The Reunionese designer showcases the multifaceted culture of his island through clothing and celebrates influential subculture movements.

Located a couple of hundred kilometers off the eastern coast of Madagascar, the Reunion Island is a multi-ethnic place where Creole, Indian, Chinese, and European cultures meet. The Island has been marked by centuries of slavery and colonialism and is still perceived with a colonial outlook because of France’s strong political and economic hold.

With his 2020 Spring-Summer “POOL PARTY STONE LOVE” collection, Nicolas Guichard gives us an alternative perspective of Creole culture and insights into the daily life of the Reunionese youth. Inspired by archival footage of ‘90s and early 2000s dancehall parties, Guichard’s collection takes us on a personal journey, while drawing attention to the strong influences of Dancehall in fashion.

The collection featured inspiration from Mauritian Sega dancers’ traditional costumes, breezy fabrics, lace-up details, and even vintage Creole curtain patterns from his grandmother and his friends.

Nicolas Guichard furthers his initiative to reclaim the narrative of Reunion’s youth with his latest project. Titled “La Kaz”, which means “Home” in Reunionese Creole, the photography series shot by Fabien Vilrus features a series of portraits of the local youth, telling stories about their dreams and aspirations. With a third of young people in Reunion leaving the school system without a diploma, they are often unheard and invisibilized by society.

With his authentic approach, Nicolas Guichard is bringing a fresh perspective to womenswear, while pushing for the Creole culture to be represented in the fashion industry.

Image credits

Image 1 : Lorie in Nicholas Guichard SS20 white church lace leggings, Photography by Fabien Vilrus, part of “La Kaz” exhibition of June 2020 at Balice Hertling gallery in Belleville

Image 2: Photography by Juan Corrales, Hair by Rimi Ura, Makeup by Thierry Do Nascimiento, Styling Assistant Gabin Trapier

Image 3 : Pool Party SS20, Photography by Fabien Vilrus, Styling from Corrales, Makeup by Louisa Trapier, Hair by Charlotte Dubreuil

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