Arlette Ess is a visual artist specialised in drawing. Her intricate work creates a sense of immersion and wonder. She started her design career with Alexander McQueen and is now one of the artists contributing to the iconic scarves collections by Hermès Paris.
Through her personal and commissioned work, she shares her love for the natural world, and a desire to distil its magical and mysterious essence.
The drawings have a focus on organic textures and their intrinsic patterns, assembled as mesmerising allovers or harmonious compositions. The content and subject matter draws from observation of nature, as well as from our collective cultural history, a part of our identity we share through image and myth.
Arlette’s signature fur prints are drawn in pen and ink, resulting in a combination of figurative and textural. These mesmerisingly intricate designs often simultaneously embody a kind of minimalism, creating a fusion between opulence and simplicity.
Her business embraces a ‘buy less, buy better’ ethos, respecting resources and people. All products are manufactured in Europe using the best possible materials and processes, aiming for timelessness and substance in all aspects. The fashion line embodies the ‘slow fashion’ concept, with timeless pieces created for individuals who know what’s for them.
Arlette has a degree from University of the Arts London, Camberwell College of Arts (BA Hons Graphics) and has exhibited in various art shows, design festivals and galleries in Europe (London, Paris, Berlin, Dresden, Lisbon, Kortrjik) and the far east (Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou). Originally from Switzerland, she has a previous background in fashion, having worked internationally as a model for many years. After a stint of print design at Alexander McQueen, Arlette decided to start her own label whilst continuing to work on commissions, collaborations and personal projects. In 2020, she was one of the winners of the ‘Grand Prix du Carré’ competition by Hermès Paris, and is now one of the artists contributing to the scarves line.
‘My creative ideas usually come in the form of random obsessions. I lose myself in the study of shapes and patterns in nature, fascinated by their precious fragility and ephemeral beauty. They reveal something of the mysterious essence which generates and pervades all physical forms.
I’m equally fascinated by how we are compulsively attaching meaning to everything around us, and how these myths, theories, superstitions and beliefs shape our relationship to the world and to ourselves.
On a personal level the intense immersion in the natural world and the conscious study of its intricate detail makes me feel connected to all living things, and at home in this world.’
Products are stocked online at www.wolfandbadger.com and www.notjustalabel.com, and in select smaller boutiques in various countries.