By Alice Butterlin

Most of the world has been in lockdown for over a month now due to the COVID-19 crisis. A moment frozen in time, when people are faced with solitude, grief or anxiety and see their daily lives shift for the better or the worse. In this time of extreme uncertainty, we can also take the time to reflect, create and enjoy the passing of these strange elastic days. We thought it would be interesting to ask artists around the globe how their creative process has changed during the quarantine and if it has been an inspiring or rather daunting experience… with a quick snapshot of themselves in lockdown. Meet Boramy Viguier, the Parisian designer who is making waves with his stunning menswear collections, crafted to perfection. His silhouettes present a knowing mix of workwear in rugged materials, gothic romanticism and several mystical elements. Though his fashion contains many references, it is much more than a patchwork of icons and artistic currents. Each garment is subtle, considered and expressive of a whole new language. Discover how he is spending his days during this frozen time.

How has your daily life changed since lockdown began?

I’m lucky to have my studio right down the block, on the ground floor. I decided to just work every day. Life is quieter, almost at a standstill. I work better in the quiet. That’s what has fundamentally changed. I feel like I’m a thousand times more efficient. I can’t source anything and I don’t have a team anymore. But I use whatever’s in my studio, whatever I can find. I feel like my work process is more organized and focused.

Have you had to rethink the way you create?

I’ve rethought my whole way of working. I’m in a situation where I have to make do with what I have. I can’t buy anything, I can’t source anything like I used to, I can’t organize shoots with models, etc. I’m not making anything by choice so much as by necessity. I have stuff in my studio and I try to make something else out of it. It’s much more interesting that way. Necessity is the mother of inspiration.

Did you realize anything in particular during this time?

It’s been a real slap in the face. You realize you depend too much on suppliers who might be on the other side of the world. This system is too fragile. And it’s stupid. I wonder how we ended up here. It’s almost pathetic. In fashion, we’ve put ourselves in a position where we can’t do anything without other people. Without the industry. But at the same time we love to criticize it. Everybody wants to feel like they are outside the system. I’m envious of painters who can still paint in spite of quarantine. Or writers who can still work on their novels. They’ve got the right idea.

Are you worried?

I’m worried that this situation is hurting people. I’m worried that next February we might see a Covid-20, which might not spare the young. This epidemic is putting our heads back on straight. It’s bringing us back to what is essential and necessary. This is the “reassuring” side of this crisis. No one can really deny that it’s rubbing our noses in the dirt.

Do you feel more inspired or paralyzed by the lockdown?

It’s beyond inspiring. But in the literal sense of the word. I don’t know why, but people often think that inspiration is something nice. It’s always a movie you loved, a musician you love, a mother who read Vogue… I think real inspiration is painful. Shock or trauma. And the situation we’re in now, it’s very painful.

Have you started or returned to any activities that you do not normally have time to do?

No, not really. I eat breakfast in the morning. Something I never used to do before.

What do you think you’ll take away from this shutdown?

That we really work better in a quiet environment. That living in a less polluted environment is more enjoyable. That there really are people who are good at what they do: garbage collectors, firemen, cashiers, caregivers…

How do you see life after this crisis?

Challenging, exciting and exhausting. I don’t think we’ll have much time to just blow off steam.

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