French artist and muralist Claire Prouvost on pushing her creative boundaries and how art influences her personal style
With a colourful, bold, and cubist style at the crux of Dublin-based Prouvost’s art, she shares how her work bleeds into her wardrobe choices: “the more I push colour and playfulness into my illustrations the more that is reflected in my style.”
I always knew I wanted to be a graphic designer, but it didn’t take me long to realise that wasn’t the end of the road for me – I wanted to push myself and my artistic voice, and my path into illustrations and murals have allowed me to do that.
I have found my own voice within my artwork, and it has made me more comfortable in myself – but I like to dig deeper every time I face a blank canvas.
Fashion is a reflection of who we are: for me, the more I push colour and playfulness into my illustrations the more that is reflected in other aspects of my life – like my style. I had a very muted, average style for years, but the more I cultivated my illustrations and artwork practice, the more that it became an integral part of my life and how I wanted the world to see me.
My personal style revolves around very clean, fresh, and minimalist shapes. I like plain colourful cuts – I don’t tend towards pieces with crazy patterns, which is very reflective of my illustrations. I don’t dwell on details in my artwork, I focus on clean shapes that I piece together.
I’m from the Pyrenees in the Southwest of France – it’s between Toulouse and Lourdes, which is the landmark I’ve learned to use for describing it to Irish people!
I lived in Dublin for the first time in 2015, when I was still in college. My brother was living here for the summer and I wanted to visit for a few weeks to see if I could get a job. I didn’t speak any English at the time, but I got a job with the floor staff at Dicey's – it was an interesting job to say the least, but the silver lining is that I met an Irish guy. I’ve mostly lived in Dublin 8, and I’m currently based in the Tenters.
I eventually had to return to France to finish my studies in graphic design, but when I did, I came back to Ireland to do all of my work experience. I worked with graphic designers, expanded my network, and made meaningful work connections until I got my first full-time job, and I’ve been here ever since. I love being part of the artist and street art community here – I feel truly at home.
Colour has a very important place in fashion, and we see that with dopamine dressing. There are a lot more bright, bold colour combinations in interesting cuts and patterns now – which always intrigues me. It definitely boosts my mood when I wear colour, and the mood of others around me – especially when the sky is grey or the weather is dull.
Every now and then I make some time to create new pairings and try new colour combinations in my wardrobe. It’s a useful creative exercise to find new ways to freshen up existing pieces.
Colour can be overwhelming for some: I’m constantly trying to refine the perfect colour combinations in my art, but in fashion, it can be best to start small. Starting with muted basics – like beige, black, or grey – works really well when paired with a really bright pop of colour in knitwear (for winter) or an accessory (like a handbag or neck scarf) in summer.
My illustration portfolio includes working with beauty brands, food and drink brands, and fashion labels. I find it incredibly stimulating to see all the ways my artwork can live in different mediums.
I love working in the art-fashion crossover space. I've designed everything from swimsuits, scarves, shoes, socks, t-shirts, and jumpers. It can be challenging to find the right balance between the two. My illustrations tell a story and can be quite busy, but often people will feel more comfortable wearing a certain abstraction or a whisper of the design – it’s about making it more accessible. My next project is creating silk scarves for a Japanese brand, which I’m really excited about.
The mural I painted at the front facade of Kildare Village is themed around celebration. It's my third mural in the village, so I’ve spent a lot of time there on a cherry picker just people-watching in-between paintings. There is such a nice diversity of people who visit the village, it’s a lovely way to spend time with family and friends; it's something quite special and I wanted to incorporate those observations into my mural.
I felt the word celebration was also a celebration of the brilliant Irish designers and creators in the village. My art style tends to focus on people and connections – and communicating positive messaging around that. So creating a mural to reflect a place where people gather to have a good time was really apt for me.
I recently started painting more on canvas, and my work wardrobe has to be one that chimes with that. I have a full, separate wardrobe in my studio full of paint-covered clothes, and anything I’m not wearing finds its way into that wardrobe, or becomes a cloth to clean up a paint mess – you could say my clothes have a full life cycle.
My favourite store in Kildare Village is American Vintage. They have interesting cuts in beautiful material like heavy cotton and wool – and the variety of block colours is incredible. They are the kind of pieces you’ll have for a very long time. I recently bought a bright green jumper in the store and it’s the cosiest thing I’ve ever worn. Claudie Pierlot and Maje are up there too in my list of favourites.
I’m wearing Kurt Geiger trainers in the shoot, which isn’t a brand I would usually go for, but the colour is amazing and they were so comfortable – I’m deeply considering adding them to my cart.
Claire Prouvost discovered the thrill of the new at Kildare Village, which is home to more than 100 boutiques of the world’s most exciting designers. Discover luxury shopping, exquisite eateries, and five star guest services including hands-free shopping, virtual shopping, and reserved parking.
Now is the perfect time to embrace colour at Kildare Village. With the Perfect Palette experience at Kildare Village you can enjoy a 45 minute consultation with a Kildare Village Style Expert, and discover the colours you should wear to take your style to the next level. Consultations are priced at €100 per person; to arrange your appointment phone 01 453 4930 or simply email PersonalShopping@KildareVillage.com
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Kildare Village, Nurney Road, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Eircode: R51 R265