Olivier Langhendries is an artist, florist, performer and fashion model. His red hair and long beard have made him a recognizable figure over the web and Italian television, for which he arranges flowers on-air during a popular sports show. Langhendries' latest adventure, however, is fashion. Entering the world not as a model but as a thoughtful designer, he has created an eponymous capsule collection that reflects his distinct personality.
The new endeavor is fueled by his heritage as well as experiences from his childhood and adolescence. "It's a childhood dream," Langhendries tells CH, "At the age of 10, I started drawing silhouettes and female outfits. First on paper, then gradually on everything that came into my hand. Very soon all my books and notebooks at school were filled with sketches. All my school years I was determined by the choice of my future profession: fashion designer. Unfortunately, after my baccalaureate I couldn’t go to the fashion school."
His passion for design and beautiful things led him to a deep appreciation and love of flowers. "I worked a while in a flower shop and when I finished high school, my father drove me to study management in the floral industry. So floral designer became my first profession." Adding to the list of influences; his Belgian origins, which are reflected in his designs' unexpected and sometimes surreal touches—sometimes reminiscent of Magritte and Renaissance paintings. "In Belgium and the Netherlands, the flowers are part of the culture. So Flemish artists like Rembrandt and Jean-François Van Dael were inspirations. Besides I wanted a romantic mood for basic clothes."
As a consequence off all these inspirations and experiences, the Olivier Langhendries capsule collection boasts subdued flowers printed on T-shirts, sweatshirts and caps—all of which are simple yet elegant silhouettes. Simplicity and quality are the basic elements of the collection, together with a level of sophistication that is oftentimes elusive in basics. The collection will be released in early 2015 with stockist information to be available online.
Lookbook images courtesy of Olivier Langhendries, flower shop images courtesy of Cristiano Salinardi.