‘Accidental encounters, curiosity key to creativity’
Published : Oct 8, 2013 - 21:48
Updated : Oct 8, 2013 - 21:48
French fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac holds a camouflage teddy bear during his lecture. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
Interacting with talented individuals through accidental encounters and being constantly curious are crucial for creativity, veteran fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, said at the Herald Design Forum.

“Always, my life, I’ve done by encounters. Different encounters with very talented artists. Because I think it’s a way of learning about the talents of those people, about their creativity, and about the new times,” he said.

“Hijacking” was also key to creativity, the designer said during his session titled “Fashion Design, There Are No Limits.”

Although de Castelbajac says that he is a spontaneous artist and that his works are not always premeditated, he explained that his works are based on the fundamental principle of making things better.

“Design is very important because design can change everything,” he said, pointing to various items around the room. “Everything can be made better with design.”

“If you are an artist or a designer, you want to change everything but that change can’t be for selfish reasons (as) design is also participation.”

Utilizing anecdotes, teddy bears, a drawing board, and a video of his latest fashion show, de Castelbajac told the aspiring designers at the forum that production can no longer be separated from creativity.

Unlike his early years when competition centered on technology, creativity outweighed all else with the coming of the 21st century and the Internet, he said.

“Because creation is all over, in styles and marketing, creation is an absolute necessity,” he said.

The designer stressed that industrial elements are also critical for arts and design to take form, which he sees as giving Korea an edge in the field of design.

“Korea is a paradise for designers, because it’s a young country with young industries,” de Castelbajac told The Korea Herald after his lecture.

He explained that as a country that has grown into one of the technological leaders of the world, Korea represents numerous opportunities for technology and art to come together.

De Castelbajac is a French designer who has led the world’s fashion industry for more than 40 years.

He is known as a pioneer in crossing fashion and art, democratizing art by transposing the genre in an ultra feminine wardrobe and adding a new meaning to each of his fashion designs.

Nicknamed “King of the Unconventional,” the designer experimented with waxed canvas, mops, Velpeau bands, plaid, camouflage fabric and protective nylons. He has also collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Robert Combas, Loulou Picasso, Gerard Garouste and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

With a design empire spanning fashion, furnishing and watch, de Castelbajac has enjoyed global success with his creations such as a coat of teddy bears worn by U.S. pop star Madonna.

By Choi He-suk and Jeong Hunny