For London-based, French-born designer Faustine Steinmetz, being presented with the opportunity to present immediately after the Fashion East show, in the same venue, is as lucky as London scheduling comes. Subsequently after Mimi Wade, Matty Bovan, A.V. Robertson and Richard Malone presented their latest collections, Faustine’s collection took place in an adjacent room, at Old Spitalfields Market. The international press had finally arrived in London and initiated their fashion weeks with two brilliant presentations, both representative of London. Colourful, eclectic, unique. There’ll be more on the Fashion East graduates another day, today is dedicated wholly to Faustine, the wunderkind.
Her room was enclosed, dark, The only illumination came from horizontal alcoves in the wall, where they models lay sideways, seductively. The blue light was emblematic of Faustine’s chosen material denim, but also her willingness to create theatre and a true fashion moment, one that will live longer than the fifteen seconds it takes you to scroll past on Instagram. The lighting imbued a eerily beautiful ambience. It was 11:30 but it served as a wake-up call for many.
The show was a further progression of her aesthetic—deconstructed, destroyed, damaged, distressed denim subversion. The first model was daubed in indigo paint. Her trousers were made from 60,000 individual Swarovski crystals, and reminded me of stalactites. A fascinatingly picturesque opening to an undoubtedly magnificent presentation. As you moved forward—the only direction available in this presentation format—you saw different types of denim: heavily frayed and sewn back together, second-skin skirts, iconic jackets. Many of those pieces were simply made to look like denim, they were actually jacquard and fringe.
There was also many branded items. The Faustine Steinmetz logo emblazoned on trousers, waistbands, slippers, jackets and coats. The purpose? To sell. I tend to harp on about branded clothing, how it’s a weak attempt to make a buck. However, in the case of Faustine, you can be assured the garment you purchase is of the highest artisanal quality. This isn’t a cotton t-shirt with a gimmicky print on it. It might be a jacket with a logo on it, but it’s also a commentary on denim and where it belongs in our everyday wardrobes. It might sound trivial, but denim is a member of closets everywhere. Moreover, Faustine has to run a viable business, branded articles are destined to sell which in turn allows more of these compelling clothes and presentations to enliven London Fashion Week.
Faustine has once again proved her presentation is unmissable. Even if it was at 9pm, in a random basement in a far-flung corner of London, people would turn up. She’s merely a few years into her career but she already has that draw. That counts for a lot nowadays.