Stylesight’s Denim Team talks to Central St Martins grad Faustine Steinmetz on her handwoven denim collection.
Each summer season brings with it a new selection of young and forward thinking design graduates. Scouting the newest in denim-design, Stylesight’s denim team has picked up Faustine Steinmetz and her collection of handwoven denim-inspired pieces.
London’s Central St Martins has always been recognized for its hotbed of young and emerging designers. Each summer the school presents a directional portfolio of design talents that showcase some of the most exciting and innovative collections in the graduate schedule. The latest stand out from CSM is Faustine Steinmetz, a 2012 graduate who has captured the fashion world’s eye with her assortment of tactile textiles based on iconic wardrobe pieces.
Based out of East London, designer Faustine proudly handcrafted each and every piece of her F/W 13 collection from start to finish. Among the collection are iconic denim pieces like 501 jeans, classic denim jackets and denim vests — the kind that are forgotten in your dad’s wardrobe, except they’re created from 100 percent handwoven mohair.
Faustine creates her products with the traditional ideals of craft in mind and takes pride in doing it the right (and labor intensive) way. Striving to create something from nothing, every product is made from scratch: hand-dyed, hand-spun and handwoven.
Stylesight’s Denim Team sits down with Faustine to unpick the seams behind her innovative design technique:
What was it that drew you to replicate denim in your final collection?
This was my first collection, so I really just wanted to set the basis of my concept and show what my label will be all about. That is why I reproduced pieces that everyone has in their wardrobe; garments anyone can buy anywhere for a few quid. Except I remade them all from scratch— hand-dyed and wove the material. Even the smallest details like the pockets, brown label, and red tabs are woven. I replicated them from nothing to show what my idea of fashion is. For me, it is a craft, a labor intensive discipline.
What was most challenging about creating your woven textiles in jean and jacket silhouettes?
Patience is your best friend when you do that kind of weave! It took me about a hundred hours to create one pair of jeans.
You hand-dyed, hand-spun and hand-wove the mohair. Is this a long winded process; do you use British yarn?
I try to use British material anywhere possible. It is very important for me to stay local as much as I can. Yes it is a very long process, but my work is always loaded with intensive labor, as I think it is always very rewarding. When you spend more than 40 hours on a piece, it really gives it a special aura. We are not too used to those kind of artisanal objects in our everyday lives.
Describe your aesthetic and what inspires you as a designer.
When I design I really don’t try to apply any sort of aesthetic to my work. What inspires me is the garment. I love when things are not what they seem to be, that is why I love to work around iconic pieces and twist them in different ways.
What are your plans next?
Our Autumn/Winter collection will be sold in exclusivity in Hostem, London this August. Due to high demand, we are also getting ready to open an e-store where we will sell our denim pieces, which is really exciting!
Find out more about Faustine Steinmetz on the brands official website.