Representing the creative future

IFM BA 2023: A fashion course run like a community

Discover the stories and sketchbooks of this year's IFM BA 30 graduates

Floating on the Seine, near the Gare Austerlitz is the Institut Français de la Mode in Paris. Painted in green, the colour of hope, they are educating the future of fashion, potential candidates to shape the city’s fashion houses. It is a truly special place, welcoming students from all over the world. This year, the second-ever graduates of their BA Fashion Design degree had their show in June. Months of anticipation, hard work, and tears led up to that moment.

The audience at the show is full of industry figures, hoping to find the next talent or alumnus. IFM is a community – people help each other, whether that is by finishing skirts together, knitting a collection as if it is a sport, or mentally, by cheering each other up when you need it the most. “It’s like a family! Everyone is helping each other. Before coming to IFM, I was a bit selfish and a workaholic. But after studying here, I am getting more supportive. I learnt a lot on how to support other designers,” says Eugene Oh, an alumna.

The BA fashion degree is still very young, it started only 4 years ago. Its bilingual nature is a unique format– you can either study full-time in French or English. The degree works as a pendant to an ideas factory, a design studio, an atelier or even a research laboratory. Like most fashion education degrees, it pushes the students on a technical and artistic level to develop the best version of themselves. “The teaching at IFM is caring and attentive to our identity, which I find is lacking in a lot of other schools. They push us to find our distinct identity while teaching us the techniques to create a garment,” says the graduate Prune Delon.

This year’s class started their studies in Covid and came out on the other side, with a toolkit of skills, a bag of experiences and a skill of adaptability that no one can take away from them. Showcasing over 30 collections from this year’s graduates, the school shows what French excellence can be – defined in a modern way.

Jade Blévin

Grown-up in Brittany, the northwest of France, Jade Blévin’s graduate collection “Et les femmes continuent de rêver” is a testament to her personal vision of feminism. “When I was a child I was more of a tomboy and had a hard time growing up accepting my share of femininity, finding myself and knowing who I really am,” she says. This collection is deeply personal since it talks about that journey. The starting point of her collection was the eco-feminist movement: “In other words, it’s the link between the ecological crisis and the patriarchy, postulating that the mechanisms of domination that engender the destruction of nature and the oppression of women are similar.” In her collection, it was Jade’s mission to highlight those links. To do this, she created two universes that might seem unable to meet at first glance – one of them being workwear, military in particular, and the other one being lingerie from the 1940s. Her idea was to create one world that unites all these influences and inspirations. “To illustrate this point, the character of Nausicaä is my main muse. Appearing for the first time in Greek mythology in Homer’s Odyssey as the Pheacian princess of the marine world, this character was re-adapted in Miyazaki’s film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” she adds. Jade describes her as an inspiring, courageous, intelligent and pacifist figure. The film also tackles current issues such as the climate crisis and the need for peace – topics in which the designer has found inspiration. In Jade’s opinion, Nausicaä embodies the ecofeminist movement. “Inspired by this character, the women and girls in my collection are free, comfortable with their bodies and femininity, and aware of environmental issues. The multi-generational cast, including a little girl, is a personal projection of a tumultuous journey of self-knowledge to appreciate and embrace one’s femininity.”

Jules Petit Degos

When Jules was 13 years old, he went to boarding school in Scotland. Little did he know that this culture would later on inspire his graduate collection SCRUM. Besides Scottish Traditions, he also references rugby in the collection, a sport he’s been playing ever since he was young. “The collection mirrors the origin of its creation, linked back to rugby playing in Scotland, as well as the prominence of fashion in the life of the designer,” he says. Additionally, he draws direct references to Scottish culture, for example, tartans. “However, SCRUM goes beyond these visual influences and tells a more profound story, which began in 2015, in Scotland.” In his collection, Jules wants to show that despite the difference between rugby, traditions and fashion, those three worlds share common values, such as strength, determination and team spirit. The bags are made with leather helmets, referencing the movement of the rugby ball. The cohesive universe of the collection shows how those three worlds complement and reinforce each other. At the heart of the collection stands the combination of comfort and elegance through the use of fabrics and designs inspired by sportswear. “The collection is conceived to put forward clothes telling a story and reflecting the strong values of both fashion and rugby, such as team spirit and rigour while preserving a sense of “luxury” within the sportswear,” he says.

Jasmine Wong

Born and bred in Hong Kong, Jasmine Wong first attended a French school in her hometown, before heading to the UK to attend a boarding school during her teenage years. Even though she appreciates her international upbringing, she feels that her formative years were spent away from her culture. “I think I pushed away my roots very much to integrate with Western society, so I wasted so much time not getting to understand my culture, my background and my family,” she says. It all came back to her when she started doing her A-levels in Art and Photography, where she had a newfound urge to rediscover her city, her history and the history of her parents. “To me, my graduate collection had to be about everything important to me: what I was born into and what I’ve made of myself. So, the collection is really quite based on my coming into a stance of pride in my city, and how I now see it – a celebration of Asian women, Hong Kong women, my mother, and the time in which they became more liberated – sexually, expressively and mentally,” she says. Since Jasmine was 16 years old, she has taken photos of the streets of Hong Kong. Combining them with her mom’s photos of the 80s and 90s and the auntie culture in Hong Kong, she found her inspiration to create a collection. Auntie culture represents a distinct group of middle-aged women in Hong Kong, who don’t follow current trends, they are almost “distasteful” in their style, Jasmine says. “I wanted to draw a lineage between the aunties and me, and how I feel mirrored in them; the transitions they faced with an increasingly westernized city, and growing sexual and stylistic freedoms they established,” she adds. The hair in her collection represents Asian women and the fetishism around their long, black hair. “I wanted to create a duality in strength and weakness: to Asian society, it is a strength and beauty, to Western men it is fetishism, a lot of times. How having one’s hair shaved is frowned upon and considered to be a weakness in Asian society and how this is considered to be a strength in the Western counterpart.” Jasmine’s collection represents the beauty of her homeland, tracing back her history, stitch by stitch.

Victor Massadau

Victor Massadau’s graduate collection “Les vies, des plis” is all about protection. He is always trying to find the design that speaks to him the most, wanting to make clothes for human bodies. “Lives and folds are the starting point. It’s the shape of a look. It’s the translation of a concept – the magic of clothing,” he says. “You might be inclined to think that this concept is about the garment as the armour, if not obviously translated into clothing, it could be applied to any type of garment. And you’d be right. Because that’s what I am aiming for; changing the substance, whatever the form.” It is about the multiplicity of the form and its meaning – that is why he wanted to create a garment construction that could objectify his thinking, illustrating two concepts which are linked to two types of garments. He went to look at the nineteenth-century trade clothing and the neo-punk saturated animated and minimal Tokyoite style of the 1990s documented by Fruits magazine. To Victor, it is all about printing and expression. To him, impression is the simple idea that clothing imprints a role on the wearer and possibilities or limitations. Expression, on the other side, is guided by an aesthetic liberation on the streets of Japan, showing the opposite aspect of impression, even those the two are obviously linked. Impression is the incoming force, expression is the outgoing force. “These two concepts come together in a flat construction. Indeed the 2D covering the 3D tells us that the body leans against the garment that covers it. This collection presents people as coming from another continent, from a place where clothing is listened to like a confidant,” he says. The result is Victor’s graduate collection, which can be read as a love affair between an impression and expression.

Jeanne Delpech

Jeanne Delpech was born and raised in Paris. After a scientific baccalaureate, she did an art foundation and started working for fashion brands, which led her to apply to IFM. The starting point of her graduate collection Size Matters was this quote by Oscar Wilde: “Nobody is perfect. I am myself particularly sensitive to drafts.” She tried to question her own vision of beauty and what she perceives as the default. “I questioned how to embrace the mistake, sublimate it, instead of running away from it. In an era where everybody is trying to be unique, where perfection rules the world, how to take the counterpart in a ludic way? With this constant injection of sublime, how to reconnect with banality?”, she wonders. In her creation process, she was particularly inspired by odd textures, unexpected volume or small running t-shirts. Her collection is to be read as an ode to normality. “It is my declaration of love to the person running down the street who is wearing pants twelve sizes too big.” As a young designer, Jeanne always wants to experiment. To her, fashion rhymes with freedom. “It’s both dexterity and perpetual renewal,” she adds.

Jeanne Ancel

Jeanne Ancel’s graduate collection, called Human Livestock deals with the theme of intense animal farming and the consequences of intensive farming on humans. “This subject is not intended to be political, just to raise awareness and make people more responsible for what they consume. A human being in such conditions would end up stooped, with bedsores and vertebral compression. So, I tried to capture these elements in a world that was both poetic and disturbing,” she says. She was able to create materials from scratch, for example, felted wool, a compostable bioplastic, whilst using eco-friendly textiles like linen and mohair. “From a distance, my collection is fluffy and poetic, but when you look closer, you can see disturbing elements such as resin dentures, bones from deer antlers lost naturally in the wild or even mouldy elements,” she adds. For Jeanne, this is a way of expressing the contrast between the image of how animals are treated on farms and the industrial reality. In her research process, Jeanne was very inspired by her parents, who work in the medical field. She did a deep dive into their old medical books and also had a lot of discussions with her father about how the human body changes under the constraints of a small space. Moreover, she drew a lot of her iconography from illustration books on art in medicine. “My mother also inspired me a great deal with her sensitivity to craft and passed on to me the pleasure of designing textiles.”

Prune Delon

“The starting point for this collection was my relationship between art and garments. My parents always brought me up with a strong artistic culture. I started drawing at a very young age, and clothes very quickly became a part of my sketches,” says Prune. That was the moment for her – the integral point in time when she knew, clothes would be her passion. This realisation made her want to figure out how she could define the relationship between fashion and art since it is a topic widely discussed and portrayed in the industry. “My collection is based on my paintings, on the shaggy, childlike faces I have created, on this colourful range that includes bucolic greens, midnight blues as much as candy pink and fuchsia.” She wanted to demonstrate the act of painting with the process of sewing. This led to creating a smock, which is a fabric so close to the body, it gives the wearer a second skin. “Then there is the work on mohair. I used the e-wrapping knitting technique to create this faux wool fur, each thread laid by hand and chosen by colour to recreate a textile painting in its own way. I tried to deal with this duality in both a literal and abstract way. So, we find paintings that enclose the body, shaggy and bushy pieces, long and explosive,” she says. In her creation process, she was very inspired by the painters she admires. To conceptualise the collection, she put together an “imaginary museum” – in there, portraits came up a lot. From Marlene Dumas to Alice Neel, she felt particularly inspired by women artists, who play with colours and make the canvas their own. They gave her the tools to create her own, rich palette. Additionally, she felt drawn to the paintings by Stephen Doherty, “les nymphéas” by Claude Monnet, the bodies of Louise Bourgeois, the pre-Raphaelite movement, and its androgynous beauty canons. “This dreamlike world made me want to work with creatures, rather than real people.”

Mandy Griffiths

In her childhood, Mandy loved old clothes, costumes, lingerie, shoes and accessories. She spent a lot of time at markets, rummaging through items and getting fascinated with fabrics and construction. During that time, the inspiration for her collection Lost and Found emerged. “When I was very young, I would get told off for stealing nick-nacks and my family used to call me magpie because they make their nests with the shiny things they find,” she says. The collection is about finding and using objects from her own personal lost and found archive, items that she collected over the years. “I like the idea of finding a place for an object that had value to someone and now has a different value to someone else. The object is unchanged, but it holds completely different significance from one owner to the next,” she adds. In her collection, Maddy wanted to reflect this – every piece is to be read like an object with a history that once had different relationships with different owners. “A jacket that is based on military shapes but has leather embossed bows, or cycling shorts made of old lace – I like garments when they tamper with something that has been done time and time again.” Research and iconography are some of her favourite parts of the design process. She took inspiration from illustrators like Tomi Ungerer or Toshio Saeki, photographers like Herbert Gher or Deana Lawson, movements and subcultures like the new romantics, and books on ‘sablaises’, which are the women in the region her mother’s family is from. “Each different element played its role in giving me ideas for the collection, colours, shapes, and attitudes alike. It sounds obvious but I think beauty is a transferable thing and if you surround yourself with beautiful things, you are more likely to make beautiful work yourself – even if the subject of the work has little to do with you or your work. Beauty is something you can admire from wherever you stand, and is a language between people that transcends our differences.”

Zixihang He

Zixihang He’s final collection is about the desire for a new beginning. “I view it as a reincarnation ritual, aiming to let go of past sorrows and embrace a new chapter,” he says. This inspiration is informed by his own life experiences. Zixihang grew up in Chengdu, a city in southwest China with a history spanning a total of 3000 years. “Growing up in a city with such a rich history and my father’s interest in antiques, made me fall in love with China’s historical heritage. After completing my liberal arts studies in high school, I pursued fashion design at Polimoda and later in Antwerp,” he adds. All these chapters in his life marked the start of something new. His studies were not only affected by the pandemic but also by the passing of his grandfather. “Seeking a fresh start and hoping to overcome my grief, I decided to come to IFM,” he says. In his collection, Zixihang drew a lot of inspiration from traditional Chinese funerals. He discovered the tradition of tying Chinese knots on wrists during those ceremonies. “These knots are believed to ward off evil and bring blessings to the departed. I incorporated Chinese knots into my designs not only to experiment with new constructions and silhouettes but also to express my hopes and blessings for the future,” he states. Additionally, he was inspired by the tradition of Chinese natural dyeing – an old process that involves dye from plants and soil instead of chemical dyes. He experimented with this technique, using it on various fabrics such as organza, chiffon and cotton. Unexpectedly, he found the beauty within a mould, being taken aback by the works of the artist Kathleen Ryan. “Mould, to me, represents the hope for new life that emerges after everything comes to an end,” he says. Finally, Zixihang’s collection is for everyone. There is no gender when it comes to reincarnation – he felt so restricted in this binary concept when he was growing up, so he wanted to eliminate it. To symbolise this, he designed different kilt trousers, which can transform into different shapes by altering the connection of various knots. “This design element embodies fluidity and allows the wearer to define their own identity, free from external expectations.”

Janine Sirbovan

Born and raised in Romania, Southeastern Europe Janine Sirbovan grew up right next to an abandoned communist factory where children used to play. “The abandoned buildings played a huge role in my artistic development, being my usual surroundings at home and anywhere I would often spend my summers in the Balkan Peninsula. I found a certain beauty and individuality in every degrading monument, every wall filled with graffiti tags, which later became the inspiration for me and my first collection,” she says. Janine refers to her homeland as the “suburbs of Europe”, as the locals of her village call it. Her collection is a hybrid mixture of strongly feminine silhouettes, street poetry and the post-soviet-influenced feeling of coldness. “I used knitwear and bleached denim to express what I envisioned. The degradé of the colours is there to emphasise the degradation that happens to abandoned monuments. Furthermore, I developed my own type of ribs, a pleated rib, creating more volume in the organic shapes around the body – shapes that naturally come from my way of painting, since before I discovered fashion, I wanted to be a painter,” she adds. Janine finds comfort in her own pace, slower than the usual fast-paced nature of fashion. That is her biggest challenge, she said. In her practice, she believes in time, not quantity. “I believe our work is the greatest when it comes from our soul and experiences, but when everything moves so fast, no one stops to admire the actual work and hours put into a garment, everybody runs to the next thing.”

Teilian Bakry

Growing up in Paris, Teilian was particularly inspired by the multicultural environment around him. His graduate collection, “Catch Me Outside” is inspired by a book that meant a lot to him, called “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, written by Milan Kundera. In the book, the author asked why we prefer to live with lightness, rather than gravity. “I linked this question to the environmental issue, which personally affects me a lot. I grew up in a family and a generally very politicised environment, and sensitive to the problem,” he says. Additionally, the American way of life was born in the 50s and is therefore an unreasonable apology. For Teilian, consumerism is the root of the problem. “In this collection, I want to show that the supporters of this vision of the world (those who wear a uniform) will be caught up, like everyone else, by the global disorder at work,” he says. The collection features elements from the classical American preppy style, particularly inspired by Teruyoshi Hayashida’s photo book, called Take Ivy. The book is a collection of images, picturing campus life in Ivy League universities around America. Teilian fused this inspiration with references to 1950s couture, which is meant to represent life in idleness and excess. “I modernised it by bringing a functional and futuristic side inspired by science fiction films like Blade Runner by Ridley Scott,” he adds. The volumes are meant to be minimal, expressing sobriety. The colours are distinct, expressing excess. For him, the process is the most important part of creation – the ideas for shapes and silhouettes often come to him directly by following his instinct, not a pre-made manual.

Romain Soulies

Originally from the South of France, Romain grew up in Los Angeles. His collection is an ode to his roots, naming it after a small hideaway bay in the South of France. “This really nurtured me when I was a kid. And even know not a lot of people know about this place,” he says. This magical bay has inspired the colour palette in his collection. Besides this, the research that went into his collection was very deep. He conducted a study on the disorientation of materials due to the passing of time in contrast with human techniques and how those elements clash together. “It’s about the destruction of time, what we protect in it and what we find beautiful. Is it beautiful to let objects be destroyed by time? Why do we want to keep them protected?”. He used this approach for the collection, combined with the sentimentality of the hidden place, which means a lot to him. He did the study in order to have a technical approach towards clothing, he said. “I didn’t reference any artists in this collection, because I really wanted it to come from within myself,” he adds.

Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Romain Soulies Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Romain Soulies Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Romain Soulies Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Romain Soulies Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Romain Soulies Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Romain Soulies Paris

Andrea Albrizio

Reflecting today’s society, Andrea Albrizio’s graduate collection, ARNT REAL is based on the confining, standardisation, and the illusion of freedom. It is a paradox, he says. “The silhouettes in my collection evoke a sense of brutal control, with square lines and a rigorous structure that imprisons the body. They represent the rigid mould society imposes on us. However, behind this hold, these garments manage to find a delicate symbiosis with the body, making them wearable,” he says. When Andrea talks about his creations, he mentions the ability they have to challenge expectations and to challenge with illusions. “The clothes become moving works of art, blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination,” he adds. Andrea explores fashion in a poetic way, letting the clothes transcend their simple utilitarian function to become objects charged with meaning, reflection and provocation. “They invite us to question convention and rethink our relationship with reality.” A highlight of the collection is the last silhouette, featuring augmented reality, which serves as an ode to our loss of control when it comes to technology. Unlike the other garments, this garment only exists on a screen, revealing our dependence on the digital gadgets around us. “It’s an invitation to question our relationship with virtuality and reconsider the fragile ties that bind us to our own humanity.” Referencing the avant-garde movement, Andrea was particularly taken aback by the Dada movement. One sentence has been the guiding force behind the collection: “Se librer de l’esclavage du sens”, which translates to “freeing oneself from the slavery of meaning”. Additionally, he was inspired by artists like Maurice Tabard, René Magritte and Francis Picabia. “Their works have inspired me to challenge traditional norms and push the boundaries of artistic expression,” Andrea adds. Furthermore, this collection also reflects on a deeply personal journey throughout his life. As a teenager he used to write letters – these were documents of defining experiences and were used as a touch of intimacy through the seams. “By fusing elements of the avant-garde with my personal reflections, I aim to create a collection that speaks both to the broader societal context and my individual growth and self-discovery. It is my way of making a statement, just like the avant-garde artists did in their time, by challenging conventions and inviting viewers to question the world around them and their own perceptions.”

Clémentine Thevoux-Chabuel

SHEEPWEAR is the graduate collection of Clémentine Thevoux-Chabuel, a designer from Corsica. Her collection is a mix of 80s knitwear and early 2000s sportswear, whilst telling a personal story with a sheep as its leading mascot. “On one hand, it is a journey through my mother’s childhood in the 80s with all the knitwear codes that exploded during that time. My grandmother had a yarn shop and knitted a lot. Looking through old family photos, I was very inspired by the knitted sweaters she made for my mother and her brothers,” she says. Additionally, Clémentine took a journey down memory lane and rediscovered the culture of her childhood, in the early 2000s. She felt drawn to Snoop Dogg, his rap and basketball world, which had a major influence on her back then. Her relationship with yarn has always been dear to her, and the sheep has always been an important figure, growing up in Corsica. “For this collection, this same sheep is now the mascot linking both universes. The oversized and exaggerated shapes of my collection garments represent a child’s point of view in front of adult clothing. Being so small, we all remember being impressed by how big and wide they seemed,” she adds. The SHEEPWEAR collection tells the story of childhood through the veins of different generations within the same family, always keeping the humour and cartoonish point of view.

Adrien Brand

Born in South Africa, Adrien’s homeland was one of the major inspirations for his final collection “Afrique du Sud”. He was born in Johannesburg and moved to Belgium when he was about five years old. “My collection is a study of queer nightlife under apartheid because I think queerness in South Africa is still very much a taboo, and I never really grew up hearing about stories of queer people,” he says. Last September, Adrien was in Johannesburg and went to an archive called GALA, which stands for Gay And Lesbian Archives centre. “It was a very incredible discovery because they are the only archive centre in South Africa to retrace the history of queer communities in this country. My collection really started when I was at GALA,” he adds. Every look in his collection tells a unique storyline about queer nightlife. Taking this, Adrien wanted to mix it with the environment of sports in South Africa – the complete opposite of nightlife. “I grew up watching my dad’s family being very obsessed with rugby,” he says. Rugby is one of his big inspirations for this collection, he got inspired by a few silhouettes from this sport. He wanted to find a way to unite those two worlds and make them work together. “One thing that really inspired me is something called ‘The Locker Room Project’, which happened in 1994. That is why this number is so present in my collection. It’s also the year apartheid was abolished when Nelson Mandela came into power – so, it is a very significant number for me,” he says. The Locker Room Project was a queer party made by an organisation that used to throw theme parties – for the first edition the theme was sports, actually. The archives of the Locker Room Project were the basis of his collection.

Paula Dischinger

“My collection name is the human being a herd animal? And maybe it comes from my very inner need to express how important it is to work together,” Paula says. Before heading to IFM, she was born and raised in Germany, went to Africa for a year after school and did an internship in Japan. “I am really fucked up by this structure of a brand. There is a brand, and it has one creative director when at the end of the day, there are five million people working behind the scenes. I think it is ignoring so many facts, and it is ignoring the most beautiful thing in a society, which is to work together,” she says. Inspired by this dichotomy, she started with a special technique of shadowing silhouettes. Each of her looks carries a shadow, so none of them have to walk on their own. “There is always someone being shadowed. On the left and on the right. There is literally always a shadow.” In her process, Paula used natural dyes and dyed all the fabrics herself. She wanted it to be perceived as attractive since a lot of eco-friendly collections tend to be perceived in a different way. “I think you have to make it attractive in a unique way, so I tried to use very eye-catching colours. It’s always yellow and this very aggressive red,” she adds. To get those colours, she used natural products like turmeric and onion skin. “I think the main point of my collection is that I really want to express that you don’t have to brand yourself up. It’s you and your family, your friends, everyone and everything that surrounds you. It’s so fucking important who you surround yourself with. Even if it’s just a shadow, it’s always there.”

Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Paula Dischinger Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Paula Dischinger Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Paula Dischinger Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Paula Dischinger Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Paula Dischinger Paris

Anna Suisse

After attending summer school at Central Saint Martins in her later high school years, Anna Suisse had an epiphany and realised that she wanted to study fashion. And so, her path led her to IFM in Paris. Her practice isn’t only rooted in clothing – Anna is extremely drawn to image-making and styling too, a passion that was born when she flicked through magazines as a child. “In all my projects, I feel like I liked shooting the collection, styling the clothes and editing the images the most. I am more focused on the concept in the image of the garments. I have never been interested in very traditional garments and techniques,” she says. The idea for her graduate collection, Sparkling Death was born during a magical summer, interning in New York. “After the internship, I discovered that, in a brand, you have to make garments for everyday wear. Fashion projects and garments that you see in fashion school are not real life. In real life, you wear garments to cover your body, so for my collection, I didn’t invent crazy forms or new concepts,” Anna says. Much of her summer in New York, Anna spent watching the TV show Dexter with her roommate. A crime scene in this show served as the first inspiration for her collection. “I didn’t want to make it creepy with bloody things; what interested me the most at first was the form of the garment on an unanimated body. What you see in the crime scene is the body, which is lying down. On the one hand, the garment is draping on the body, and on the other hand, it is draping on the floor,” she adds. To create the garments, Anna draped the fabric on people who were on the floor, on chairs, and on stairs– with this approach, she wanted to create new forms from existing garments. She didn’t want the creepiness of the crime scene, but she took the idea of the form of the clothing on the body. Additionally, she wanted the aesthetic of a dinner, because she loves food. “I love going to restaurants and to parties and sharing food. I wanted to create a little story for me to focus on, and have something animated in my work because it was otherwise really still. For me, this collection is like a dinner or a party that has gone wrong. We don’t know if the subjects of my looks are subjects of my looks are suspects of victims.”

Léonie Ribordy

Spearheading from Geneva, Switzerland, Léonie worked as a dressmaker for three years, before starting her studies at IFM. Her collection, Au Castello, is based on her mother and the stories she told her. “Throughout my creative process, I have interwoven these stories to create my universe. Those stories talk about the time my mother got married in black, wearing a dress with a spider web on the back. My mother organized a party where she asked her guests to come dressed in their old wedding dresses,” she says. Naturally, this created beautiful photographs of women dressed in traditional white wedding dresses. “There was a time when my uncle, a Swiss artist, had a vernissage where he could not be present. He asked my mother to represent him. Since his arms were tattooed all over, he sent stamps and instructions to explain where exactly the tattoos had to be placed. My mother’s arms were tattooed with the story of that evening,” she adds. This particular event inspired her to make lace patterns and include her uncle’s tattoos. She used the stencil technique for this. Moreover, the jewellery of her looks is 3D-printed, referencing the tattoos as well. “The spikes on her models are actually chair legs that I glued onto fishnet tights,” she says. Léonie’s collection is a manifesto of the beautiful yet complex nuances in the relationships between mothers and their daughters, retelling stories with a new angle.

Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Leonie Ribordy Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Leonie Ribordy Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Leonie Ribordy Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Leonie Ribordy Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Leonie Ribordy Paris
Institut Français de la Mode Show BA 2023 Leonie Ribordy Paris

Camille Metzger

“My collection is mainly about wanting to understand what I was doing at fashion school, what my goal was, why I was in fashion school and what I like in fashion,” says Camille Metzger. She knows the reality of fashion outside school is entirely different, almost like another planet. “We are going to have to sell our ideas to people. As we got out of COVID, the trend was super kitsch. Now, because of inflation, we are going back to some things that are more minimalistic or conceptual. So, I wanted to mix them both to represent what’s happening in our modern time and the present day,” she says. She married the conceptual to the kitsch. Expressed in the balloon, because there is nothing more kitsch than a balloon. “To me, that is the most contemporary object that represents kitsch. Mixing it with everyday clothes and casual wear was strong and powerful and could very simply embody my ideas. As the trend is so ephemeral, I wanted to represent that, so the balloon is representing this,” she says. We are also in a movement where we want fashion to be sustainable and use our garments for a lifetime, so we should be more cautious about what we buy. We are doing this, whilst trying to enjoy the trends. “It’s kind of social: if you are not part of the trend, you feel left out, especially when you are young and buying fast fashion a lot. I felt like I could accompany this element, so I made some jeggings. I made them in a new shape, more baggy,” she adds. Camille printed them in Jersey and with a little help of Photoshop, she created the piece. Additionally, she played with Trompe d’oeil effects and knitwear. In total, her collection is a reflection of current taste, told through metaphors.

Clara Zimmer

“The topic of my collection is about being between two mediums, the empty space that is between those two mediums,” says Clara Zimmer. Her collection, Ode O Vide, is a conceptual exploration of the artistic space. These days, we have the choice to create with more than just one medium she says – this especially applies to art. But yet still, if we create with multiple mediums, our work is seen as less valuable than the ones who created with a single medium. “I work between fine arts and fashion, which to me is the same, but it’s actually not. I’m doing a lot of drawings and a lot of 2D, then fashion is 3D, a bit more sculptural.” The main idea of her collection is rooted in exploring the space between the 2D and the 3D, garments versus drawings. Each look is made from the rules of bookmaking or 2D drawings. “The idea is to exchange and then by the end, have a book made with the codes of garment and 3D.” In terms of designers, Clara has been inspired by designers like Yohji Yamamoto, who has more of an arty approach when it comes to fashion.

Eléonore Daquet

Inspired by a drawing from the artist Louise Bourgeois, Eléonore Daquet’s collection Home for Runaway Girls is about the expression of femininity. “It’s about how we can still stand for princess-ness, which means how you can embrace femininity and feminine stereotypes, and be like a princess, wear bows and pearls, whilst having strong ideas and being an angry feminist,” she says. Growing up, Eléonore was frequently told that there was a dichotomy in her complaining about female stereotypes in society, yet still, she embraced them. Her response to this was that she can have strong ideas and wear dresses at the same time, one does not affect the other. “For me, how you dress, and your ideas are two totally different things. People say you should wear pants and Doc Martens and dress masculine, and I totally disagree: my ideas are strong enough to not be affected by what I wear.” Her dresses and her clothes are her weapons and her parole speeches. Inspired by feminist movements, she uses clothing to claim her ideas. “On my dresses, there is a slogan that I wrote, or a poetic sentence by Louise Bourgeois, which is another main inspiration for my collection,” she adds. Clothes can help you to run the world, go to demonstrations, or to express yourself by doing collages. “In Paris, there is a big movement involving collages where some girls are painting letters on paper and sticking them on the wall to make a sentence. I find them so bold and audacious to do that, even when the street is nowadays so hostile to girls,” Eleonore adds. Alongside the feminine aspect, she wanted to translate that into the garments. The collection is meant to reflect comfort, with no corsets, and very light but warm fabrics. “The collection is helping girls in their everyday life – to process, to claim, to advocate.”