For this former assistant of Thierry Mugler and Azzedine Alaïa, fashion design cannot be restricted to the narrow confines of designing clothes. From his education in art history and design at the Studio Berçot, Olivier Guillemin has retained a curiosity for all the diverse aspects of fashion. Since 1993 he has been president of the Comité de Couleur and a member of the Conseil des Métiers d’Art, heading a commission on innovation and contemporary creation.
He also works with industrial groups doing research on new textiles. In his ” Exemplarité ” line, launched in 1994, he experimented with new materials and colours. Functioning as a ” laboratory for industry “, it gave rise to a second bridge line.
Guillemin’s talents as an analyst and speaker have made him an ambassador of French fashion. His advice is sought by key players in luxury goods like Louis Vuitton (LVMH), textile labels like Woolmark, Courtaulds, Dupont de Nemours, Chargeurs and DMC, and cosmetics brands like L’Oreal and Shiseido. His talents as a stylist are much in demand among fashion labels, such as Claude Montana for the men’s line and Paco Rabanne for women’s ready-to-wear from 1991 to 1993. After much experience as a director of fashion shows, performances and exhibits, Olivier Guillemin founded his own company in 1989 after receiving an ANDAM fellowship. In partnership with a group of manufacturers, he launched his women’s ready-to-wear label.
The spaceship of Guillemin’s imagination explores an optimistic vision of fashion, navigating through a galaxy of colourful images where cartoon characters coexist peacefully with pompous personages decked out in ceremonial garb like so many icons from a Sci-Fi-Medieval fantasy. The titles of his collections light-heartedly recount, in polite and frivolous tones, sagas whose heroes, escapees from some dark corner, trip blithely through the most harrowing misadventures: ” Les Globules ” (” Corpuscles “) and ” Les Dents de la Mer ” (” Jaws “) date from 1986,” Voyage dans la Matière ” (” Journey to the Centre of the Material “) from 1994, and ” Expérience Rouge ” (” The Red Experience “) from 1995.
The designs are meant to be fun, with surprises and variable combinations.
Since 2001, he went into partnership with Olivier Védrine, architect, to set up (o,o) paris, an agency which influence sectors as diverse as interior design, fashion, textiles and beauty care and cleverly reinvetns the codes of luxury and tradition.