In the work of ” Mariot Chanet ” (derived from the names of the founders, Michèle Meunier and Olivier Chatenet), innovation never means extravagance, but rather elegance and understatement. Never succumbing to facile effects, these two former Studio Berçot students developed one of the most original styles of the nineteen-nineties.
Along the way, they acquired solid experience in the greatest fashion houses, giving them a broad and diversified point of view. Meunier first worked as a studio assistant at Chanel from 1981 to 1983. From 1983 to 1985 she was in charge of manufacturing for Commes Des Garçons, and then took over as director of the design office of Marithé and François Girbaud. Chatenet was an assistant at Azzedine Alaïa for one year before becoming licensing manager for Thierry Mugler.
Their designs put the emphasis on the natural body, enhancing it with clothes that do not hinder its evolvement in space. Well before the minimalist trend, their collections explored ranges of muted colours that heighten the purity of the silhouette. Certain designs can be transformed to modify their function. Many items created from a single piece of cloth are direct descendants of the primitive wrap.
The innovations tested in the first line, dating from 1987, found clever new applications in 1989 in the second line, ” Jersouille “, made up of small knit pieces with exclusive prints. The Mariot Chanet label continued to thrive into the nineties, supported by various financial partners as well as fellowships from ANDAM and the Ministry of Industry. Hermès asked the couple to work with its design studio on the house’s ready-to-wear lines. Then in 1997, following a divergence of opinion between the designers of Mariot Chanet and the holding company which financed it, company was dissolved.
In 1999, Michèle Meunier and Olivier Chatenet launched a new label called, quite simply, E2. More than just a fashion label, it is an original production and marketing concept which offers one-of-a-kind items and customised vintage clothes, such as antique kilts embroidered with sequins and silver leather.
In 2001, the house of Léonard named the Chatenets as their creative directors in 2001, an ideal choice in the light of their love and respect for prints and antique clothes.
In 2002, E2 participated with the biggest designers of the 20th century in the “Couturier Superstar” exhibition at the Paris Fashion Museum. Today, the couple continues to pursue the concept that made their reputation: designer pieces taken from the 1920s-1980s acquired through auctions or second hand shopping, transformed, studded or buttoned to make one-of-a-kind hand-made clothes.