Faustine Steinmetz collection presentation S/S 2016 for LFW
Deconstruction is a funny old thing. You take something in its finished form and strip it back to a state where it feels incomplete and disarrayed, suspending it in a moment of unreadiness – like when someone is taking your photo, but they press the shutter a split-second too early.
CSM graduate and Paris-born London-based designer Faustine Steinmetz deconstructed her SS16 runway today: the models caught in their own moment of unreadiness, bound by the wall that bisected their bodies at the waist, ankle, chest, thigh, somehow simultaneously calling to mind the tragic demise of Drew Barrymore in Scream and an advancing zombie army – or is it ghosts walking through walls?
Anyway, let’s not let our imaginations run away with us. The deconstructed nature of Steinmetz’s presentation at the Institute of Contemporary Art today was undeniably apt, given that it’s an aesthetic that is ingrained in her brand DNA. Her starting point was denim – she weaves her label’s jeans from scratch, with each pair taking 100 hours to make – and her collections now can only be described as artisan, with handwoven fabrics, couture-like precision and intricate 3D embroidery transforming everyday pieces like jeans, a polo top, tracksuit or sweatshirt into something utterly precious.
Always designing with sustainability and the eco-friendly in mind, this idea of making something magical from the everyday was inspired by a video that Steinmetz saw on YouTube, detailing teenagers’ Primark spending sprees. It is that “everything is disposable” idea (she recalls one girl holding up a dress and declaring “I don’t know why I bought this, I don’t think I’ll ever wear it!”) that Steinmetz seeks to turn on its head – a tourniquet on the arterial gush of mindless overspending, if you will.
And the result? Well, it’s anti-fast fashion at its best: SS16’s handwoven denim, fade-to-nothing stripes and shredded knitwear are works of art (they’re in a gallery after all). True to Steinmetz’s ethos, these are clothes that are an investment, not something you’d buy on a whim on an idle Saturday on Oxford Street – but you will love them all the more for it. And I think Drew would agree.
Photos: Krisztian Pinter