Charles de Vilmorin has finally moved out of his artist’s garret.
After catapulting to fame in 2020 as a fledgling designer living in a tiny studio, he has a new apartment, which he unveiled in a video for Vogue France earlier this month. But not everyone is happy for him. De Vilmorin said he received some backlash from critics who believe his move to more comfortable digs throws his legitimacy into question.
Detractors, rest assured. The 25-year-old sewed his entire couture collection on the floor of the living room, just as he did before being named creative director of Rochas and ascending into the fashion big leagues. His obsession with death? Also intact, as evidenced by the short film he presented, titled “Danse macabre” after the atmospheric piece written by 19th-century French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.
The film tells the story of a young boy who after midnight whips up outfits on his sewing machine for the skeletons gathered in his spooky mansion. It reads like a fan letter to Tim Burton, but de Vilmorin brings his own Baroque, theatrical sensibility to the mix, with a sequence in which a skeleton dances with the boy, alongside assorted characters dressed in his colorful creations, against a raging fire.
Tent-like robes and nightgowns were covered in his signature swirly drawings, while items like a flame red dress and a poisonous green tunic were festooned with fabric skeletons on the front. Best of all was an electric blue sequined smock dress, trimmed with ostrich feathers, covered in a constellation of silver embroidery.
“It’s somewhere between a dream and a nightmare. I wanted to neutralize this fear of death, in a way, by showing how the little boy comes alive through his passion and creativity,” the designer explained via Zoom. “It’s about the importance of expressing yourself, even if not everyone gets what you’re doing. It’s a message of hope.”
De Vilmorin hopes to bring his creative universe to home wares soon, with plans to launch items like the custom-designed rug and cushions that he displayed in the Vogue video. That way, nobody needs to be envious of his interior.