When Moncler tapped Jean-Philippe Delhomme to create a series of Alpine-inspired prints for its A/W17 collection, the French artist’s illustrations took on a typically tongue-in-cheek persuasion. ‘The brand referenced a few ski resorts, like Cortina, St Moritz and Gstaad. I came up with characters and scenarios based around the excesses of skiing,’ Delhomme explains of his snow-topped social satire.

In one tableau, diners guzzling champagne watch as a zealous holidaymaker soars mid-ski jump over their table. In another, a fur coat- and hat-clad guest arrives outside the preposterous turrets of the Gstaad Palace hotel, a miniscule sausage dog in a Santa outfit in tow.

The collection is the second in Delhomme’s ‘Postcards’ series for Moncler, which debuted for S/S17 with illustrations inspired by seaside destinations, from Venice Beach to St Tropez, splashed across tops and swimming trunks. This season, his vivid brushstrokes are digitally printed onto puffer jackets and T-shirts, while his nose diving ski jumpers also soar across the chests of knitted jumpers.

Delhomme's witty social commentaries, seen here in his studio, focus on the excesses of alpine ski resorts. Photography: Benjamin Schmuck

‘The brand’s history starts from the mountains,’ explains Remo Ruffini, Moncler’s chairman and CEO, of the collaboration’s theme. Founded in 1952 in Monestier-de-Clermont, near Grenoble, Moncler began as a purveyor of sleeping bags and tents, before launching its now ubiquitous down jackets two years later. It soon began equipping explorers for expeditions in sub-zero climes. ‘This DNA has been maintained and enhanced,’ says Ruffini. While the new illustrations have a less intrepid and more après ski-centric focus, they ‘perfectly match with the creative soul and sporty ethos of the brand’, he adds.

Renowned for his fashion illustrations, first published in Vogue in the 1980s, Paris-based Delhomme has also created advertising campaigns and written illustrated novels. His witty sociological gaze has fallen on arenas from art to architecture (his 2015 book on Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye offers a visual narrative of the architect’s relationship with his clients, Pierre and Eugénie Savoye) and he illustrated our Architects’ Directory and newsstand cover in 2015.

For Moncler, his perceptive eye is as unerring as ever. ‘The drawings have lots of different possibilities,’ he says. ‘They work like poster designs. Some feature a face or a character in the background that creates a visual shock. The idea is to make them look light and continuous and effortless, but also arresting.’

As originally featured in the September 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*222)

RELATED TOPICS: ILLUSTRATION, MONCLER