Petite Meller on Her Historical Approach to Aesthetics

Petite Meller on Her Historical Approach to Aesthetics

French musician Petite Meller pens a personal essay on how she translates her work visually—and why she fit in perfectly at Mario Testino and Amanda Harlech's September fashion story

French musician Petite Meller pens a personal essay on how she translates her work visually—and why she fit in perfectly at Mario Testino and Amanda Harlech's September fashion story

Photography: Mario Testino

Styling: Amanda Harlech

Text: Petite Meller

On the day of the V shoot I was told by someone on set: “You probably get this a lot, but you look like you’re from the pre-Raphaelites period,” I answered: “Not really, is that a compliment?” Everyone on set nodded in approval.

In my house were some Chagal's reproductions, and sometime I would visit the British Museum to stare at Bosch's paintings. My video for "Milk Bath" was inspired by Vermeer's milk maids, and I remember how the painting Las Meninas effected me with its multiple layers that hide secrets in the mirror.

But for me, my ear is my compass, that leads me to my aesthetic.

It makes sense to me when they say that God created the world first only by a sound, and after that, the form arrived. When I'm in the studio listening to a song I wrote, I have a clear vision of where I will travel to shoot the video, which colors it should have and what the story is about. Then with my team, we travel to create those little realities.

The sound of "The Flute" took me back a memory of a photo of a blushed Monglian girl which I connected with, because of a traumatic sunburn I suffered as a child. In my teens I started putting on blush to mark the memory of the pain. I felt like an alien, but as an artist, this mark is now an identity. I believe in wearing your trauma proudly. In the video, I accomplish my quest to find my own tribe of blushed cheek girls in Mongolia.

In "The Flute" video it’s the first time I was inspired by a ballet dance, the famous avant garde 1913 ballet The Rite of Spring by Nijinsky. I wanted to bring it to life, in my own scenery. The color palette was RGB and Neon green, and the hills were jumping out like the ones you see in Brazil's Olympic Games or in David Lynch's font for Twin Peaks.

Me and my stylist Nao Koyabu were visualizing a whole collection in our mind, but had to wait patiently until the Mongolian climate would go above zero. It took us a whole year! We asked designers from Antwerp Royal Fashion Academy, used Danish Nicholas Nybro's straw dress, Marta Cesaro from Saint Martins and Bella Gershonovitz from LCF to design for us the Lil Empire folklore. We didn't forget The Reindeers who were styled by pompom's and Swedish bells.

Lil Empire is out now on Island Records. Listen to it on Apple Music here.

PETITE WEARS DRESS CHANEL DRESS (UNDERNEATH) MOLLY GODDARD GLOVES SIMONE ROCHA

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