This was news to me: an entire career path dedicated to producing patterns. Those to be sold to fashion houses that either catalogue them as inspirational sources, or incorporate them straight into their seasonal collections. I was under the misconception that patterns simply appeared on cloth; it was never a design issue, a designed idea with its own concept separate of Fashion Design. Quite the revelation!
A recent trip to Brussels brought me face to face with Sébastien Pescarollo and Barbara Repole of the smile-begetting label PIECEOFCHIC. At the vernissage where we originally met, I’m quite certain I crassly blurted out: “piece of WHAT?” Piqued, I booked an appointment, and spent two hours stealing their generous espresso and tea offerings while documenting their studio. One that despite all the blaring colours, is deliciously organised into a bright and white creative outfit on Avenue Louise. Let’s take a peek!
+ Hi Sébastien, Barbara, let’s start with your favourite spot in Bruxelles
-Sébastien | food: L’AMOUR FOU – Great bio burger.
drink: LE BAR DU MATIN – Cool decoration, top place to drink a tea or a beer any time of the day.
music: L’AB – The place for live music.
-Barbara | food: COOK AND BOOK – Top place to eat and buy books at the same time. We like to go there late after work for inspiration because it stays open until midnight. and LE PERROQUET – For pitta.
drink: BELGA – Cool decoration, top place to drink a fresh mint tea in winter and a beer in summer on the beautiful terrace.
music: PUKKLEPOP – Great Belgian summer festival music.
+ How do you see Bruxelles as a design centre?
-PIECEOFCHIC | This is a great melting pot of people from many horizons. We think this mix is very positive for creation. Some people say that Brussels is like a little Berlin for this creative energy… I think there is something of that. We also feel that Brussels is full of creators that want to assure the “Made in Brussels” quality Label. It’s a small city … everyone knows each other and share their passion…
+ And why Bruxelles as opposed to say…Antwerp?
-PIECEOFCHIC | I’m not sure that there is an opposition, but it’s the differences like between NY and LA… Differences are enriching and make Belgium a country with a richer diversity créatrive known around the world. We like this difference because it inspires us a lot.
+ PIECEOFCHIC – where does the name come from?
-PIECEOFCHIC | Our name comes from a joke… it’s the idea of not taking ourselves seriously. It’s a way to stay free! We want to create without any boundaries, doing what we like and not what people expect.
+ How did you transition from your background in design to what you currently do at PIECEOFCHIC?
-PIECEOFCHIC | The transition was made step by step. Sébastien was an art director in a communications agency in Brussels. He worked for several Belgian brands in photo shooting, catalogues, visual identities. Barbara worked as a fashion designer for different Belgian brands and also travelled a lot. Being a couple now for 15 years, we have grown our passion for fashion together. PIECEOFCHIC is the perfect combination of both our skills. We both design prints for the studio and we both make decisions for the collection dresses. PIECEOFCHIC was founded in 2010. At the beginning, we combined 2 day jobs in one because we worked on PIECEOFCHIC after our work day. I think it’s the only possibility to make a new project. When the project is operational, you can make a transition. Now we work full time for PIECEOFCHIC and we are very happy!
+ Please describe your own studio space in once short sentence.
-PIECEOFCHIC | Peaceful, fun, shared, inspiring, city-centred, bright, dynamic, hard working, friends…
+ I really enjoyed your Highway to Hell project. What was the original concept that led to this collection?
-PIECEOFCHIC | For this collection, Barbara wanted to use flowers and Sébastien wanted to bring Rocking Attitude. We just made a mix of our desires and we played with the sentence “highway to hell” using death and cemetery imageries, skulls, bones and religious icons with a magical touch.
“THERE IS NO DEATH, ONLY A CHANGE OF STYLE – RIP : Rest In Piece of Chic ”
To represent this theme, we found that cemeteries are full of beautiful colours and beautiful flowers. That gave us the starting inspiration. For the shooting, it was exciting to reproduce very “Chic” suicide scenes which became Very Romantic and Sweet because of the colours and flowers…
+ Recently, what have you been reading / watching / listening-to during the latest design project?
-Sébastien | I always read comics books like Iron Man, Punisher,…
-Barbara | I am reading Steve Job’s biography…I miss him.
-PIECEOFCHIC | We listen to electronic music but recently we’ve gotten back to 90’s hiphop. We watch Breaking Bad, Homeland, Sons of Anarchy,…
+ And finally, what’s your drink of choice?
-Sébastien | a cup of coffee, a carrot juice, a beer and finally a gin tonic for parties…
-Barbara | a cafe latte, an apple juice, a fresh mint tea, a vodka redbull for parties…
Merci Sébastien et Barbara!