Monday, June 27, 2016

meet Filep Motwary the tsunami of fashion



The man is as fluent in his words as he prodigious with his photography; Filep Motwary is a tsunami within the fashion world. Although the name may not be on the tip of  everyone’s tongue he is a man on the move and ubiquitous on the fashion scene.  The saying goes “a jack of all trades, master of none” but what happens when he is the master of all trades? He is at once photographer, curator, critic, writer, historian, diarist, judge and always dealing with fashion in its broadest sense. He might be a wunderkind of fashion who envelops and absorbs all that he encounters. It is safe to assume that Motwary has never met a task he couldn’t handle or master and in this business that’s the perfecta!

 
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This interview precedes the U.S. release of his first book based on his first curated museum exhibit, both of the same name, Haute-à-Porter. In this young man’s life he has accomplished and been credited with so much more than most in this realm where knowledge  and intelligence are the rarity rather than rule. It was my pleasure to pin him down and have him tell us who he is and what he does and what’s on his mind so with that, here is Filep Motwary in his own words:


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Jeffrey Felner: First tell us a little about how you “arrived” at the present. What brought you to this point?

 Filep Motwary:  my resume as follows …

He started off his career assisting as a stylist for the Greek editions of L’Officiel and Vogue.

For four years he worked as head designer at the Athenian atelier Loukia for the haute couture and prêt-a-porter collections before moving to Paris to work for designers like John Galliano, Christian Dior and Chloe in mid-2000.
Motwary continues to create costumes for bespoke projects alone or in collaboration with jewelry designer Maria Mastori with whom they worked together on six pret-a-porter collections, from 2006 to 2010. His costumes have been presented in several of museums, including Modemuseum Hasselt in Belgium,Atopos, La Gaite Lyrique in Paris, Centraal Museum Utrecht in The Netherlands, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Saint-Brieuc in Brittany France.

As a visual journalist, he collaborates with the digital Joyce.com in Hong Kong since 2011; He photographed projects for Giambattista Valli, Christian Louboutin, Vogue.fr, Vogue.it, New Yorker’s THE CUT, Boycott, Harper’s Bazaar, Wmagazine, Totem, Kenzo, Chloe, Sacai, Mercedes Benz, and TheStimuleye among others.
Between 2011to 2015 he collaborated closely with the founder and director of the Villa Noailles and Hyères Festival, Jean Pierre Blanc.

From 2005 to 2015, Motwary was the founder of Un nouVeau iDEAL which was included in “The World’s Top Fashion Blogs” book, edited by Susie Bubble and William Oliver, published by PRESTEL (2011).

In February 2014, Motwary was invited by Premiere Vision and Zoom by Fatex to exhibit a series of large-scale photographs as a solo show, titled “STREET IT BOYZ”.
Motwary is the curator of educational event FASHION ON SCREEN, a short films festival presented in Athens organized by Fashion Workshop, counting its second edition in spring 2015.

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JF: What was your most favorite assignment? Collaboration? Project?

FM: I take assignments that I like. It’s rare I do something under pressure, very rare, but I enjoy working with teams as much as I enjoy working by myself. I love my photo projects with Christian Louboutin for example or when I interview a personality that I have great respect for.


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JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?

FM: Irene Silvani would be the first; I enjoy our conversations so much. Then it would be Henry Miller, my favorite author to bring his immaculate eroticism and stories, model Guinevere Van Seenus because she always keeps my interest stimulated and I know nothing about her except that every time I see her on a photo I get the goosebumps, Helmut Newton because he was Helmut Newton, the photographer. Lastly, I would invite Liz Taylor and she would arrive dressed as Cleopatra.

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JF: Now, the book! Let’s talk about how the book came about and why the book came about?

FM: In 2012, I decided to start working on a project that aimed to put down a possible justification of where prêt a porter and haute couture cross paths.

For two years I was collecting visuals and placing them in thematic folders and categories while filling up my notebooks with ideas, photos I had taken while being backstage at the major shows, opinions I would hear here and there, and articles I would read online… Let’s say it was a sort of investigation for which I hired myself to do. It soon became a full concept and then Modemuseum Hasselt came in and allowed me to turn it to an exhibition.

Exhibitions are usually accompanied by a catalogue but instead I wanted a book, first to acknowledge the work of the designers that could not fit in the spaces of the museum and also to use it as a testimony of the current fashion’s state, the past and analyze the specific themes as presented in my project. Through 27 interviews and numerous examples of great photography and art, Haute-à-Porter became not only an exhibition but also a book that reflects sociology, history, psychology, theories and certain fashion terms and opinions on subjects never discussed before in such a context. I collaborated with Lannoo, known for great fashion publications such as Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeuster Monograph, Stephen Jones and many others…

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JF: What do you think of the present state of fashion and why? What would you like to see happen?

FM: Personally, I am involved in fashion and have deep respect for it. For 20 years I serve it from several angles. Hopefully all the people working in this industry, no matter their position or status, do it for the right reasons. Ideally, it would really be nice if some of the designers gave a chance to emotion again, like they used to. Some do still but it’s not enough. 
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