Michel Muylle – Hymn to Color
By Catalina Campos
Nestled between a shopping center in the Upper Kirby district, stands SLOAN/HALL, a luxury boutique that holds some of Houston’s designer gems amongst an array of stunning art, jewelry, and clothing. Once I entered, I instantly became fixated and was drawn towards a deep gray wall with five pieces of art, gently illuminated by the sun from the nearby window.
Michel Muylle, a father of two is a Belgium-born engineer, turned artist, turned designer, speaks with me about his unorthodox start into an industry where he is sure to leave a lasting impression. Originally an engineer for shell, he was unfortunately let go from his profession allowing Muylle to focus on his art permanently.
His art is a modern interpretation of famous neoplasticism in regards to geometric and color-blocking principles and also appears to be a modern, sleek, and elegant response to Hofmann 1950s abstract paintings, such as Cathedral. Think Hofmann’s saturation in color with a simpler Piet Mondrian layout. Famous neoplasticism works such as Composition in Red, Yellow, and Blue and Hofmann’s abstract works have been on a traditional oil on canvas mediums, but Muylle takes us into modernity with his aluminum presentation.
“These are printed on aluminum. The way it works, I make the compositions by making collages with colored sheets of paper. Then I recreate them digitally. That’s the basis for what is on the aluminum but I wanted the execution to be flawless.” His geometric shapes are perfectly concise as Muylle explains that, “I wanted the execution to be flawless. The color on the blocks are perfectly aligned, if its one pixel that overlaps, then it is not good.” The finishing touch on his artwork is the resin overlay to accentuate and deepen the saturated colors.
Now his exquisite works of art have been made into a line of luxury silk scarves and pocket squares available to purchase at the SLOAN/HALL boutique. The silk scarves, versatile in their nature, gracefully change every time a woman wraps it around her hair due to the different placement of the geometric shapes. You can wear these works of art in different manners all displayed on his website.
With influences from fashion labels such as Chanel, Tom Ford, and Gucci, his affinity for abstract minimalist art will continue to be his primary style as much as his trademark signature on every scarf, however he does not plan on restricting himself for the rest of his career. He plans to one day create an empire out of his designs but believes that it will come with time and expertise. With no background in fashion design, Muylle is taking it one step at a time, and is planning a bow-tie collection. “The expectation is to expand to a whole line of fashion accessories as well as possibly women’s fashion.”
Michel Muylle’s splash of color from one of his scarves or pocket squares will enliven and tastefully animate any outfit. It’s the perfect way to pull together basic pieces to correlate with the minimalist theme. As for now, Muylle is an artist and designer to have on your radar. Grab a pocket square for your husband this father’s day before it becomes Hermés priced.
Catalina Campos is a recent graduate of the University of Houston receiving her B.S. in English Literature with a minor in India Studies. She has previously worked at Free Press Houston, UH’s official radio station, and a literary press and aspires to one day work for a Condé Nast publication. Catalina is set to depart to Germany shortly as a participant of the prestigious Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals continuing her studies at a German university and hopefully interning for Condé Nast Deutschland.