A few decades ago it wasn't rare for fashion houses to do licensing deals with a stationery company and produce collections of notebooks and even school stationery. While it was a logical step to build a loyal customer base, these deals also offered the chance to ordinary people to buy designer products at affordable prices. While there have been such products in the last few years, we haven't seen extremely wide ranges of stationery designed by a fashion house for quite a while.
A recently launched collaboration between Christian Lacroix and Galison (an imprint of Abrams & Chronicle) is inverting trends. The French maison may be focusing nowadays on costume design, secondary lines and other one-off projects, but it hasn't lost its trademark unique and exuberant style. The Studio of the maison - under the creative direction of Sacha Walckhoff, Mr Lacroix's design assistant from 1992 to 2009, and creative director of multiple successful lines in the House - has reinvented some of its main themes, colour palettes and theatrical and architectural motifs for a line of stationery for Galison.
The line features a wide range of soft or hardcover notebooks, journals, sticky notes folios and cards, all colourful and characterized by prints and images from the Lacroix archives.
Some designs include laser cut and scalloped edges, others feature fancy pop-up elements and crazy collages; subtle colour combinations or delicate embossed motifs are dedicated to stationery fans who favour a more formal style, while the quirkiest ones feature fun inserts and sticker pages.
Covers vary, from Haute Couture sketches to graphic or architectural elements combined with antique prints and engravings from the 1700s.
Collages prevail and go for an Artemis figure reinterpreted as a Victorian lady riding a steampunk rabbit, to Chronos, the Time Keeper, performing an arabesque; there are also a few hybridic pictures from Icare turned into an Harlequin figure to a bizarre female centaur, half Marie Antoinette, half a zebra, or a hardcover journal with a fun game with 11 characters, each split into four horizontal panels to create funny images.
There are also thematic notebooks ideal to be used as travel journals: they are inspired to Paris, London, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro or Mexico, and the latter celebrates the Mexican Day of the Dead, but also tells a story of two couples falling in love on St. Valentines' Day thanks to the holy Virgin of Guadalupe.
Diecut boxed notecards include butterflies and bouquets with embossed details packaged in a decorative box and there are also boxes of playing cards. Galison has so far worked with prestigious artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Frank Lloyd Wright and many others, creating iconic stationery and gifts. Apart from being a breath of optimism in our dark world, this new partnership is also set to celebrate Lacroix's 30th anniversary in 2017 as the French Couture House was launched in 1987.
The variety of the products included in this collection is dedicated not just to die-hard Lacroix fans à la Edina out of irreverent British series Absolutely Fabulous ("It's Lacroix, sweetie, Lacroix"), but should convince even the hardest digitally obsessed person among us to return to the safe physicality of paper.
Image credits for this post
Artemis A6 Diecut Notebook by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £10.00)
Chronos A6 Diecut Notebook by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £10.00)
Croquis Fashion Sketch A6 Softcover Notebook by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £10.00)
Feria A6 Softcover Notebook by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £10.00)
Frivolites Fan Diecut Boxed Notecards by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £25.00)
Icare A6 Diecut Notebook by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £10.00)
Love Who You Want B5 Hardcover Journal by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £30.00)
Mexico City A5 Softcover Notebook by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £15.00)
Zebra Girl B5 Hardcover Journal by Christian Lacroix and Galison (Galison Mudpuppy, £40.00)