Meet The Designers Making Clothes For Pageant Girls On Acid
MaryMe-JimmyPaul is a delightfully insane Dutch brand. Their clothes look like Lady Miss Kier meets My Little Pony, a combination that we strongly, strongly support. The designers kind of seem like they tossed a bunch of Saturday morning cartoons in a blender with feathers and some JonBenet Ramsay-style (they said it first!) pageant girl outfits. But the clothes are somehow even weirder and more beautiful than that description. Perhaps they’re what the characters would have worn if our favorite movie, Drop Dead Gorgeous, happened to take place on Venus.
Two of MaryMe-JimmyPaul’s most famous customers are Rihanna and Baddie Winkle, the badass weed-loving grandma from Instagram — which is perhaps the best endorsement that one could ever give the label. Founded by former art students Marie Burlot and Jimmy Rinsum, MaryMe-JimmyPaul is bright, youthful, and kind of electrifying. We always love fashion people that don’t take themselves too seriously, and designers that sell clear plastic jackets filled with pink hair are surely that. As Burlot and Rinsum told British website Not Just A Label, “A lot of the time, fashion is simply dictated by trends of the moment. It can miss a sense of soul. We like to enhance our pieces with something soulful, to add an extra spark.”
MaryMe-JimmyPaul showed outside of the traditional fashion month schedule, instead collaborating with beanbag chair company Fatboy on a presentation. Held at the Soho Arts Club, the event was one of the most fun fashion presentations we’ve ever been to. The models were posed on beanbag chairs, and they were hilariously instructed to take selfies the entire time. A live DJ played, and all of the guests (a freakishly cool mix of everyone we’ve ever creeped on on Instagram, including a guy wearing a penis hat) were encouraged to dance. Most importantly, the MaryMe-JimmyPaul presentation had wine. Why don’t all fashion shows have wine? Art openings have wine!
But most importantly, the clothes themselves were pretty fantastic. Our favorite ensembles were beautiful, feminine silhouettes that were made entirely of feathers. The Fatboy collaboration was designed as raingear, so everything, even the bird-like outfits, could survive getting wet. One particularly striking look was a giant kimono, placed in the center of the room, that looked like it was made entirely of plastic – except for the large plants in the back. Everything at MaryMe-JimmyPaul was pretty surreal.
We caught up with Rinsum at the presentation (Burlot was in Amsterdam), to talk about his crazy-fun line.
Can you tell me a little bit about the collection?
What MaryMe-JimmyPaul does is we do one collection per year and we divide up the collection in spring and summer, so this is the first part of the new collection. And then in the winter we’re gonna do the winter version of it. This collection has a lot of different layers. The whole collection is based on carrying your own habitat, creating the perfect garden. So we took a lot of design tools from zen gardens and park life and picnicking.
What we always try to do is make plastic polyester — like fake materials — we try to make them look natural. And also the other way around. For example: these are all feathers, but because they have such a color pop they look fake. Some looks are very plasticky but it’s all hand dyed, organic dye, and we stitch everything by hand.
If the collection is based on habitats, what’s your ideal habitat?
Oh, being here with you!
It’s my ideal habitat too! So, you’re also collaborating with DatLook?
Yes! DatLook is an online fashion community. We are now for sale at DatLook, so this show is also in collaboration with them. They are the ones that brought the models together, and the whole production team together.
DatLook is actually great. It’s all going to be on DatLook.
Can you tell me about your collaboration with this bean bag chair company, Fatboy?
So Fatboy is a Dutch company, and we always work with this nylon from which the Fat Boys are made. Those really thick plastic nylons, we work with those. And then we thought, why not do a collaboration? Fatboy has a lot of different products, except a rainwear line. So then we thought, let’s design a rainwear line for them. They are Dutch, we are Dutch: it’s a perfect combination.
Can you wear the feathers in the rain?
Well actually, if you wear them in the rain then let them dry, they become more beautiful.
I’m obsessed with the models on their phones.
Well, we like this lowbrow art. That’s where we got a lot of inspiration from. What we’re trying to do is create an atmosphere where the viewers are in like an exhibition space in like a museum, and the models are the pieces of art. But by the models being on their phones — like visitors usually are — they turn it around. Now when you go to a museum you see so many people more focused on their phones than the actual artwork on the wall. By turning it around it sort of brings a mirror to society.
These dogs are very Jeff Koons.
They really are! They’re part of the Fatboy collection so we thought “Well, why not.”
All photos by Carlos Santolalla