This week, we unveiled our latest project: the Beau Carré. Created in collaboration with the Turkish brand Lar, this scarf to perfume retraces La Baigneuse’s journey from Paris to Istanbul via our workshop in Nîmes. With the Beau Carré, the fabric is impregnated with your favorite fragrance to prolong its wake and bring it to life with every movement you make. A new scented gesture to experience your fragrance differently.
Art has been inspiring us for more than 30 years now, so being able to connect the artistic universe of captivating creators to our fragrances was an obvious choice. This wish has become a reality with this first collaboration, which saw the birth of the Beau Carré thanks to the talent of Laris Kilimici, the creator of Lar !
The inspired interview
Carrément Belle: Who is behind Lar?
Laris: Just me, myself and I. Laris Alara Kilimci, a 26 year old young designer from Istanbul. I have a little help from friends and family too, their love is a big support.
“Kilimci”, it reminds us strangely our oriental patchouli “kilim“! A sign?
Yes! We travel when we smell perfumes in our memories but the “kilim” was a sign probably that you should travel visually this time to Istanbul.
My last name comes from my grand-grand parents who used to trade Kilim Rugs from Middle East cause they could speak Arabic as they were close to the Syrian border of Turkey. As a minority in Turkey (half Assyrian and half Armenian) our culture was all about not being a part of any country and being merchants; which proves our entrepreneurial nature.
Tell us about Lar: how was the project born and how do you see it evolve?
I studied animation at Central Saint Martins and graduated in 2015, so I come from a graphic design background. But I always had a love for art prints and retail: there is something special about being free to creatively direct a world, through having it under a root of a brand. I was making large screenprints for a year and I wanted to evolve my love for print to a world. Creating and producing what you want to wear every day, drawing designs that tell stories, that was what intrigued and attracted me the most.
Your pieces are always very colorful, and the drawings evoke many forms: what are your inspirations?
Graphic arts, feeling of dancing, music, folk arts, colors in life, humour, surrealism and play, beautiful objects, architecture, symbolism…
From New York to Istanbul and London: you have traveled a lot! Does it influence your work?
Definitely. I never had a feeling of fully belonging anywhere which made my works language accessible to all I think. It’s about the joy of the flow of shapes and there’s a lot of architectural inspirations as it’s mostly about a place that does not exist with elements from here and there: a utopia.
Drawing is not obvious for our Carrément Belle team… How did it come to you? Do you create each model yourself?
Yes, I do. Most of my work comes subconsciously with a play in rhythm and elements I find beautiful. When I was creating the works for Carrément Belle I wanted to get the feeling of Nîmes and wanted to imagine what it was like so I first watched a Truffaut film that passed in Nîmes “Les Mistons”. Very irrelevant but it gave me a feeling of the scenery of the roman ruins in a natural perspective. The fact that Carrément Belle was built in the late 1980’s really affected my color decisions, and it worked with my dynamic naïve style of printmaking. I wanted to travel from Nîmes to Istanbul with an unusual map that gives the feeling of a square in a architectural feeling; a feeling of union. You can see details of architecture and abstract references and all was created as a large collage first.
Tell us your meeting with Carrément Belle.
We met in Paris at a Who’s Next trade fair. Maxime noticed our prints and my colleague Cem and I got introduced to the world of playful senses that Carrément Belle had. I fell in love with the vintage bottles and the modest yet unique attitude of the brand. Unlike most perfume brands in the industry Carrément Belle ditched the luxury sass and came down purely to what they make: the perfumes and their stories. The innocent and playful styled of the brand was also an intriguing point.
Why did you decide to combine these two worlds? What are our common points?
I think both Lar and Carrément Belle are timeless brands that will make what they are making no matter what. They are more than anything themselves: a story. I always wanted to make a sensory project as I often get inspired by intangible beauties in life; perfume such-like is a bunch of elements coming together. You never know fully how it will be until it ends, it’s all dancing up in the air and when it finally comes down you cannot fully describe it, it has personal experience. My work is also like Carrément Belle’s perfumes I think: very personal and not restrained by the templates of the popular media.
How do you manage to translate an emotion, a trip on a drawing?
I’m not sure if I can fully do that. But I think it comes to your mind and if you can capture that frame in your mind you can do it.
This time, the trip was made between France, and more particularly Nîmes where our workshop is, to your home in Istanbul, Turkey. How to translate these two destinations in your creation?
As Yves Saint Laurent said once you don’t have to travel somewhere to know the feeling of the city. For me I imagined Nîmes in my mind from films. It is quite a romantic thing to imagine a city you have not been to, as it is a place that exists and doesn’t really exist at the same time. To me Istanbul is chaos and Nîmes unlike Istanbul feels calmer and modest. You can see the contrast of that in the print.
If we had to visit Turkey, what would you advise us to see… and smell absolutely?
I would advise you do close your eyes and take a ship trip on the Bosphorus, smell the sea, have the ted Turkish tea in the curvy glass sitting on the corners of the large ship, watch the seagulls dance alongside your trip from A to B. I love the ferry because it takes me away from the chaotic traffic of Istanbul, which is occupied by 15 Million people. It’s a cliché but you really get the best sense of the city, it’s very melancholic yet sweet at the same time.
Perfumery, what does it evoke you?
Memories, people, colors.
Your favorite perfume from our Collection?
Honestly it changes all the time, I am quite playful with perfumes, changing depending on my mood.
One of my favorite at the moment is ippi patchouli,,because it’s warm, curvy and brave. I think it is a both luscious yet simple at the same time which makes it the one. But I also love ïōdé, which gives me a sense of clarity, like daydreaming and seeing bubbles in the sky while staring right into the sunny clouds. Also somehow reminds me of a scene from the Japanese cartoon film Kiki. The girl falls of a train but somewhat the miserable accident feels free and starts daydreaming on the windy grass while staring at the blue sky.
Perfuming our carré, a new ritual to adopt?
I wish all textiles and everyday products were multi-sensual experience! This will be a sweet combination I think.
From drawing to manufacturing, what are the steps to create a scarf? How do you choose your suppliers and manufacturers?
Play, make a mess, clean up, re-connect, cut-out, finalize, digitalize, color tests with textile samples, send to manufacturer, make sure they make the right hemming, voila.
Your favorite way to wear the carré?
On my head with messy hair: the typical bandana style-like Françoise Hardy.
Lar x Carrément Belle in one word?
Discover now the Beau Carré here.