There is a moment in the Karl Lagerfeld documentary
Confidential where its maker answers a "call of nature" in
the House of Chanel to find the following placarded mantra: "Si tu
pisses partout t'es pas Chanel du tout" (pissing everywhere isn't
very Chanel). Quite right too I think, as this is evidence of three
good things: the fashion industry for once taking itself less
seriously, a rare return from said overt glitzy glamor to the
famously blunt form and natural style of the house's original
founder, and the fitting extension of this original trademark
elegance to their lavatorial standards.
I'm referencing it here not just because it's a funny little clip, but because it made me think about my main point this week: whether it registers or not, we expect certain behavior from certain brands. We form preconceptions and then levels of expectation (as above) through our relationship to and engagement with their products. We like them to meet our standards and ideals. And this is as it should be, especially for brands that we have come to know and trust. However this shouldn't stop new blood from challenging the status quo, both in reinterpreting our expectations and experiences and in capturing our imaginations.
While true synesthesia is involuntary--like when people describe being "hurt by" shouts--the idea or theory of one form of sensory stimulation blending with, or suggesting, another offers exciting new creative territories. Here are some interesting examples of new approaches not all following the same principles, but all nonetheless challenging what we know and how we know it. We're anticipating (and hoping for) more...
Scent by Sight
Tasting by Whiffing
Intoxication by Inhalation/Scratch-and-Sniff Cinema
"Breathe responsibly" is the disclaimer ingenious duo Bompas and Parr greet their visitors with upon entering Alcoholic Architecture, their pop-up bar in London's Soho. Here, they revolutionize the intake of alcohol by letting you inhale rather than drink, specifically a nice gin and tonic. Forty minutes of exposure apparently equals consumption of one cocktail.
Sophie Maxwell's fashion background as a graduate and now guest lecturer at London's Central St Martins is put to daily use in her role as Head of Creative Insight at Pearlfisher.