by Benedetta Mancusi
Not even a year after the release of her belt collection, a colourful marriage of ‘80s extravaganza and Commedia dell’Arte references, multidisciplinary French artist Lady Sold Out has embarked on a new venture - a shirt collection.
'Free Breath' is a nostalgic homage to some of her darlings, including her home in the French countryside, along with the music, colours, and aesthetic sensibilities that have shaped her creative vision.
“I belong to the ‘90s generation,” she tells me when I ask about the illustration that became the focal point of the shirts. “It was inspired by the colours and music that reflected those years, and my personal vision. It’s one of the first digital illustrations I created; it became my visual identity over time. So I got attached to it; I find that it represents who I am. I wanted to honour that.”
There are no similarities between the two collections, she explains. She sees every single one of her artistic endeavors as a new chapter that tells its own unique story, in line with the course of her life and current inspirations. The name 'Free Breath,' for instance, was inspired by her countryside roots - a visual moment that would feel 'like a breath of air.'
“I have been back to my hometown for some time now. I live in a hilly countryside, surrounded by inspiring landscapes. It’s a tribute to my land, its freshness, and nature. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, capturing it through a shoot in the wildlands.”
The collection is accompanied by a wonderful photoshoot that took place in the Icelandic wilderness, a collaboration with Palmyre Tramini and photographer Michal Czech. Apparently, pasta had something to do with how it all came about.
“It was an unexpected collaboration for everyone: just ideas being thrown around a table during a meal with my friend Palmyre Tramini. And I thought, why not work with friends for this shoot? So this is how this collaboration was born - over an Italian pasta dish!”
Six months later, the shoot was done, everyone buzzing to see their artistic visions come to life. But why Iceland and not France?
“I was looking for an unexpected place; I thought I would do this by the sea, maybe in a vacation setting. Then the opportunity to do this shoot in Iceland came at the last minute. It made sense with the message I wanted to convey, Iceland being a visual playground that reinforces the feeling of escape.”
Lady Sold Out candidly also tells me how this collaboration was one of the first she did around textiles and how important it was for her to make the shirt unisex. It is “like a canvas,” she explains.
One infused with her desire for freedom, and her warmth. Her hope is that many people will be able to wear it and feel all of that too.
For this artist, in fact, creating is sharing; “Collaborating makes the creative process incredibly rewarding. There are no limits; friends believe in you and your vision; everyone leaves space for everyone to exist; it's united, a beautiful exchange of trusting each other. It's very inspiring.”
Hearing those words while trying to exist as a creative in a post-capitalistic, individualistic world is more than refreshing and heartwarming – it makes me appreciate my community even more. In art we find resistance.
Finally, what can we expect next from Lady Sold Out?
“I'm working on a personal project that I've wanted to do for years. It’s a visual pleasure. I won’t say more!”
Edited by Emily Duff