MONARC 1

  • Author
    DARKROOM
  • Date
    06.12.2017

Rubber coated cotton, metallic sculptural details, silk-like leather of the finest workmanship - scrupulous handicraft work and the latest technological solutions stand behind the minimalistic items from Monarc 1.

THE BRAND WAS FOUNDED IN 2010 ON THE ISLAND OF BALI

Monarc 1 is nothing if not cosmopolitan: French designer Marcelle Laboux founded the brand on the island of Bali, famous for its leather workshops, and began to transfer part of production to Copenhagen last year. When it first appeared seven years ago, in 2010, fans of conceptual fashion fell in love with the brand for its skill at working with non-standard materials. 

MARCELLE LABOUX

Founder of the brand Marcelle Laboux was only 17 years old when she started working in the fashion industry. Prior to Monarc 1, Laboux worked extensively with opera houses, with artists, and then for several years she worked on a brand creating couture for red carpet events, concerts and the film industry. This experience taught Marcelle to turn things into works of craft art and to look at materials as non-static substances capable of assuming entirely new properties. As such, when Laboux left for Bali and began to elaborate the concept of Monarc 1, she was already certain that she would focus on unusual fabrics and hand techniques. These became the signature of the brand. The trademark mesh material made from leather fibres says more about the young brand than any catchy logo might: here we have a combination of mathematical calculation and poetic inspiration.

A COMBINATION OF MATHEMATICAL CALCULATION AND POETIC INSPIRATION

A GLIMPSE INTO THE CRAFT OF MONARC 1

Marcelle chose Bali for a reason; the island is famed not only as a beach paradise, but also for its techniques of working with natural leather, passed on from generation to generation. Under the guidance of the designer, Balinese craftsmen turn leather into silk, cotton, or a weightless net - Monarc 1 has virtually no rivals in the ability to re-think this material. 

This playing with materials, transforming them into something completely unique through original techniques in dying, heat treatment or unusual perforations, betrays the former theatre artist in Laboux. At the same time, her brand proves absolutely Zen: you will not find bright colours or flashy cuts in Monarc 1. Things from this brand slide gently over the body to create new and flexible silhouettes.

EMPHASIS ON NATURAL MATERIALS

The Monarc 1 team lays great emphasis on natural materials. However, responsible production is also something important for the brand, and is gradually being introduced. For example, the labels for its clothing are made from recycled rubber, and instead of plastic Monarc 1 uses biodegradable cassava for its bags. In the future, Marcelle Laboux hopes to find an alternative to natural leather too, that would be comparable in terms of its properties and aesthetic qualities. And, of course, when this happens, Laboux will surprise everyone yet again by demonstrating previously unknown methods for working with the material.

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