London Fashion Week: Faustine Steinmetz (Topshop NewGen)

Denim. The word brings up connotations of causal, simple daywear; a staple piece in everyone’s wardrobe. But imagine if each and every one of the fabric’s fibres were hand-knotted, hand-woven and hand-dyed into one of a kind pieces. This is the ethos behind Steinmetz’s spring/summer 15 collection for London Fashion Week.

‘Since I left my hometown for London I have been captivated by the outside perception of Paris,’ says Steinmetz. Drawing inspiration from the French couture houses and their intrusion into our lives through their products, the collection explores the relationship between the product itself and the significance of its presentation.

‘We reproduce everyday pieces, like the forgotten denim found in your dad’s wardrobe, except that we hand-make them from scratch,’ says Steinmetz. ‘It’s not only couture dresses that deserve hundreds of hours of attention.’

Everything in the collection is handmade in their east London studio in accordance with her belief that craftsmanship is more significant than a trend. Each piece is made by one person, sometimes taking a week to solely weave the garment. Once the garment is complete, the maker fills out a label with their name and the date, before it is stitched into the clothing, making the pieces truly distinctive and unique.

Held at London’s Institute for Contemporary Art, the unique pieces in the presentation ranged in colour from bright bleached blue to inky indigos, but what really made the pieces was their texture. Deconstructed silhouettes were formed with choppy layered fraying, distressed patchwork, matted fibres and pleating, all of which helped to recreate the iconic denim pieces: the jacket and the jeans. Or, aptly named ‘Le Jean’, a tongue in cheek reference to the luxury French couturiers.

‘I was inspired by advertisements like Chanel who do Chanel swimwear, Chanel glasses – everything!’ Steinmetz told Topshop.com ‘So I wanted to do Faustine Steinmetz jeans, Faustine Steinmetz pens, Faustine Steinmetz candy!’

And so she did. Sweets, pens, and even a single bottle of water were branded and placed on small podiums, glorifying everyday essentials as luxury goods. A jewellery collection by Niomo accompanied the collection, with security tag inspired shapes cast in silver and gold tones reinforcing the consumerist concept of the collection. The soundtrack also featured the beeping of checkout tills juxtaposed with a string orchestra, further distinguishing the theme of ready to wear and grand couture.

After graduating from Central Saint Martins and being selected by Topshop for its NewGen scheme, we’ll be seeing a lot more from the designer. Like one’s favourite pair of jeans, Steinmetz’s pieces are to be treasured.

London Fashion Week SS15 runs from Friday 12 to Tuesday 16 February. Stay tuned for further coverage…

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