May 25, 2022
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The equipment designer cherishes the calm and fantastic thing about the Greek island, the place he lives so in another way than he does again in Paris.

April 21, 2022, 5:00 a.m. ET

I’ve been coming to Patmos, Greece, for 10 years now. I’ve by no means skilled such a gorgeous place. There are not any automobiles, no billboards, no supermarkets, no well being golf equipment — nothing however the necessities, and that’s in all probability what retains bringing me again. There’s this tiny protected cove — no larger than a single room — that’s, to me, perfection. I look out into the distance and see nothing however rocks and the horizon line between the water and the sky.

The solar begins to set round 7:30 at the finish of the summer season, and it occurs quick. In that window of time, when the gentle is altering and I do know I’ve to go residence, sundown is each sudden and serene. By then, I’ve been sitting by the sea for six, seven, eight hours, simply studying and looking out. I come to the seashore and switch right into a lizard. I like the sensuality of summer season. What I really feel right here is extra bodily than non secular. It’s like returning to a misplaced paradise. I’m a metropolis man — I used to be born and raised in Paris — however right here I’m reminded of one thing that’s older than I’m, deeper than I’m. With out it, I don’t exist.

After I’m on Patmos, work stops as a result of what I’m doing right here is sort of the precise reverse of what I do again residence. My whole job is to consider easy methods to gown, easy methods to decorate. Right here, I’m carrying no garments, or a minimum of as few as doable. This rigidity, the distance between these two issues, is fascinating. I simply must empty my thoughts for some time after which return once more to the pleasure of style, the artifice of it, as a result of style is a recreation to me. If I had been to explain the expertise of being right here as important and deep and peaceable, I might say that my job as a designer is, if not precisely the opposite, fairly shut. Perhaps it’s as a result of I studied positive arts after I was youthful, and style was extra of an amusement. There’s part of me that also sees it that means.

I’ll sketch after I’m right here, however I’m not a maniac about the sort of paper I exploit, or the pen. I purchase no matter I discover on the island. And it’s not as if I’m planning my assortment for the subsequent season. It’s extra that I’m taking notes. I prefer to say that inspiration is like archaeology, that it’s constructed layer upon layer upon layer. I image an archaeologist taking a soil pattern from the floor: Some issues I’ve beloved for years, and so they run deep, whereas others I’ve solely simply seen on the road. Patmos, the feeling of the island, its temper, its important Mediterranean qualities, is certainly one of my core layers. And at a sure level, after I’ve learn all my books and brought all my naps and checked out all the landscapes, I believe to myself, “OK, I can return to human issues now.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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