"Retro-futuristic psychedelic folk," is how Pascale Koehl describes her aesthetic. This is Moonchild's
first collection and the designer talks about it as some kind of voyage into the beyond. But it's also deeply traditional, as she says: each of Moonchild's colorful intarsia
sweaters and crochet ponchos is handmade by a knitting circle in Peru.
For fall, Pascale has re-worked eagle and condor motifs from American Indian myths, making the line a trippy mix of old and new. So what is Pascale taking? According to her answers below, doses of Pink Floyd and good old fashioned sleep deprivation.
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Alice Newell-Hanson: I love that you describe Moonchild as a "mystical journey." Is there an end point and what's your plan for getting there?
Pascale Koehl: There's no destination, it's just like a horizon—you head for the sunset but you know you'll never touch the sun! The most important thing is the trip itself.
ANH: What sparked your interest in Native American legends this season?
PK: I was listening to Pink Floyd's More
late at night, when I was exhausted. I was lying on my bed and started looking at my eagle ring. I kept staring at it and something mystical happened! I fell asleep and dreamed about all these Native American images and when I woke up I had a perfectly clear idea of the collection I was going to make, and all the research I needed to do.
ANH: How did you begin working with knitting circles in Peru?
PK: I started working in Peru when I was at the French label April77, where I was the head of knitwear design. I just needed to travel and meet other people and cultures, and I wanted things to be done in a good, honest, and human way. Maybe that makes me a hippie but it's a deep, personal choice.
ANH: Apart from beautiful knitwear, what do you hope to gain from working with local communities?
PK: Working with these communities allows me to show the incredible ancestral skills and culture these people have. I also try to be part of the ethical movement that advocates for responsible commercial behavior. It's an personal belief that can take shape in reality: consume less, but better.
ANH: Have you always known that you wanted to design clothes?
PK: I was around 10 when the idea first came to me, which is weird because my school career prepared me for a completely different ending!
ANH: Do you remember the first piece you ever designed?
PK: I was a teenager and it was some kind of laser-cut bike short (it was the 90s), and I drew a matching blazer. I remember that drawing so clearly! Definitely questionable.
ANH: And how and when did you decide to start your own brand?
PK: It's a project that matured slowly, with my experience, my beliefs, and dreams. And then one day it clicked: it was the right time and I felt ready.
ANH: If Moonchild were a person, who would he/she be?
PK: Syd Barrett
ANH: What's on your bookshelf at the moment?
PK: On my bookshelf: The Doors of Perception
by Aldous Huxley. And next on my list is Mount Analogue
René Daumal, which a friend just recommended.
ANH: What's your book recommendation?
PK: Jim Harrison, A Good Day to Die
ANH: Where is the best place in Paris for...
The Lizard Lounge, a Mexican pub in the 4th arrondissement, for the best nachos I've ever eaten!
Le Cinéma des Cinéastes, a little independent cinema next-door to me
...finding hidden treasures?
Harpo, in the 4eme
My upstairs neighbor's flat, apparently.
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