With a slew of successful products, collaborations and accolades under his belt, the Melbourne-based designer has reached maturity in his craft, and with it he has achieved a deeper understanding of what draws him to design. Now, in collaboration with Café Culture + Insitu, he is expanding and re-launching three of his key collections.
June 10th, 2014
“As we grow up, we get sophisticated out of enchantment and become too smart about things that cause children to wonder. We try seriously to find a world that is different, more conscious, more theoretically elegant than the charming one we knew as children”, Didier recites, quoting a famous passage from Thomas Moore’s The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life.
The theme of re-discovering lost wonder is a powerful one for the designer, who circles back to the importance of establishing personality in his pieces, and accessing the world of stories, fantasy and fable.
Indeed his latest collection is named ‘Fable’, and the photography that accompanies it is powerfully whimsical. “I really wanted to take it out of the real world, to that beautiful state of philosophy and beauty and what I was thinking about at the time I came up with the concepts. The whole idea was to recall humble, simple designs, in the tradition of the children’s tale or story books. I wanted to present this range as if a craftsman had hand crafted them, but behind the craft these pieces are made by sophisticated machinery. It’s more difficult to make things look simple than vice versa”, he explains.
A large component of Didier’s consolidation and strengthening of his brand has been to revisit his earlier work and engage with the first spark of its inspiration. He states, “I wanted to go back over a number of ranges I’d done in the past and forget all the bitterness that had gone into them. You start pure and inspired but by the end with all the crap you forget the pure thoughts that you started with. It seems an endless roller-coaster, as you end one project and start a new one inspired, and then you forget and the roller-coaster goes on.” His collaboration with Café Culture + Insitu has been a productive stage in this process, with the company’s breadth of experience and resources complementing Didier’s talent and vision for his brand.
Another important connection for Didier is to the Australian landscape. Again, a picture tells a thousand words, with arresting images of the Tiller collection sitting in a baked, rural Australian context. “In Terra Firma and Tiller a lot of the form and inspiration was informed by hands and farm equipment, even the shapes, like timber shovel handles,” Didier explains.
All this to say that Didier has reached a more mature state in his approach to design, one that requires greater thought. “There’s so much product out there”, he exclaims, “you become aware of the immensity, so you need to justify why you’re bringing a product to market, and I’m giving it much more thought and making it harder for myself.” The result, however, is a more considered offering from his brand, one that affirms its position both domestically and internationally.
Didier is working with Café Culture + Insitu to further strengthen his brand, and will be hosting a presentation of new product at the Café Culture + Insitu Sydney showroom on Wednesday 18th June. For more information visit the Café Culture + Insitu website.
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