Representing the creative future

IFM FASHION MA 2023: The craft is back

Discover the collections and sketchbooks of the IFM MA Class of 2023

The future of creativity lies in material and textile innovation. That is one thing the 2023 MA graduate show at IFM convinced us of. Both the design and knitwear pathways presented collections rooted in technical development ‒ but that doesn’t mean they were devoid of concept or storytelling.

In our traditional understanding of fashion design, inspiration comes from abstract narratives and cultural references. The designer looks at the world around them and distills their observations into shapes and colours. Textile and material only serve to embellish that story at a later stage ‒ they are secondary. What happens when you turn that process on its head? The IFM collections prove that using a process guided by materiality leads to consistently creative collections. It also reminds us that our industry has underestimated the importance of technique for too long. Let the work of the 2023 MA graduate class be an inspiration to change that!

Shanon Poupard

My collection “Realms of the Real” studies the infantilization of reality as we respond to trauma and current events such as a war or the climate crisis. Traditional children’s clothes are blown-up and subverted. Naive pastoral embroideries suggest an alternative dark reality, crochet becomes incendiary, and delicate knitted lace dresses become portents of doom.

Martha Hupfauer and Jonas Konrad

If a fake is so perfect that you can’t distinguish it from the original, why can’t it be as satisfactory as the original? After deep research on originality and fakeness, we looked at artists like Malevich, Warhol, Sturtevant and the German art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi, who faked many artworks in the name of famous painters and deceived experts with his work. This forced us to look at our own work and to ask the obvious questions: Is there design without copying? The concept unites these questions and consists of three main design elements – the most significant one being snap bands that create unfakeable coincidences. They are placed in different parts of the garments and every time they snap, a new shape is created, giving the possibility to make the garments adjustable to different bodies. The veil stands for veiling the truth and deception. It’s interpreted both in classical ways as in crocheted pieces as well as in “faked versions” like laser cutting the crochet pattern in taffeta. Throughout the collection, the fabrics are used as a confrontation between the original and the fake. We actually don’t think that it’s possible to design without ever copying but we firmly believe that it is the duty of design to never stop searching for originality.

Eugene Oh

The objects which are surrounding us have been genderized as feminine and masculine. Inspired by this observation I was intrigued by braided hair and flower embellishments on medieval armours. During the Assyrian era, curly hair used to be a symbol of masculinity and most men used to iron their hair for styling purposes. Today, this has become the symbol of femininity. Another example is the Medieval french armour which is genderized as male today but was decorated with floral patterns, which nowadays we see as feminine. As part of my process, I looked into techniques like flocking denim and different washings on jeans, sustainable 3-D printing, recycled salmon leather, and smoking, inspired by the embellishment and construction of the medieval armour and the art of hair braiding.

Cristian Rocco Rizzo

“It would take a house to be a man and vice versa a man would be defined by his house”.

With my collection “Welcome Home” I wanted to invite and welcome everyone to the inauguration of my “Maison”; a distorted place that I’m destroying and rebuilding. The house is something that concerns us: a discreet space that we sometimes forget or that we care too much about. Throughout the collection, curtains and unloved carpets got upcycled, fringes, and second-hand sweaters were dyed. Silk and velvet got laser-cut and linen got smoked. Leftover leather was reassembled and embroidered. Prints and motifs got distorted and overlapped, fabrics like jersey and velvet got tailored, whilst damasked fabrics were sanded. Cotton got rigid by cornstarch. Repurposed materials highlight the importance of contrast, what interior designers see as the key to a successful home space.

Ju Bao

My collection “Annihilation” was inspired by Jeff VanderMeer’s book which carries the same name. VanderMeer imagines what happens when human civilization gets entangled with nature on a molecular level. Organisms are mimicked and transformed, creating strange and disturbing chimaeras. I explore this phenomenon through denim, which I replicate and mutate in knitting, creating hybrid garments that aren’t what they seem.

Carla Bore

We are all living in a society that has been disenchanted, how did we get there, and how could we be re-enchanted again? My collection speaks about the lack of spirituality that defines today. In an effort to rewrite my own contemporary mythology, I developed female characters who are hybrids of Chimeras (animal women) and of the people that surround and inspire me.

Technically, my main objective was to pay a tribute to the textiles and the French savoir-faire that are risking to disappear one day (leather, denim wash, dye, smock, pleats). I like to drape in a certain way that lets the fabric fit bodies in an unusual or uncanny way. It is important for me to question the beauty standards towards «women», that are still too present in our luxury industry. I want to show a femininity that is more open, more strange and enigmatic, that could fit any body or gender. My work aims to go back to a certain form of controversial purity in feminine beauty and reinvent its codes.

Juhee Park

“It has taken a very long while for me to drag my amorphous Slug Body out of the mud”The waves, by Virginia Wolf 

In the film “The other side of underneath” the artist Jane Arden explores this quote to focus on the dichotomy between the horror and glamour of the female condition. My collection questions this disturbing description of the female figure as a bizarre creature. And I explore the grotesque body through the idea of metamorphosis and transformation.

Goojyun Lee

My collection “Romantic Army” is articulating a masculine romance. A defensive, careful, and sensible love, that shapes emotional figures and colours. I was inspired by John-Louis Corby, who distorts and deconstructs human body forms to create intriguing sculptures. I felt connected to his work as I felt it expressed the immense pressure I’ve been under due to my link with a male community in Korea where men are aggressive, violent, and patriarchal. I mainly used silk organza and Korean traditional mesh fabrics together in double layers, to create a shape that is strong but also transparent. I created my own romantic camouflage pattern prints, which were inspired by William Morris and Monet. Finally, I built a new universe of an army which operates with the values of romance, peace, and purity.

Juliette Berrod

I’ve always had a vicious and somewhat unhealthy obsession with murder and quality fabrics. Having spent a lot of time with my grandparents, we could blame them for that. My grandfather is a retired doctor and a compulsive collector. In the little free time he had, he was taking me anywhere he could. My grandmother is wonderful, she is the most elegant woman in the world. My great-grandfather, Aldo, having served in the Royal Army, decided to move to London where they lived for ten years before settling back in Paris. From this, got born her love for the royal family of England, twinsets and detective novels.

So, I didn’t spend my Wednesdays at the park like all my other classmates. I took the 86 bus to Odéon where I went through medical encyclopedias, looking for images of purulent deformities, bones, and other bits of anatomy. I discovered cinema there and more particularly: horror, the supernatural, the thrill, the death, and the crime. Chabrol, Hitchcock, Buñuel, Agatha Christie and Maigret. I think that our childhood creates a prism of vision that later allows us each to create our own idea of the world, and such is mine: A cold and scary reality covered with a film of surreal humour. The worst and most difficult to understand crimes, take place in family. In this sense, I would like to present my MA collection as a Cluedo, where each silhouette has to be stared at. By leaving real and false clues, I want everyone to be free to conclude: Who is the victim? Who is the murderer? And what is the motive?

The collection is set in this family murder mystery, a crime that happened at dinner after a long day of fox hunting. Calais lace is a red thread throughout the collection a reminder of intimacy within the family circles as well as a traditional heirloom in France. The collection features classic pieces of the bourgeois vestiaire, such as the hunting jacket in wax cotton and a woolen Caban. Both are twisted, knotted, and wrapped up a clin d’oeil to the body bag. Notable styles of horse-riding garments are constructed with tailoring codes. Fabric is treated to enhance the feeling of uneasiness; The leather by Vicenza Pelli is left shabby at the hem, to remind of a bad taxidermist’s work.

Shaydn Gill

Control and chaos; movement and rebellion. My collection explores the incredibly inspirational and equally sad cautionary tale of the bird that couldn’t fly: Elvis Presley. From his hillbilly cat days to his astronomical ascendance, to his detrimental years in Vegas, and ultimately his crushing to death.

Salomé Bodin

Beneath the shadow of the Saint Nazaire shipyard, on the beach of the Loire estuary, where I grew up, young men wait for their official refugee status to be confirmed so their new lives can begin. Like the sea at low tide, neither of them is coming nor going. They are in-between. Using sustainable and natural materials, my collection reflects on this moment in time.