Olivier Langhendries

Art should not be based on money and should be accessible to everyone. Art produces reactions and inspiration for everyone and this has no price

1. List the 10 uncommon and embarrassing moments of your life.

Well my answers aren’t in chronological order, but memories arise like this…

1) I was at the Brussels airport and I had to empty my two suitcases in a corner of the departures area. I was going to work for two months in Cape Town and I had not read the baggage-weight restrictions. I had more than the authorized weight and the extra charge was too expensive. I used a bin bag for emptying the suitcases, and I left it plus the smallest suitcase with my friends who were there to say goodbye.

2) Laying down on an Icelandic glacier and walking on a black sandy beach between natural ice sculptures. Travelling for modelling brought me to Iceland in March 2010, a few days before the Eyjafjallajökull eruptions and the blockade of air traffic.

3) An interview for a job at 22.45 at a restaurant in Paris. Earlier, I had printed the Easyjet reservation and not the boarding card. I realized it at the gate and I could not board the plane. My appointment was expected three hours later… I called the office and the secretary postponed the interview until 20.00, but when I arrived the director had to leave and proposed to meet me at 22.45 after a business dinner.

4) Four years ago there was another red-haired model in Milan and everybody got us mixed up.

At the beginning I didn’t know him. One day a friend texted me asking why I didn’t say hello to him in the subway. Another one called me a Monday morning. She was worried about me! She wanted to know what happened to me Saturday night. According to her I had punched a guy at a bar… I explained to them it wasn’t me. Then I heard about my fake twin and met him.

Later at a shooting, a client was surprised not to see the scars on my body. He thought I was the other ginger who used to scar himself.

5) At the age of 21, I headed a floral-art workshop in Switzerland. I had as students a group of women aged 35 to 45 and another group of 45 to 55 year-olds. The elder women were more attentive, while I had often to call to order the youngest. It was a quite an embarrassing situation.

6) Posing naked with a Louis Vuitton bag for an Austrian magazine. And this was not an embarrassing situation, just uncommon.

7)Being invited to a wedding where I did not know the bride and groom and then being woken by the bride in the bathroom where I had fallen asleep.

8)As a floral designer, I’ve been led to make compositions for prestigious events but also for some sad occasions. In 2010 in a family chapel, I was decking the altar with flowers for an aristocrat’s funeral when the undertakers dropped the coffin off next to me. For the whole evening, I had the coffin with a glass lid behind me… At no time I dared to turn around!

9) During a journey in Tunisia, I pretend to be the nephew of Spanish women for an afternoon. I was 20 and was traveling alone. For bargaining for a jewel in the souk, they told me, “let us do it, we’ll get you a good price.” The seller looked at us and asked who I was. They replied in a firm voice, “we are his aunts.” Not very credible as a situation: they had black hair and dark skin and me, with red hair and lighter skin…

10) Last year just after the first transmission of the season of “Quelli che il calcio,” a young boy approached me shyly on the street to take a picture with me. I was surprised because I was only the floral designer of the program. While his friend was taking the photo, the young fan was shaking.

 

2. What do you think about influencing the fashion and trend system?

Sometimes it can be damaging, especially during the fashion weeks or the VFNO.

The risk is to become common, ordinary, without personality. The challenge is to be inspired by what fashion and the trend system propose, but not become a victim.

 

3. What’s your opinion about common people?

Common people want to be uncommon.

 

4. Do you believe in a democratic sense of ART (such as MUSIC, DESIGN, LITERATURE, FASHION, Etc,)?

Art means creativity, expression of your emotions, feelings. We are all artists. Everyone is talented in a field… So Art should not be based on money and should be accessible to everyone. Art produces reactions and inspiration for everyone and this has no price!

 

5. What do you expect from COMMONUNCOMMON Magazine in the future?

Uncommon contents… and still more advertorials, style tips, interviews and international postcards.

 

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