Talent Alert from Hyères: Tsolmandakh Munkhuu
Pictures: On the left, jewellery pieces from the collection & on the right, an air filter for inspiration. Photography: Alize Morand.
When I saw Tsolmandakh’s silhouettes emerging on the catwalk, their faces covered in black paint and their bodies in black pleats, I was quite struck. I first saw that strong, strong black, just like a monochromatic painting and then the sparkle of the raw copper crystals.
Her imagination created those Amazonian-meet-Mongolian goddesses, with an almost gothic touch.
I was so intrigued, I decided to go and speak to Tsolmandakh to understand her collection. She explained to me that she grew up in Mongolia and of course her unusual background, for a student of the renown Atelier Chardon Savard in Paris, fed her design style.
Indeed her collection is made of several themes crossing each other. First, the traditional women designs in Mongolia in the 18e century and Bouddhist monks were inspirations, with a twist of modernity. But the technique came from a rather surprising source: an air filter she found in the street on her way to school (see above), and in it she found beauty that inspired her black pleats all over her designs. Her favourite pieces are about volumes and pleats, best shown in that romantic black shade.
Imagination and theatricality are here essential: the collection is named Black Magic. It conveys emotions, spectacle and extreme detailing that moved me.
As for the projects and dreams of the young designer, they include starting her own line or maybe working for other design houses she admires, her favourites including McQueen, Galliano and Rick Owens, whose creative universes she understands and fits in.
Now I see why, and after she won the sought-after Public Prize in Hyères International Fashion Festival, I can definitely see it happening soon.