She is an avantgarde denim designer – a modern Parisian couturier who developes handcrafted, sculptural and innvoative clothing from scratch. In her latest SS/15 collection Faustine Steinmetz transforms second hand commercial jeans into their artistic antagonists, stating the lost heritage of craftmanship and revealing the diversity of a straight material choice. Shredded jeans yarns are all woven together again by hand, dyed by hand with shibori and sewn together in her studio in London. That process certainly takes up the time that her garments need to be made: three days, a week or even longer – with a delivery time up to one month per order on request.
It is fascinating how deep Steinmetz dives down to the bottom of creation and re-creation. Her work is neither a recycling project nor just another fashion trend. She takes a totally new approach to designing jeanswear on the basis of old traditional techniques. Starting from Zero – spinning and weaving textiles with a heavily structured surface, exploring different dyeing methods and combing various materials with another – the fabric denim becomes somehow rebellious, awakening from an at least 50 years long sleep of being used for standardized casual pants and jackets. Those were occasionally modified by contradictable sandblasting procedures to reach a mechanically applied ‘used look’ – that’s it. Instead, the deconstructed products of Faustine Steinmetz contain a lot of effort and can be valued as unique again.
In the AW/14 collection the team incorporated copper together with silk or rayon in the textiles, which enables the customers to adapt the shape of a garment to their bodies and which demonstrates a new and more flexible way of customizing clothing. Like that, Steinmetz reproduced versions of generic denim jackets and pants or simple everyday pieces, that are different in appearing beautifully shimmery and functionable mouldable.
All in all I consider her as a pioneer in denim wear, slow fashion handcraft techniqes and innovative re-thinking with a sustainable attitude, that results in aesthetically and tactually precious wearable art pieces. We are very curious how Faustine Steinmetz will continue.
IMAGE SOURCE AND PRESS RELEASE: Faustine Steinmetz / www.faustinesteinmetz.com
PHOTOS: Benjamin Mallek, James Naylor