Episode XIV: Silicones
With those rare accents, the prêt-à-porter expression was always synonymous of the art of elegance: perhaps because the one who truly has style does not spend hours in front of the mirror doubting his appearance but puts on whatever he wants, ready to go. The authentic elegant goes out into the street lightly: oblivious to the elaborate accessories, choose the functional over the presumptuous, the simple versus the complex. That's why silicone, which for some only refers to the synthetic curves of the Moulin Rouge dancers, is the perfect material for the elegant and practical trousseau. With very little weight, it replaces the "noble" materials (if there is nobility in the materials). The Frenchified semiologist Roland Barthes had already said: "A miracle is always a sudden transformation of nature." Up to now the imitation had suggested pretension, had been part of a world of opinion and not of use. But that has changed! Silicone today replaces diamond, silk, feather, leather, silver and all the luxurious brilliance of the world. There are card holders, travel document holders, cartridge holders, notebooks, handbags and even clutches, the height of elegance, those envelopes with magnetic flaps, detachable strap and a compartmented interior to store everything, which are made of silicone. In its ubiquity, it is a domestic substance that goes out into the street; in its chemical conception, it allows the infinite explosion of colors, almost a dictionary definition of the nature of the tones. Furious red, hope green, cerulean blue. It is the very idea of an infinite transformation. Soft to the touch, washable before the crush and unbreakable in the fall, silicone is alchemical matter: it can transform almost anything and its vocation of service (it is always prêt-à-porter) it gives a new dimension to elegance where The pocket of the gentleman or the lady's purse no longer keeps a silver cigarette case but a device created in Silicon Valley.