Faustine Steinmetz, spring 2015 – by Silvia Bombardini

Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,


Suitably cradled by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, there couldn't have been a better way to welcome the season than Faustine Steinmetz's presentation this morning. Those who remembered Faustine from February – and you do not easily forget hand-woven trench coats once you've seen them – were naturally thrilled to hear of the NEWGEN sponsorship that brought her from the hallways, by all means wonderful at Somerset House, to her own solo show at the ICA Theatre. Needless to say, we were not disappointed: true to her signature quest, this collection too sets to reproduce everyday garments via artisanal techniques to hand make them from scratch – and there's something uplifting, slightly lefty and a tiny bit surreal in the whole ordeal that just endears her to us all even more. The display was precisely arranged to echo the subtly manipulative solutions of big fashion houses, that may or may not influence our judgement by the way their often rather simple product is at times presented. The opposite, of course, could be said for Faustine: her work is a celebration of the uniform of people, luxury in disguise, a very physical matter of devotion and patience, and labour and love. It's fashion of haute couture standards, that for once doesn't strive to set itself apart from the commonplace, but revels in it. For spring 2015, Faustine jumped right on track with a very current vogue here in London, the one leftover that has made the 90s resurgence of recent times entirely worth our while: denim, in all its glory. In Faustine's case, this means hand-woven, hand-dyed, hand-painted, hand-embroidered and for the first time this season, hand-knotted too, thanks to a traditional, exciting, proverbially Japanese pleating technique.

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All photos mine.