Model for the S/S 2010 COMING SOON lookbook
Barnabé Fillion was supposed to play the role of “model” when I interviewed him but I quickly learned that modeling and fashion are not the focal points of his life. This made our interview much more exciting - and poetic - than expected.
Barnabé is someone who has many surprising talents when he is “off-duty”.
Before the COMING SOON shoot, he was playing a small machine, which turned out to be a synthesizer; he is working on producing an album influenced by artists such as, Eno, Pole, Maurizio, Holger Czukai, and Jah Shaka (“I am such a big fan,” he says, laughing).
But his main occupation turns out to be much more unexpected. When not modeling for Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Martin Margiela, or Hedi Slimane, Barnabé is a “nose”, a perfume designer. After his photography studies, he decided to deviate to phytology, which led him to compose his own remedies and drinks, ultimately moving on to perfume formulas.
Talk to him about fragrances and his face immediately lights up: “I came in to the perfume world reading Le Miasme et la jonquille by Corbin. It is such a pleasure to work in this field. I am always working and testing; I begin with hard notes trying to match my ideas and thoughts then I confront them. I am currently launching my own laboratory in Morocco, in Tangier”. Barnabé’s conception has something very special: he is obsessed with organic materials. During his creation process he only uses organic substances (“[they are] more fragile and vibrating, and particularly more honest”), and then he studies the “awful synthetic game” while strictly repudiating it. His approach to fragrance seems to stand at the crossroads of romantic and concept: with his brand Diurne, he re-works classic fragrances of the antique perfumery to “keep only the inspiration, which makes the stamp of acquaintance disappear”, while his line Saja is dedicated to the poesy of travel, inviting you to visit “olfactoryly” various places around the world.
Why were we interviewing Barnabé? Oh, yes, because he is the model of the last COMING SOON lookbook. The day of shooting with Barnabé was delightful: he has something very peaceful, that may come from his passion for kundalini yoga. He is also very funny, capable of playing air guitar on the shoehorn! He liked modeling for the A/W 2009-10 Yohji Yamamoto show and was astonished to see how this collection looked like him, because “[he] also wears pajamas under [his] suits”. And this COMING SOON collection? “I like the military print which almost turns into a Hawaiian shirt print! I also love the hats and the wide leg pants.”
Where can one meet Barnabé? This is easy, his Parisian address book perfectly fits him: the delicious organic restaurant Rose Bakery, the best pancakes in Paris at Breizh Café, the nice tea addicts of Jugetsudo, the perfect taste of Caravane, and of course he strolls at Dyptique where he likes the oldest fragrances and the home perfumes. And how can one recognize him? This is easy too: he looks like a poet from another era, a poet who makes perfume…