‘When did it become okay to own five of everything and throw them all away as soon as the smallest hole appears?’
This question pretty much encapsulated the Faustine Steinmetz collection for AW15. The innovative brand did not disappoint. Responding to the growing consumption of fast fashion the collection had a damaged appearance with bleach flecks on denim that looked like they’d been warped in a not-so-kind wash. A stand out piece was a pair of denim jeans that appeared as if they’d been boil washed and then hand felted and brushed to create a woolly looking trouser. It certainly looked very comfortable to wear.
In a generation where everything can be chemically treated to be non-ironed and washed at sweltering temperatures, it seems Steinmetz’s collection was purposefully engineered to look like a faulty batch on the production line. The hems were asymmetric as if they’d been torn haphazardly with mountains of fraying threads. The whole collection had a heavily worn appearance that challenged the notion of wear and tear – raising the question of when and how we judge an item to be past its best.
All of Steinmetz pieces are made in accordance with her belief in craftsmanship over trend and following her sponsorship with Cotton USA previously this year, sourcing responsibly is now an important part of her aesthetic. The couture pieces sometimes take up to a week to complete, something that is very rare in today’s fast paced fashion world.
Footwear came in the form of a trainer collaboration with Julia Thomas, and were suspended in circular holes in the wall, vacuum packed in plastic film. The obligatory message was plastered across the front reading:‘Warning plastic bags and film can be dangerous. Keep away from small children’ showing even clothing can be bought like a preserved snack and kept stored away for months on end.
The final jaw-dropping piece was a pair of jeans coated in silicone paint in denim blues, echoing the bleach-flecked nature of the collection. The silicone appeared wet in thick layers and was an unlikely combination, pairing a base of 100% natural cotton with man made, shiny plastic.
This collection was just as meticulous as the last and infused with such a positive message. I for one cannot wait to see what wearable art she pulls out next season.
London Fashion Week AW15 took place on Friday 20 to Tuesday 24 February.