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Catching Up With Marie Beltrami

Marie Beltrami has had a career as colorful and striking as her pink head of hair and the personality behind it—and she’s not finished yet. Since foray into fashion, she’s touched on clothing, accessories, furniture, writing, and so much more that it seems from the outside like there’s nothing that she hasn’t done. For Beltrami, the work-week never ends. Her creations are her life and inseparable from her job are the things that she loves, the art, the creativity, and the freedom of it all. Opposed to the ordinary, she aims to set your heart racing, and the work that she speaks of creating in the near future, such as erotic furniture, may succeed in doing just that.

Marie Beltrami

The last time we caught up with you was for our WTF issue in September 2013, how has your career evolved in the past year and a half?

I went to China and I made an awesome cyclops doll of corset for the lingerie brand Liza Cheng. I was received like a princess, I visited the Forbidden City in the company of the last Emperor…. it was magical.

What do you consider your greatest career success, thus far?

I am filled with enthusiasm. I’ve begun to recreate personal things again: fashion, accessories, furniture. I just created a jacket for Parisian women who go to work. I wanted simple, normal for once. Sober, in flannel or English wool, but when reversed it becomes Rock ‘n Roll. It is lined with striped knit sleeves and bright colored satin, and I created the zipper for it in 1978, when I went back to the idea of re-working. I love the reversal…. this is a kind of Chanel jacket revisited. Some will also be lined in kitchen towels.

veste envers (3)

veste reversible torchons

What is your latest endeavor?

Erotic furniture, I love that idea. Chairs and a headboard, the headboard is a couple in intimate harmony … I said no more.

For an artist such as yourself, it seems like your passions and your work have merged into one. So, what does Marie Beltrami do on a day off from work?

I work more. For me, work is my life. Creation is my passion because I am free to do what I want. It’s not easy you know, to be free and creative, others criticized me, someone told me, “you annoy a lot of people because you’re too creative”… help! Mozart also annoyed people. The comparison is pretentious, I know, but I can only mention designers who have dedicated their lives to their talent. Rembrandt, St. Laurent too, because their work, their inspiration, their music, painting was the core of their lives. I do not like the ordinary and I do not like reality TV. What is extraordinary, in this time, that can set someones heart racing? Certainly not reality TV, it’s the return of the arenas of Rome … the fight, who will be the strongest. There is nothing, no talent to be discovered, the world has become voyeur, maybe thug.

Going to Mars, I would find that extraordinary, that would make my heart beat, a dance on Mars, where we would dance the waltz.

It seems that you can turn any object into a work of art, from undergarments into bags and belts into sculptures… how do these projects come to life?

I just won the prize awarded for the invention of “Deluxe Talents” and in an interview recently I said that in creation, I like “the instinct of the moment”. That’s the most thrilling time of creation, when the idea is newly born, it’s there in your imagination and it comes to life, then it exists. It’s sufficient for me to achieve this, it is the magic in my life. If one day I can no longer have this freedom of thought and action to live and work, I prefer to die.

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Your style is bold, eccentric, recognized immediately by your impressive pink hair. How would you describe your personal style?

I am “Baroque’n’roll”, I do not like to be like the others.

Who, past or present, do you consider a fashion icon?

LouLou de la Falaise. I don’t know of any icon of today… someone who carries a trend that everyone will be inspired by.

You are known for pushing boundaries, but what is one trend that you think the fashion world is better off without?

If I understand your question, I must speak of luxury. Luxury is no longer in it’s place, the current luxury is for “new” rich, they do not wear designer clothes, they wear brands, specifically with no discretion in their affiliations. I read a message in a Japanese newspaper, where the youth say that luxury is for old, and it’s not bad!

I found a passage on luxury by JP Sartre: “The luxury does not designate a quality of possessed object, but a quality of possession.” (Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 1943, p 666)

What is your WILD Wish? Still to view the earth from outer space?

Yes, even more than before, and especially to meet an alien. Creation is an exciting adventure, it takes us to another world! Mine have not left me since my childhood. Besides, I have not really grown up… I have the same dreams.

text by: Kaelie Kelleher










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