There is a wonderful incongruity to the work of illustrator-turned fashion designer Pierre-Louis Mascia.

His method is based on an idea of esthetic melange and far-stretching metissage, yet the result retains a lucid, almost Cartesian quality. Where others seek bursting retinal boldness, and even a certain messiness, in the unexpected associations of the collage technique, Mascia uses the same identical tools – sudden about-turns, non-orthodox parallels, visual duplicity – to express clarity.
He does so even when opting for retina-burning colors and hypnotic geometries, or when he seamlessly merges the achingly sharp and the softly organic in the same cadre. “I conceive my prints as if they were paintings or artworks – says Pierre-Louis, surrounded by the methodic, elegant chaos of his atelier in Toulouse, France – In this sense, I feel more like a dessinateur than a fashion designer. The mix of different patterns, a constant attention to the color palette and the use of certain materials define the identity of my collections”.

A quick look at the light-flooded room – a sunny apartment in Toulouse’s arty district – offers proof. Mascia’s compositions live as 2D patterns, but they usually begin in 3D, getting closer and closer to their final flat incarnation through a process of soulful, if relentless, edit, only to get volume again when worn by a living body.
Here is a mix of fabrics or thorn book pages, laid out on the floor in op art mode – a black and white print may arise from this, or maybe not; stacks of faded and frayed wallpapers on an angle will be put to good use as soon as Pierre-Louis feels ready, and the same will happen to the endless selection of vintage pieces neatly packed on clothes racks; even a black lace curtain shielding the tall windows from the blinding Southern France light or the way books are arranged into the crammed bookshelf suggest an approach to visual composition that is all one’s own, and that may turn anytime into art-to-be-worn. “It all comes from the guts” explains Pierre-Louis, concisely. He doesn’t need to add anything: the work truly speaks by itself, and the author prefers it that way.

Born in 1968 and schooled at Toulouse’s renowned Beaux Arts academy, Mascia landed in fashion as an illustrator. He quickly built a reputation as one of the industry’s most original and sharply poetic eyes until, in 2007, he met a family of Italian entrepreneurs of large views – the Uliassi brothers, owners of the Achille Pinto

printing factory in Como, a local excellence with eighty years of glorious history – and launched his namesake collection of printed scarves.

The endeavor met with immediate success and quickly grew to include knitwear, windbreakers, cushions and ever blankets. The electricity of subdued contrast is what makes the PLM label so special: design is clean, almost minimal, while the eye is constantly entertained by the psychedelic yet rigorous whirlwind of motifs and colors.
What you get is a productive yet peaceful fight of Bauhaus strictness and Rococo abandon: a perfect mix of control and anarchy.

While many others designers working with prints try desperately to reference art, only to lose to obviousness, Mascia follows a deeply artistic work method, but refuses to present himself grandly as an artist. This humble pragmatism makes him both an outsider and a winner. “I just follow my instinct. Each season I begin by mixing references, patterns and designs, then reduce it down progressively into a collection” he says, matter-of-factly, sounding a bit like the William Burroughs of applied arts he actually is.
Cut-up is so integral to whatever he does, in fact, from the prints he conceives to a lifestyle of constant commuting between France and Italy, it might just be the essence of the way he sees life in general: borderless and open.

Quiet yet stubborn, Mascia is a true original: a voice out of the chorus and a creative spirit marching to his own drum.
On a side note, as the fashion system grows prone to conformity, it is quite exciting to acknowledge such a singular work is made possible by the enlightened open-mindedness of Italian entrepreneurs. “Without Achille Pinto, I could never do anything like this” concludes Pierre Louis, adding gratitude to his list of qualities.

For the records, he still works as an illustrator, and is widely sought after for that as well. He might be one of the few living designers gracing the pages of a book, a one-off Coca Cola can and coiling around the neck of a perfect stranger at once.

by Angelo Flaccavento
for Hunter Fashion Magazine #24

For next winter's signature collection, Pierre-Louis Mascia found inspiration
in an unexpected and multifaceted visual universe.

Eclecticism and diversity enliven the spirit of the brand between decorative
density and extreme metissage, as in a wonderful Wunderkammer.
Many different things inspired the creative eye of the designer.

The colors and textures of Palazzo Fortuny in Venice,
venue of the latest exhibition of Tàpies paintings.
The world of curious trivia and rare items at "De Vera" in New York.
The Scottish clans tartans recalling the shamanic Iranian Kasgaï carpets.
A hemp Christ by the English artist Steve Goddard.
The rythms and rap of M.I.A.
The quiet words by writer and poet Charles Juliet.

Three-dimensional patterns and graphics of dense wool fabrics, the seduction
of layered lace that becomes a bygone memory and a real time emotion.
Dots-checks-lines: the rhythm of black and white is mixed with hints of
paisley flowers and Oriental rugs.
Afro suggestions are an amazing development in check and formal
multicolour menswear for the New Dandy.

The man is looking into the future of a recent past.

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Paris - L'Eclaireur
Paris - Avedis
Paris - Victoire
Paris - Cairns
Paris - Franck & Fils
Paris - Le Bon Marché
Paris - Jacenko
Paris - Moss
Aix En Provence - La Grande Boutique
Ajaccio - Anareda
Bastia - Michel et Noel
Besançon - Globe
Bordeaux - Sceno 10
Grenoble - Maxima
Lyon - Capsule
Marseille - Allan Joseph
Megève - Victoire
Montpellier - Jean Gaillard
Nantes - Passage 31
Quimper - Sand Wedge
Reims - Intemporel
St Etienne - Prego
St Tropez - Le Civette
St Tropez - Othello
St Tropez - Victoire
Starsbourg - Albe
Toulouse - Département Féminin

Venezia - Al Duca d'Aosta
Padova - Al Duca d'Aosta
Treviso - Al Duca d'Aosta
Conegliano - Loschi
Torino - San Carlo
Brescia - Penelope
Firenze - Luisa Via Roma
Montecatini - Morini
Forte Dei Marmi - Morini
Milano Marittima Riccione - Nick & Sons
Alba - Vincenti
Roma - Eleonora Nia
Palermo - Dell'Oglio
Milano - Biffi Pupi Solari
Portocervo - Le Civette
Arezzo - Sugar
Siena - Cortecci
Modena - Montorsi

Aalst - Bogaert
Anvers - Verso
Bruxelles - Coton Cachemire et Soie
Bruxelles - Francis Ferent
Bruxelles - Nitz
Ciney - Henin
Dendermonde - Intramuros
Herentals - Wellens
Knokke - Marie Claire
Kortrijk - Papago
Liège - Irina Kha
Mortsel - Edith Of Oxford
Spa - Au Fuseau


Luxembourg - Little Smets


Amsterdam - Pauw


Zurich - Vestibule

Tokyo - Beams
Tokyo - Isetan
Tokyo - Tomorrow Land
Tokyo - United Arrows

Pierre-Louis Mascia
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