faustine steinmetz recreated denim's dna for spring/summer 17
Denim was the word of the day at the designer's artful London Fashion Week presentation. Here's why we were anything but blue.
"The starting point was me really thinking what was this label about. I want the label to be about denim forever and creating a sort of Levi's on acid," Faustine Steinmetz explains as we discuss her spring/summer 17 offering in the middle of her installation, a love letter to the material that has become the designer's signature.
Understanding denim's cultural crossover, importance, and its unofficial title as the utilitarian uniform of the world, Faustine elevated the workwear material to dizzying new heights. She encrusted jeans with Swarovski crystals, adopted ancient ikat techniques, and used hand dying to create shadows. "They're a bit like art pieces," she comments. "Because we [do] denim, we can afford to go in a different direction."
Particularly breathtaking was the presentation's format; girls laid in individual boxes, almost like live sculptures. Serene blue light illuminated the models and their clothes from above. " I was really inspired by Vanessa Beecroft's Sister Calender and Joseph Kosuth's One and Three Chairs. I am obsessed with repetition, so I just really wanted to display the girls all the same way. You know, I really don't like the format of shows; I find them boring. I don't sit down and draw designs, I like to work with textiles."
Abstract but understandable, luxurious yet relatable, Faustine's collection did the impossible: the designer injected one of the most familiar materials known to man with something new, and made a discussion around denim exciting. This season, she challenged notions of what the material can stand for. She's slowly bubbled in London's fashion scene for the past few years, and you can't help but feel yesterday's presentation was a breakout moment for Faustine. It was an amazing testament of what a single fabric can do, if approached with dedication and passion.
Text Lynette Nylander
Photography Mitchell Sams