When you think about French fashion what probably comes to mind is a very elegant Parisian woman dressed in a neutral-tone look –most likely dark blue or black–, but the Cap-Ferret born painter Marguerite Bartherotte draws away from this stereotype with her clothing brand, G.Kero, one colour at the time.
Photo credit: Official Instagram account @gkeroparis
On a phone conversation, from a compact Paris to a sunny Cap-Ferret in southwest France, where she was born and raised, Marguerite starts with a simple phrase: “I’ve always been obsessed by colours”.
She confesses her unique and playful universe has an inspiration on the animal world, which is delicious to put in fashion drawings; the rock n’ roll world, due to the fact that she adores David Bowie’s aesthetics and physical appearance; and the kamasutra, which comes with the big challenge to translate it into illustrations without reaching vulgarity.
It looks like she has always been a rebel by nature and kind of a free spirit with a wild heart. From age 20 to 22 she was an alumni at La Cambre, in Brussels, one of the most renowned schools for architecture, design and visual arts in Europe. But it was not here where her vein for a colourful universe was born.
Already at 17, an adolescent miss Bartherotte was pouring herself into small paintings and selling them to their parents friends. She confesses to love the cartoon format, but found herself very disappointed at the strictness and lack of freedom the school was giving her. Her feeling was that she wasn’t exploiting the potential of her own imagination. “I felt like a fire inside me. I needed to express a lot and needed time to express my art”.
The sensuality of the human body has always been a source of inspiration for this artist-naturally-turned-designer. She perceives it as something intuitive and mysterious, and that is the cornerstone for the images and editorials G.Kero shares every season. And that sensual rebel inside comes up again when she expresses her thoughts on the nature of art: “Art should be against conformism. It reflects personalities, moods. If there is no art nor creativity, you don’t go forward”.
On the parisian blue-black-grey uniform
Paris might be known as the worldwide capital of elegance and good taste, but this is often depicted as a very sober, very toned-down and even restrictive dress code that, apparently, doesn’t leave room for anything else.
“I like challenges”. Is the first reaction of Marguerite Bartherotte when confronted with this topic. And the fact that she finds Paris sometimes sad and sometimes conformist is the reason why we are having this conversation on the phone. It looks like she feels much more at ease in her own personal studio in Cap-Ferret. A place that even protects her from external distractions by having a low network signal, which just enhances the wilderness and isolated aura of it. “I think you can be colourful and elegant at the same time, and that’s cool”.
3 artist the inspired you
Gaugin • David Bowie • Mirella Ricciardi (photographer Adieu l’Afrique)
3 artists/bands that you are currently listening to
Jacky Terrasson, Oracle Sisters, Polo et Pan