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Luxury Resort Wear Designer Marie France van Damme Unveils New In-Store Art Installation by Artist & Designer Jay AHR During Art Basel Hong Kong

March 31, 2018 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

Marie France Van Damme, the Hong Kong-based designer known for her globally-influenced line of luxury resort, swim, and ready-to-wear, has partnered with Jay Ahr (a.k.a designer Jonathan Riss) to introduce an exclusive art installation in conjunction with Art Basel | Hong Kong

Designed to match Marie France Van Damme’s 2018 Collection, the series of artwork by Jay Ahr can be found exclusively at Marie France Van Damme’s boutiques at the International Finance Center (Shop 3088, Podium Level 3, ifc Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong) and Elements (Shop 2109, Level 2, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon) shopping center in Hong Kong.

The four acrylic and paper floral pieces by Jay Ahr are texturally rich and multi-layered and will be on display through April 2018.

“Jonathan blends traditional Chinese art and craftsmanship with modern Western techniques, inspiring others along his journey. We share a passion for beautiful fabrics, florals and elegant embroidery. This installation matches our DNA,” said Marie France Van Damme. Since I was working on my “flower ” print and jacquard collection, I asked Jay if he could develop two new pieces in silver and gold to complement my new collection.” said Marie France Van Damme “This is not a commercial action. This is to show how art and fashion are one – how we were both doing “flowers” at the same time with me incorporating floral prints in my new collection and Jonathan incorporating florals into his art with flower paper.” said Marie France Van Damme.

The art installation is the latest development from the Marie France Van Damme brand, which has rapidly expanded since its inception in 2011 to include an impressive range of ready-to-wear, resortwear, swimwear, sunglasses, perfume, and candles. The designer launched an eleventh store in Marrakech in January 2018 at the legendary La Mamounia and a pop-up shop in Miami at Bal Harbour Shops. In September 2017, Marie France Van Damme opened her first U.S. store in Los Angeles at The Peninsula Hotel with more new boutiques to come as the designer continues to expand her presence worldwide focusing on cities that not only inspire the designer, but also appeal to her sophisticated, jet-set clientele.

Her collection of resort wear can also be found in leading department stores and boutiques worldwide including Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Le Bon Marche and in her namesake boutiques in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London, Marrakech, Miami, Bangkok, Singapore and Phuket.

About Jay AhrJay Ahr is a collection of bold pieces highlighted by innovative fabrics and embroidery striking an ideal balance between day and occasion dressing. Launched by designer Jonathan Riss in 2005, Jay Ahr, (the name is a phonetic spelling in English of Riss’ initials), began with a store in the heart of Paris on rue de Rivoli facing the Tuileries Garden. Jonathan Riss’ fashion expertise extends to embroidery, fabric creation and fine jewelry (He won the De Beers Fine Jewelry competition in 2004). His design is driven by a passion for art, particularly architecture, and travel. The influence of innovative construction and multiculturalism is always present in Jay Ahr‘s edgy designs, which come together like the pieces of an interlocking puzzle, into a sleek unassuming, wardrobe. Dresses, in sculptural and trompe l’oeil shapes with modern embroidery, are a centerpiece, and integral part of the brand’s DNA.

Jay Ahr is enriched by Jonathan Riss’ parallel projects. His embroidery artwork cross-reference his design and are an essential part of the house, as recently seen at his latest exhibit at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Riss was born in Paris and grew up in Brussels near the Royal Museum of Fine Arts where he spent time immersed in the work of modern and contemporary artists. Intrigued by travel, he left Belgium after school to direct a cotton factory in Dniepropetrovsk in the Ukraine where he developed his skill designing fabrics. Later, he established his own embroidery atelier in Bombay before the desire to launch his brand brought him inevitably back to Paris.

About Marie France Van Damme Marie France Van Damme is a Canadian-born, Hong-Kong based fashion designer, celebrated hostess and author, whose luxury lifestyle resort wear brand is inspired by her travels and personal style. Marie France Van Damme introduced her eponymous label in the summer of 2011. The Marie France Van Damme line is defined by an edited collection of elegant and seasonless staples with every piece designed to transition seamlessly from city to resort. The brand is loved by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Heidi Klum, Cameron Diaz, Olivia Palermo, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  Marie France Van Damme is available at her other retail locations in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, Marrakech Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket and London, Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Intermix and exclusive resorts such as Amanresorts and the One & Only. Collections are not distinguished by season, but relevance. She is also the author of the coffee table book RSVP: Simple Sophistication, Effortless Entertaining (Thames & Hudson) featuring her effortless style and entertaining tips with photographs by Herbert Ypma of the Hip Hotels series.

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