Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane of her still spirit: a story of romance featuring muse Jane wearing timeless pieces made in France by Atelier Kesa and Vestiges. Shot by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei at Villa Torretta, one of the most fascinating historical villas in Milan, rebuilt on the site of a medieval fortress.
Can you share with us some insight onto Atelier Kesa & Vestiges, how did it all start?
We are a Franco-Canadian couple, who met in Montreal in 2015, we then moved to Berlin for a few years to finally establish ourselves in France last year. Our aim is to be close to nature, work at doing what we love, all in an inspiring home and studios surrounded historical landmarks and unique landscapes.
Nina [Atelier Kesa]: I come from an Italian family, both of my grandparents were workers in textile and thread factories. My aunt was a tailor and she thought me how to sew at a very young age and after my studies in Visual Arts [University of Quebec in Montreal], I finally decided to pursue my career as a designer.
Frederic [Vestiges]: It all started in Montreal (under the name Aska) after a few years of metal smithing and jewellery making studies. My interest in design and fashion led me to this craft and it then slowly evolved into more sculptural work using clay as my main material to work with, so basically ceramics techniques, before casting pieces into silver or bronze. I’ve also been cherishing a deep interest in textile design and fabrics for many years, which I’m slowly manifesting through loom weaving.
Both of you are based in Southern medieval France and embrace a slow, devoted, creative lifestyle. How much is this reflected in your creations?
Nina [Atelier Kesa]: There are some aspects in life that are essential to me as a young adult, Nature and Tradition. Working with natural textiles and specialized European weavers is as essential than going to the weekly local village food’s market. While being surrounded by medieval villages brings history to my daily life and invite me to translate old ideas and traditions into new shapes.
Frederic [Vestiges]: It’s the essence really and infuses all we do, we finally found the proper home and studio spaces, so the context for us now is ideal.
With Atelier Kesa you are “evoking French Romanticism of the XVIII century with a minimal approach”. What/who in particular inspires you from that movement and also in general?
Nina [Atelier Kesa]: Romanticism evokes in me profound emotions, sensuality and mystery. Translated into fashion design, it is my definition of true elegance.
Besides being Vestiges’ designer Frederic Arbour you are also the founder of the Dark Ambient / Industrial record label Cyclic Law and also Cyclic Press where you publish high quality art, occult and
Frederic [Vestiges]: Cyclic Law was first established in 2002, in Montreal. I’ve been running this label and various musical projects of mine since and also produce, release and distribute music from a large roster of international artists. We recently added two other labels: Aesthetical for more electronic/techno music and Cavsas for more metal oriented sonorities. Apart from music we also publish art books as well as distribute various Occult & Esoterica literature from select publishers. To me music, design and the occult go hand in hand, one infuses the other and is an integral part of my creative process.
Any future plans you would like to share with us?
Nina [Atelier Kesa]: We will release Atelier Kesa’s new sister brand Isorine next fall with an Autumn/Winter collection, a project designed for the Japanese market, made in close collaboration with my agent Tomoya Kawaoto. On the other hand I am currently doing my best to make both brands « made in France », I feel the need of working and investing my energy locally. Apart from that, we recently acquired a beautiful stone house to renovate, just in case we don’t have enough to do (laughs)…
Frederic [Vestiges]: Since living in France been I’ve done an apprenticeship to learn traditional weaving techniques on a loom with a local weaver, with the aim of experimenting with textiles as wearable and art objects. I’ve also decided to rebrand under the name Vestiges, which I find more appropriate for my current situation and vision. So I look forward to manifesting new projects in the near future.
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Atelier Kesa / @atelierkesa
Jewellery: Vestiges / @vestiges.co
Location: Villa Torretta / @grandhotelvillatorretta
Editorial assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ilavarini
Interview: Maylyn Bertorelli / @twiggymay
Model: Jane Styskun / @jjaneginn at @pwrmodels