Cédric Rivrain has drawn the biggest names in the industry, from Kate Moss to Chloë Sevigny, and has reported on any given season’s mood in a series of precise lines and pencil etches. On the advent of his debut collection collaboration with Lanvin menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver, available in The Dubai Mall, Vogue Arabia speaks to fashion’s favorite sketch star.
“I wouldn’t draw someone I haven’t met. I need a personal connection,” says Rivrain. “When I do a sitting, I talk a lot. Intrusive, maybe; I ask very personal questions. But everyone I’ve drawn has always relaxed and talked.”
Rivrain focuses on the eyes, delicately capturing the essence of his subject without a pencil stroke too many. “[Russian model] Sasha Pivarova is the most interesting connection I’ve had in a sitting. She doesn’t talk much but her eyes say so, so, so many things”, adds Rivrain.
He speaks with energy, and an artistic sensitivity that explains why so many people relax in his artist’s studio chair. “I grew up with intensity. My parents didn’t say much, but a lot was communicated in the eyes”.
The self-taught artist references his success as though it’s some anecdotal coincidence that happened while he perpetually sketched, drawing inspiration from his late father’s medical books. His break came about when his friend, accessory designer Yazbukey, asked him to collaborate with her on a double-page spread for Dazed & Confused. “I didn’t realise that fashion illustration was a thing; it wasn’t in the early ’90s.” The industry marked him as discovered.
Rivrain’s cites the resurgence of interest in featuring illustrations in magazines and in major fashion campaigns due to a new generation’s desire to see authenticity. The Hermès contributor has a desire to work with authentic products, name-checking Demna Gvasalia as a pioneer of fashion reality.
The Cédric Rivrain X Lanvin Homme collection is a product of his art process, and his visceral desire for realness. The collaboration marks Lucas Ossendrijver’s tenth year as Creative Director of Menswear at the storied fashion house, featuring a jumper with sprawled-out headphones set with a band aid crossbone on the sleeve, and a sliver of eyes printed across soft cotton jersey. “I’m obsessed with plasters. They are like a second skin that heals you in a soft way. They are like an accessory for the skin; this emotional object that connects with you”.
Vogue Shops the collection:
Cédric Rivrain X Lanvin Homme, Headphones Sweater, US $471 AED/SAR 1766
Cédric Rivrain X Lanvin Homme, Gaze Slim-Fit T-Shirt, US $288 AED/SAR 1080