The stylish singer-songwriter Stromae often looks like a dandy from the future.
This Belgian pop star whose real name is Paul van Haver sold 1.5 million copies in France and 2.75 million worldwide, plus his videos have attracted hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. He creates the most striking music videos and is called the new Jacques Brel.
He describes his music style as a mix of hip-hop, dance music, salsa and French folk music and his lyrics often deal with social issues like absent dads or gender inequality. His songs are sad with contemplative lyrics, but you can’t help dancing to it.
He is an artist who makes his music and his performance a comprehensive image and has been able to set up a clear brand. In all his outings, he makes it look like he has made no concessions on his creativity.
Stromae has been able to create such a consistent and recognizable image for his music, album covers, outfits and performances thanks to his creative label called Mosaert.
The Mosaert crew consists of creative director Stromae, stylist Carolie Barbier and graphic design agency Boldatwork.
This creative team has developed several visuals to promote Stromae’s second album. They came up with a different pattern for each song, which could also be used as an all-over pattern on fabric. Each pattern reflects the lyrics as well as the specific musical influences of each song.
These patterns create specific looks for each specific song, which are reinforced by Stromae’s performance in the video and in television appearances. These looks are very strong and do not overlap.
For the song ‘Tous les mêmes’ (‘All the same’), which picks apart gender stereotypes, the androgynous artist created a half-man, half-woman character.
The print which was made for the song ‘Papaoutai’ (‘Dad, where are you?’) shows a little boy sitting on his father’s shoulders.
The song ‘Formidable’ was supported by a wonderful drunk act in Stromae’s video and in live performances and is accompanied by a pattern of carboard moving boxes. He sings about breaking up with his girlfriend, the pattern of moving boxes with ‘ fragile’ marks on it adds to the story.
The label Mosaert entered the fashion business last April and their first collection of polo’s and socks sold out in a matter of days. The clothing is manufactured in Europe (France, Belgium and Portugal) and only available in limited stocks.
The second collection isn’t big either; it only consists of polo’s, shirts, cardigans and socks. The style is English, mixed with the geometric patterns and the warm colours of African wax patterns. The Escher-like prints are mainly built up from clear grids and isometric perspectives in jacquards. It’s all in the details and it seems like they have made no concessions, like Stromae’s music.
All of the products are unisex, again referring to the recurrent theme of gender differences
Prices range from €17 for socks to €148 for a cardigan or a pull. The collection is available at Hunting and Collecting in Brussels (Kartuizerstraat 17), Colette in Paris (213 Rue Saint-Honoré) and in the Mosaert webshop.
Images from Italian Vogue Italia, mosaert.com, Boldatwork.