French Fashion Label The Kooples Brings Their Couple-Focused Exhibition to Melbourne

Discover duos in 14 locations via eight photographers and 15 encounters.

Many are suspicious of the unbelievably cool couples who feature in The Kooples' ad campaigns, skeptical that these model-esque people are actually real-life lovers and not just two really ridiculously good looking (and stylish) people paired up for a photo. Let the French label's Alexandre Elicha and Nicolas Dreyfus clear that up. At the launch of The Kooples' photography exhibit Latitudes, Attitudes, we were assured that every couple in their campaigns and in the exhibit is the real deal.

For the last weekend of VAMFF, Elicha and Dreyfus made their way to Melbourne to reveal an exhibition that not only celebrates real couples from around the world and their unique stories, but also The Kooples' iconic 'perfecto': the leather biker jacket that's been recreated and reimagined every season since the brand's debut in 2008. Latitudes, Attitudes looks beyond borders, transporting the iconic leather jacket across 14 locations via eight photographers and 15 encounters. Couples from all walks of life and at all ages feature with the perfecto in intimate snapshots lensed from Kentucky, USA to Iceland to Dakar, Senegal to Japan. The leather jacket contrasts with Moroccan cotton djellabas, Indian saris and Mongolian silk deel, and plays off of Mexican blue skies, Welsh gardens and Greek villages.

Within the exhibit we meet many couples, young and old. There's Adonis (89) and Mairi (85), who were photographed by Patrick Swirc in Greece. Adonis looks like the original king of cool wearing the perfecto draped over his shoulders, black leather loafers and with a knotty wooden cane completing his look. Mairi stands serenely next to her hubby holding a frame shot of the two from back in the day. This is their tale: "Married for 67 years, they grew up in the same village in the Cyclades. He used to fetch water every morning from a spring near her home. One day, they ran off to get married in a neighbouring village."

Next we meet Purevdorj (60) and Khandsuren (56), who were also photographed by Patrick Swirc in their yurt in Mongolia, plus Ndéye Diabou (28) and Djibril (25), who were snapped by Alexandre Guirkinger on "the black rocks of Yoff at the tip of the Cape Verde peninsula, near Dakar." The latter's story reads: "High school friends, she is now a journalist, he an IT engineer. His ambition is for her to pursue her career far from the coasts of Senegal. Yet what they love most of all are evenings spent together listening to music and dreaming of the farm they would like to build outside the capital."

Patrick Swirc, Alexandre Guirkinger

Lastly, we can't forget Nicholas (67) and Susan (71), the eccentric Welsh couple photographed by Rip Hopkins going against traditional gender roles. "They mischievously claim that in their marriage it is he who wears the skirt, and she the pants."

Simon Shiff

At our lunch with The Kooples, in addition to the exhibition's portraits and the accompanying stories of these global couples, it was also revealed the brand will be making its move into Myer in September 2017. This means that Sydney residents will finally get a chance to discover The Kooples' renowned London tailoring with Parisian elegance that will help you get that much closer to capturing the French je ne sais quoi of cool.

See Latitudes, Attitudes on March 18 from 1pm to 5pm at the Murray White Room, Sargood Lane, Melbourne.

Published on March 18, 2017 by Quinn Connors

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