Coco Pit is a French designer, graphic artist and fashion illustrator. As a Fine Art graduate of the Paris-VIII University she started successful collaborations in communication consulting for leading French fashion designers and Couture houses. This experience gave her a great opportunity to focus on fashion and continue her interests in art.

After moving to London she set up her own company called getConfused specializing in creative and technology consultancy. Nowadays, Coco is a hard-working and enthusiastic artist dividing her precious time between illustration works and trend reports for diverse fashion magazines such as Elle, Vogue, and Muse and her expanding business Forget Me Not including magical scarves, cushions and turbans.

I had a great telephone conversation with Coco speaking about her artistic work, inspirations and experience in the fashion industry.

Forget Me Not summer beach towels
Photo: Babette Pauthier

Coco, you are a graduate of Fine Arts in Paris, fashion illustrator, graphic artist, you are leading your own company getConfused. Could you tell me on which subjects of art you are mostly focused in your work?

I do everything in the same area of art, although many of my projects are focused on different details but the final results are very universal for me, leading to the same aim. For example I can design a scarf, work on web design, make illustrations but always it will lead to the area of my interest. I make different things because in my belief change is good and inspiring. I enjoy such a situation.

Photo: Courtesy of Forget Me Not
After your studies you started your career as a communication consultant for French leading fashion designers and couture houses. What could you say about such a great experience?

I started working in a press site, in press offices, working with designers, organization of fashion shows. I was engaged in many different operations like castings, preparation of the shows and dealing with the press. Such experience demands lots of communication and public relation skills in the fashion environment. Later it turned out to be very helpful for my further actions in setting up my own brand. I could say it’s a good start, but always you need to do more and more.
Photo: Courtesy of Forget Me Not
So, there is always some kind of motivation ahead?

Yes, definitely. I love change which allows me to expand my interest in design the same as to return to the roots like ceramics (which was my case of art studies), working with the object. Lately we plan to go to Paris to work on some projects but mostly to be focused on designs.

Forget Me Not scarf
Shell Print
What is your opinion about the strong fusion between fashion and art appearing nowadays in fashion ads, editorials, videos, designs?

It is a thin frontier – a delicate line between fashion, design and art which is very easy to overpass the borders, to go in other ways. You can observe work of numerous fashion photographers who make photo shoots for famous fashion magazines,their editorials are very artistic.
Don’t you have the impression that sometimes art and fashion become somehow synonyms?

I think in art we may find more philosophical and spiritual meanings, while fashion is more concerned on beauty and good looking. Fashion is a form of art as well but in my own opinion it goes in only one line. Art may justify itself with the message left behind that can sometimes vary from the fashion industry.
As the fashion illustrator for the leading magazines and ad campaigns how do you combine art with fashion?

Fashion magazines are my main source of inspirations. As an illustrator I have to admit that it takes lots of effort to design a composition of images. Usually I draw all the elements separately and then I make montage as a final result.

I feel highly inspired with the work of the fashion photographers like Steven Meisel, Sølve Sundsbø, Camila Arkans and many more. They are so different in their outstanding styles that I really admire. The style of the particular photographer is very important and plays crucial part as the idea left behind. Another significant thing is the connection of the photographer with the model. Me, as a fashion illustrator I don’t have it when I draw. Thus, it is very important for me to catch the best moment in the photo shoot and attempt to expose it in the best possible way on the illustrations.
(Forget Me Not Scarves for Spring Summer collection, Photo: Babette Pauthier)

Photo: Courtesy of Forget Me Not
An illustrator knows how to select or emphasize a particular feature in the image. How do you translate the mood, atmosphere, emotions in your works? 

There are so many possibilities. In comparison with photography, an illustrator may have more freedom working with his tools without a team around him; he is alone in his work. Personally, I think it’s great to have such liberty in free choice.
Could you outline the story of your own business Forget Me Not? What were the main reasons to found it?

My friend with whom I worked in the office saw my works which he really liked. He suggested to me the idea of scarf’s design. He said that my illustrations could be an amazing theme. I decided to set up my own company but that time I wasn’t aware how absorbing it can be. It demands lots of work not only for the concept and design, but also for the production procedure: like distribution and press.

What it means to be a creative mind of Forget Me Not? Tell me about the inspirations influencing your work.

As the creative mind mostly I focus on the design of my compositions – which from the beginning I try to build with simplicity. However the more I am involved in such a process, the more complex it becomes at the end.

I derive my main inspirations from esotery, astrological influences. Everything can be magical like a unique visual universe. I feel really inspired from fin-de-siècle novels and fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland.

There are so many inspirations surrounding me. I want to create some edgy theme but it can alter as the result. However, mainly I feel inspired with everything mystical and magic. I have observed that with all that communication and mass media message, people loose this mystery and magic. That is why I really like my ideas transferred into images and compositions. If you go to some scarf rooms you may notice completely different colours and compositions than those I tried to use in my designs. I wanted to make something different and unique; not so much towards commercial direction, but closer to art, to make others perceive what I really want to show in my work.

It is really a good moment for me to speak about my work for Forget Me Not. I can clearly see the things that I didn’t notice and I couldn’t imagine before; making some conclusions and further predictions.

Forget Me Not Scarves
What could you say about your latest collection for Spring/Summer?

It is purely inspired by the Caribbean theme – taken from the historic plot when Conquistadors arrived to this exotic area, finding bright and vivid colours, shells and parrot images.

I have noticed that this collection is more focused on images than graphics than your previous designs of Forget Me Not.

Yes, recently I tried to work on two separate lines – one more graphical while another is centred more on illustrations. It is because I think it can complete somehow and find the feedback in people’s tastes.

What techniques and technology had to be used to make such a stunning effect of digital prints on silk fabrics?

Firstly, when I create my designs, I use traditional techniques like hand – drawing. Then I make a scanning process and finally it goes for digital printing. It involves lots of different techniques in digital printing. I have to say that the production is very consuming but later it transfers into great quality.

Forget Me Not scarves
Apart from being a designer, you have also set up your own creative and technology consultancy company getConfused. What are the main aims and philosophy of your company?

I set up this company with my boyfriend who is an amazing web developer. The getConfused project has quite an extensive content including fashion, music, consulting and communication, design, website development and much more. Thomas is focused on website and technical issues while I am responsible for communication and fashion industry aspects. It seems to be two different areas, but in the same time we are fulfilling our aims.

I would like to ask you about another project that you are involved in –Antimonide

This is a fashion blog that I built up together with my friend. We have created this platform in order to promote young and talented designers. We have also launched a new boutique on the site and slowly the number of designers is growing, a fact that makes me very happy. But for sure I need more time with the amount of activities that I am involved in already.

Paris and London – these two cities play an important part for your work? Could you explain this significant meaning?

These two cities are very different places from each other. It’s quite confusing for me because when I’m in London I long for Paris. But when I am in Paris I really miss London. I have worked more in London while for Paris I have special feeling.

What could you say about the differences of these two places as capital cities of fashion?

London is the place that is definitely open for young designers. You will find lots of support there, help and encouragement for young artists. I am really grateful about this fact. Paris has great tradition and heritage of fashion, but it can be more challenging for newcomers.

Your profession involves lots of travelling. Which country has the most striking and inspiring culture in your opinion?

Since I moved to London, it is really difficult to say where I could live next. For me it’s hard to find the city to live in. But when I travel for my projects I feel very enthusiastic exploring many new and interesting things during my journeys. For example, Australia is very interesting place for me, whenever we think about weather, the landscapes and people.

I really enjoyed my trip to Mexico where I gave some courses for students. I have also nice memories from my journey to Japan. In general, it is very inspiring how different people and cultures you can meet, and it also connects with differences in creativity, which is amazing. 

Special thanks to Coco Pit for her creative participation and interesting conversation.

Images thanks to the courtesy of Coco Pit and the getConfused team

LINKS: […]

Forget Me Not official site
Coco Pit official site
Get Confused
2/12/2011 12:35:51 am

very interesting and inspiring post! thnks

2/14/2011 05:36:30 am

Thank U Annie
I feel very flattered :).


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