Dear Shaded Viewers & Diane,
For SS17 Faustine Steinmetz was looking to conceptual art. More accurately, Joseph Kosuth’s One & Three Chairs, a piece that looks at the idea of context as our understanding of what an object is. Something which Steinmetz does every season is to make us reevaluate the value & to an extent, the very context of denim. Denim has historically been a ‘staple’ for wardrobes across the world & Steinmetz poses the idea that it has a much higher value as a basic textile.
In particular, the designer wanted to recontextualise the idea of the vulgarity of denim from the early 2000s. The result was of course mesmerising, as it tends to be every season. A corridor was constructed in Topshop’s East London show space with open cabinets along each side. In each, there was a model. The classic jean was transformed into crystalline formations, ostrich feather & liquid organza. The result looked almost organic, as though the models were specimens inside a jar.
The collection itself – if put in the appropriate context – could almost be a metaphor for the industry in general. What is immoral? What is offensive? What is appropriate? Are these girls being sexualised & exploited? Or are they merely a beautiful mannequin on which to display exquisite craftsmanship?
Of course I believe it is the latter, but it does make you think.