‘Après Moi Le Déluge’ King Louis XV
‘Après Moi Le Déluge’, a phrase largely attributed to King Louis XV, epitomizes the psychology of people who do not worry about the consequences that their acts could have. The expression was highly relevant in the context of a chain of troubling economic events between 2008 and 2009, during which the collection was developed. The crisis caused much uncertainty in the retail world as stores had to acknowledge the winding down of luxury consumption. Naturally it was not a conducive climate to launch a collection in which all products are handmade by artisans. Nonetheless the expression inspired a heartfelt question about the direction the label should steer towards. In times of uncertainty, there is even more a need to pay attention to quality craftsmanship that help sustains an enduring style rather than a passing fad.
Thus, the design impetus is to develop a handmade artisan collection that is uncompromising in quality and competitive in price. To achieve this, special attention was paid to the form and utility of the bags. The key pieces of Le Dèluge follow a non-mechanical form, which is also functional. Incorporating functions within the form help simplify the production process for the artisans, and therefore also reduces the cost. The experience in developing the Le Dèluge collection was a valuable lesson for the designer in how design choices can help handmade artisan products stay competitive and relevant in an economically challenged climate.