an architect for well over two decades, I was very inspired by Thomas's design process. This project is quite unique to him; he explained to us how he studied the store's interior design as part of the process, aiming for unity between the artwork, the interior, and the brand's signature monochrome scheme.
–MARIA UGRINOVSKI, FOUNDER AND EIC OF CASPER MAGAZINE.

The exhibition is centred around a series of two triptychs reminiscent of arcade architecture. The series is rendered in black and white, with a geometric style meant to reflect the two unifying cities and the store's location on Collins Street, commonly referred to as the 'Paris End' of Collins Street.

As a result, Jeppe's artworks meld seamlessly with the monochromatic aesthetic of the store, paying homage to the store's details that harken back to the French modernist movement of the early 20th century.

The Paris End project follows some thinking about the links and disruptions between cities, a notion of split geography anda fragmented globe.
-Thomas Jeppe

What I found fascinating and really loved was how the paintings stood in the store; they were not suspended from the ceiling nor were they hung on the walls, like you would traditionally see in galleries. In a past exhibition, Thomas had designed stands for the art, encouraging guests to examine what's behind, which was considered equally as part of the art and design of the store. I loved this. 
– MARIA UGRINOVSKI.

The final centrepiece of the show is a single painting titled Melbourne End, which was very different to the paintings in the rest of the store and is displayed in the Saint Laurent VIP salon. A figurative character is positioned between two ambiguous landscapes in this painting, making a strong comparison with the rigid and distinct geometry of other artworks on the floors below, which Thomas later explained as the figure being the viewer. 

Jeppe was born in Australia and currently lives and works in Paris as a writer and painter. Additionally, the artist has exhibited in a wide variety of contemporary galleries and institutions, and his works showcase a long list of projects he has personally curated throughout Basel, Hamburg, Vienna, and Paris.

Paris End will be on display from May 19 to June 9 at the Saint Laurent Collins St store in Melbourne.

Love art and fashion? Take a look at Iordanes Spyridon Gogos x Powerhouse Unveil Iconic Collaboration for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week

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