It’s late afternoon at Hunting and Collecting, in the Dansaert neighborhood of Brussels. At the back of this Belgian concept store, Stromae aka Paul Van Haver presents his third Stromae X Mosaert collectionhe designed with his wife Coralie Barbier. Their third capsule is inspired by the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, known for his mathematical artwork. Mosaert is a global art project spanning music, images and textile. The spirit of their line of unisex playful clothes, explores lounge wear; polo shirts, socks and joggers in lush velvets printed with geometric patterns and heritage style florals).
Your look has changed lately.
“Coralie is known to be attractive without ever falling into the vulgar, and the result is super cute. She found a balance that is very touching; it makes me think of the Miu-Miu universe. For me it is quite similar, except for my stage costumes, which are more flamboyant. Dress is also a way to express ourselves at a very specific time. I am in transition. For example, I’ve started wearing a cap. I feel the urge to express a new maturity, and I do this is through more sober colors; burgundy, gray, navy blue”.
Under the cap, you let your hair grow?
“Yes, I want to change my hair. I'm 31, I’ve arrived at a certain point of maturity. It is also the end of Racine Carrée, (released digitally on 16 August 2013), I am opening a new chapter in my life. I was 25 when all this started, and I’ve been in a comfort zone ever since; when you come on the stage wearing a bow tie, you don’t take a lot of risk. At first maybe a little, but in the end, you're just repeating yourself. I'm not criticizing everything I did, I just needed a change”.
What would you put in a common locker room for men and women?
“I'm a little jealous of the wardrobe of women. There is much less scope for men, except in niche brands. The gay scene is rather pioneering in that area. I didn’t want to fall into the extreme; to dress like a woman, it is the balance between the two that interests me. I do not have any sexual ambiguity, but there’s no problem with the subject”.
What woman would you have been?
“Basically, if I was a woman, I’d dress androgynously. The real evolution of society is that after women started to dress like men, those same men dug into the feminine wardrobe. Otherwise, we are not equal. And finally, ideally equal rights but different nonetheless: I would not wear a bra, …any more (laughs)”.
WRITTEN BY ELISABETH CLAUSS