what matters

Text by Mathieu Malouf
When traditional craftsmanship meets the immateriality of the future, light becomes matter to tell stories that exist outside of time. This is perhaps one way to begin thinking about UNCOMMON MATTERS, an experimental platform for Amélie Riech’s artistic endeavors -which often although not exclusively take form in fashion-related projects and collaborations.
Splitting her time between Berlin and Paris, Riech worked as a fashion consultant, stylist and designer for international fashion houses until founding this line dedicated entirely to her own creative vision in 2008.
Unabashedly contemporary in their sensual combinations of unexpected materials, Riech’s creations look back to traditional production methods as a way forward—they suggest an idealistic future in which elegance is the fruit of revived old-world craftsmanship. Combined with a radical spirit of invention, the highly experimental creations (sometimes unique pieces) tell stories and evoke feelings. Materials such as Thuringian porcelain, hand-sanded glass and finely cut reflective metals are exquisitely assembled by expert hands into delicate, luminously evocative collections. Within the general, ongoing abstraction of everything, UNCOMMON MATTERS proposes an effortlessly elegant respite to the dematerialization of objects—a poetic inquiry in the uncertain physical presence of materials.
The plated porcelain pieces that make up HANDLE WITH CARE (2008) and AU [79] (2009) appear armor-like, fiercely feminine and stark; a surface effect quickly offset by the object’s delicate fragility upon handling them. Like is often the case with Riech’s creations, the borders separating aesthetics and concept are blurred: they can be worn as sculptural accessories that make a bold statement on the female silhouette, or simply admired as a fine art object.
If precious metals like gold have been an expression of immateriality since ancient times, in Riech’s universe they capture a longing for the future as much as a celebration of traditional savoir-faire and enduring craft techniques from the past. The effortless a-temporality that runs along the pieces is always a function of the luminous energy reflected by their sleek, fluid surfaces—and what could be a more timeless and sensual material to adorn oneself than the fabric of light itself?
For PACOLAB (2012), Riech’s evocative reworking of the simplest forms finds an echo in the geometric poetry and technical sophistication of PACO RABANNE. The brazen colliers, bracelets and finger rings feeds the luminous essence of daylight through intricate layers of glass, gold and exquisitely hand-polished metals—incorporating it into bewildering geometries rich with spectral glimmer. Relics from an golden age; their radiance is also that of an ethereal future.