Exclusive Interview: Grand Bassin by Sample-CM

Sample-CM is an independent design label based in Berlin – questioning and confrontating the borders between Fashion, Art and Sociology – and now introduces its new capsule collection .Grand Bassin. The 10 handmade signature pieces condence sportswear and streetwear essentials through comfortable and intelligent design. Each of her projects revolves around a specific process or practice for garment, considered as a zone of social interaction. We met the designer Margot Charbonnier to talk about her new collection and to found out more about the brand.

Name: Margot Charbonnier / Country: Germany / Label: Sample-CM / Founded in: 2010

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KALTBLUT: Dear Margot, please tell us something about you? Who you are, what you do, where do you live and work?
Margot Charbonnier: I am a French fashion designer living and working now in Berlin.
In 2010, I have created Sample-cm, an interdisciplinary design studio confronting and exploring the borders between fashion, art and sociology. The studio aims to consider each collection as a complete project, where the garment is in interaction with the social space and other disciplines. A collection can for example include performances, photography, web design…

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KALTBLUT: How did you become a fashion designer? And was that something you always wanted to do?
Margot Charbonnier: Before studying Fashion, I had previously been studying Social Sciences at university where I was really interested in sociology of the body and sociology of sport. I wanted back then to become ethnologist. I have learned to develop a curiosity for different subjects even common daily life ones and to consider them as possible objects of study. This course really shaped my creative approach. The idea behind sample-cm studio is to provide aesthetic solutions to social questionings. I find it really fascinating to work about usually scientific subjects in a creative and very subjective way. Becoming designer, was for me getting to this perfect balance.


KALTBLUT: Do you remember your first designed piece?
Margot Charbonnier: I don’t remember specifically which was my first design piece. Until now, the designs of sample-cm had mostly an artistic and conceptual approach. It meant sometimes to create unwearable, huge scale pieces or to work with ephemeral materials. The .Grand Bassin. collection stemmed from a professional necessity: to propose a ready to wear approach to sample-cm. The active wear gave me this great opportunity, to stand for a strong principle in a more subtle and accessible way.

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KALTBLUT: .Grand Bassin. is your first Ready to Wear Collection, how long have you worked on it? And what was your inspiration?
Margot Charbonnier: I have worked one year on this collection before to launch it for the spring-summer 2016. Every collection of sample-cm are designed for specific practices or processes, something to do with the piece of clothing. Sometimes, the clothes are customizable, or can change of scale, sometimes they are sold as kits or they can evolve with the body.
.Grand Bassin. is this time about the ritualization of sport practices. It mixes together different styles and codes coming from different sports into minimalist and essential pieces. But most of all, the pieces of the collection work as ten kits including a garment, some instructions and a set of adhesive straps. In using these ‘Kinesiotapes’ straps, and in following this stretching instructions, the user can transform, fit or adjust the clothes on his body.

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KALTBLUT: What materials have you used for this collection? And what is your favourite fabric to work with?
Margot Charbonnier: For .Grand Bassin. I used mostly stretchy, breathing and comfortable materials. There are a lot of jersey, mesh and cotton. The boxing jacket also use a traditional green satin.


KALTBLUT: You studied in London at the Royal Saint Martins and now you are based in Berlin. Why didn’t you stay in London and why did you choose Berlin for your label?
Margot Charbonnier: I have indeed studied fashion at Duperré in Paris and at CSM in London. I have then lived and developed my label in Zürich and now in Berlin. I would say that London or Paris have a very strong fashion history, it makes them great and inspiring cities but where the fashion world is very heavy. I needed to develop my designs somewhere where is less pressure from the past, less expectation. Berlin is still I think, a city for experimentation, where creatively a lot is still possible and where there is a strong and honest enthusiasm for novelty and diversity.

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KALTBLUT: What can we expect from you in the future?
Margot Charbonnier: The next collections of the studio will keep exploring this idea of ‘equipment’ for clothing. I will offer several .Grand Bassin. active wear collections in the next seasons mixing new sport inspirations, different equipment, with an unisex approach. I want also to reinforce even more the artistic perspective of the collections with new installations, videos, performances and collaborations.

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Design, Concept: Margot Charbonnier
Shooting: Lucie Coron.
Sound: Adam Tudoret.
Styling: Timothee Faraus.
Hair Makeup: Ambinintsoa Randrianantenaina.
Model: Elena Peters Arnolds