Founder of the Ateliers Courtin workshops based in the Pondicherry-Auroville belt, Courtin’s craftsmanship was for a long time a carefully guarded secret of the fashion world. With a global reputation as being one of the most innovative ateliers in luxury, he has collaborated with a roll call of artistic directors, often on ultra-limited edition catwalk pieces and on weaving samples so conceptual that they exist only in tiny panels archived in his Tamil Nadu studio.
Through this project imagined by creative director Florence Louisy, Courtin has applied his leather wrapping to a series of objects curated from across India. Forms used as leather moulds during Courtin’s prototyping, which are usually removed at the end of the shaping process, inspire the fusion of material. For example, a wooden stool exhibits various forms of embellishment, each fitted with couture precision. The familiar silhouette of a traditional Naga chair is contemporized with enveloping softness. And a collection of trays and plates all come with a new tactile touch.
Each piece in Courtin’s leather intervention showcases a different technique drawn from his rarely seen archive. Fringing, braiding, embossing, interlacing and basket weaving are all employed in finishes that are impossible to appreciate on appearance only. Behind the simplicity: hours of handwork, years of development and unmatched knowledge of his noble material.