House of Base is one of few young Parisian labels that manage to snatch the zeitgeist with a youthful, compelling energy. Yet, what makes HoB so appealing is without doubt the simplicity of its founder’s vision. I stumbled upon Seba Stolarczyck’s designs a month ago, unsuccessfully tried to talk him into offering me a wonderful sweatshirt and decided his work definitely deserved to be delved into.
– There’s something very youthful, spontaneous and slightly rebellious about your designs, which also reflected very well in your « défilé sauvage » [dance happening] last June, can you tell me about what inspires you ?
When I’m thinking about a collection, I’m really thinking about sensations. I design a story, more than a special trend. Most of the time, I tell the story of a particular context. When I decided to take my boys through the streets and make it happen, I was talking about them. About that generation, in and outside Paris, that dare make things happen. I wanted to focus the attention on them, on what they had to express.
I’m first of all inspired by the energy that my entourage shares with me. I’m inspired by the beauty of simplest people, their habits. Their lifestyle, the way they dress. Their tastes.And i guess this is going to be my creative process. ‘Cause I’m a curious guy and I really want to explore people’s own worlds, that seem so close to me, while they’re not.
This is what it is all about. Spreading love. When I design an outfit, most of the time, it belongs to a character, a story behind it. It could be a feeling. The symbol of a guy I met. A memory. A state of mind.
I’m not interested in designing clothes for everybody, ‘cause i could lose the meaning. I expect people to be touched in a way. To feel their own spirit in those pieces. Each piece has a « soul » more than a price. This is what I meant by « spread unity », that fashion belongs to anyone who can reach that feeling of sharing who you are, that differences build the true unity.
– What’s also striking on your garments is the vibrant mix of colours, textures and minute details, where do they come from ? You told me you spent some time in Mexico, did you draw your inspiration from that as well ?
I guess you’re thinking about the HOLI FUCKERS collection, that I built with a friend of mine, Maud Zaluski, for our Graduate collection. I was designing the menswear part. We started with the inspiration of the Holi party in India, throwing colours and energy everywhere. Then we dipped it into an underground sauce, showcased by the Club Kids for example. It was also the idea of the show.
At that time, I was that freaky boy, in search of many things. Experiences. Challenges. I was designing as I was cooking. Very spontaneously. No question. Basic finishes. It was all about the message. The idea of the desire you can feel for that kind of person, really confident, with style and attitude. That you won’t think a second that you could even talk to him one day. You know. It was a spiritual trip in creation. It was like putting colours on empty spaces. With attention more than reflection. Well. I was also partying a lot at that time.
I just got to Mexico, two months last year. It was for me the first step into the wild. I had nothing to lose. I left everything here in Paris. I had no more job, no more flat. I needed that personally. To cut every bond to my current life and I was yearning for a brand new lifestyle, new inspirations too.
When I got back to Paris, I was even more stable. I found something there I guess. And paradoxically I got wiser work-wise. Technically more careful and patient, which I didn’t use to be. I started to learn the discipline of well-finished-work. The story that came to me was also different.
I guess Mexico made me feel that I belonged where my heart was. In France. And got me closer to my country, the habits here in Paris. I had a brand new look at the city. At the people here. And they started to inspire me. The workers. That I loved to observe when I was in Mexico.The simple joy of living and sharing a vision. I guess I’m a little inside out. Now I really want to mix those practices together, the craziness and the discipline.
Music did. A lot. I was living through techno. Melancholic house. And rock n’ roll. And pop, still.
I love Ace of Base. However, this is not exactly the reason why it came like that.
Base, literally is what it is. Everything starts with a basic. It’s also the reverse of my name, Seba.
I can be very alone in my creative process sometimes, but I have to say that the people around me are the best support. They kick me in the ass and make me realize and understand, everyday, life, as it is. They’re all involved in my art. And everybody is. ‘Cause creation, and art, is the only thing I believe in, deeply.
Well, picture the idea as a whole family supporting each other in a huge house of creation and freedom. This is the House. Like it could be my house. Everyone’s invited. Kind of.
– Last question, a tad more practical : you graduated from the Atelier Chardon-Savard a few years ago already, how is it going for you as a young French designer ?
I’m living La Bohème. I make love. I feel free. I have a house to stay. I’m still inspired and curious. I feel like I have many things to say. That everything’s just beginning. That it’s gonna be alright.