Representing the creative future

Institut Français de la Mode MA 2021: Show & Full Line-ups

Watch IFM’s first-ever show and meet the class of 2021

For the first time in its history, IFM showcased the work of its students as part of Paris Fashion Week. Filmed on the 9,000 m² IFM campus, the show celebrated the collections of a truly diverse group of MA students from all over the world.

With experimentation being the connecting thread between all the collections, this year’s graduates presented craft-heavy pieces, with strong intellectual backdrops. Inspired by a vast array of references, it seems that the students were pushed to take risks and embrace their failures as the most crucial part of their process. It was refreshing to see garments that were not created to meet certain expectations, as this generation does not try to answer the question: “What do people want to wear?” Instead, the class of 2021 wants their work to be the reply to: “What will make fashion better?”

During the tough challenge of navigating the majority of their course in lockdown, the students felt fully supported by the university, in an environment that they described as “family-like”- a rare testimonial in the competitive reality of fashion MAs. Through the maturity of their work and the thinking behind their collections, it looks like the soon-to-be-graduates are constantly questioning their methods, looking for their own conscious path within the industry. After their final collection, the last stage of the MA is a 6-month work placement at a fashion house, an interesting structural choice that helps the students have a smooth transition from education to the job market, an existing practical and mental weight on the shoulders of design graduates all over the world.

In the light of Brexit, the IFM MA is highlighting its strong presence as an upcoming hub for young talent, debuting with a powerful and unique set of designers who first think and then make.

Adam Kost, Menswear

Originally from Czechia, where he studied Architecture in Prague, Adam Kost’s collection explores what connects us with the landscapes around us. What is the definition of the eternal and does it even exist within the context of fashion? Kost is looking at organic conditions with a timeless connotation; Purity and smoothness, meadow and sky, moonlight and sunshine. Moments that when experienced can make one feel like they are part of everything.

Adam Kost, Menswear

Mengche Chiang, Menswear

What was Mengche Chiang’s inspiration? “Paris!” Originally from Taipei, the designer started exploring the relationship between them and the City of Light. The elements of the collection, second-hand garments from Guerrisol and objects from Saint Ouen write a love letter to Paris. Smitten by the French word for garbage, “poubelle”, which for Chiang hides the word belle (beautiful), the collection, which gives the impression of disarray, is visually linked to the city’s “ugly charm”; the dirty corners and the torn metro posters. Playing with the idea of repurposing, Chiang’s pieces are fluid volumes that feel interchangeable, just like the fleeting moments of the city.

Mengche Chiang, Menswear
CHIANG MENG CHE

Frida Jõe, Womenswear

For her MA collection, Tallinn-born Frida Joe dived into her infatuation with the notion of nostalgia, using as her inspiration the ability of photography to turn movements into 2D. By developing her own fabric manipulations she “sandwiched” silk, printed nylon, and layers of padding and cotton, resulting in a set of voluminous pieces. “I wanted to create a mix of showpieces and toned down counterparts that are more wearable,” Joe explains. “Studying fashion in 2020-2021 was one hell of a challenge,” she adds, about her experience of doing the MA during the pandemic. Like many other students, the global changes made her question her field of choice; “I personally was very doubtful about the meaning of fashion in the middle of the crisis. In my mind, it was a marginal note when the whole world would end soon.” Inspired and motivated by her course, she feels lucky for being able to complete her creative vision.

Frida Jõe, Womenswear

Albane De Saint-Laurent, Knitwear

“Shouldn’t we all work on things that make us feel good?” Albane De Saint-Laurent asked herself when she started developing her final collection. Free from the pressure of creating pieces that carry a deeper meaning she decided to get inspired by what excites her the most: The story of the iconic female persona of the Renaissance, Catherine de’ Medici, who was tired of her role as a queen and did the Tour de France on her bike. Albane created a brand named “Docteur Licorne” as the imaginary sponsor of a Renaissance lady at her biking race. The Docteur Licorne logo is applied all over the pieces which are made out of sporty, lycra yarns paired up with velvet. “ When I started my project, I really couldn’t afford the yarn I wanted so I tried to use a lot of materials I already had, what some people in my class were not using, and the yarns we had at school,” she explains. With her fictional muse falling off her bike quite often, the designer used all her “messed-up” samples and mistakes as part of the pieces, giving a “worn” sense to a collection that is made to be used.

Mathieu Goosse, Menswear

With a background in Industrial Design, Mathieu Goose moved to fashion and IFM to enthusiastically pursue the themes that inspire him the most: Reducing, exhaustion, love, and fragility. Questioning what fuels our obsessions, Goosse puts himself in a personal relationship with the garment. Instead of visual mood boards, Mathieu is looking at emotions and senses in order to start creating his collections. With materials being the priority, sanded silk, peeling python skin, and recycled denim make up a precise set of looks in metallic tones and vivid colours. What are Mathieu’s plans after IFM? “Keep going!”

Mathieu Goosse, Menswear

Jen-Hsin Hsieh, Menswear

Deeply inspired by William Blake’s poem collection “Songs of innocence and experience”, Taiwan-born designer Jen-Hsin creates a universe around the lyrical ruling of “showing the two contrary states of the Human Soul.” Visualising his poetic references through draping and combining it with traditional tailoring, Hsieh would describe their collection in one word: Melancholy.

Jen-Hsin Hsieh, Menswear

James Giltner, Knitwear

James Giltner’s collection was about the “unsuccessful attempt” at erecting the first and only North American location of the famous Parisian department store ‘Printemps de Paris’ in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. “Having built an almost to-scale version of the Parisian grand magasin with a grand staircase and huge, bayed windows, Printemps Denver only lasted 18 months, yet, her chic skeleton laid vacant on the American plains.” The space turned into a testing center, something that moved Giltner who got inspired to do the same with his collection, letting brutal biological shapes merge with 80’s couture structures. “I enjoyed my masters as it was a time to see myself as a knitwear designer rather than a designer who knows how to knit,” James shares, wanting to emerge into the ever-growing genre of the knitwear industry.

James Giltner, Knitwear

Sibyl Jiang, Menswear

Profoundly influenced by vision and aesthetics, Rhode Island School of Design graduate Sibyl Jiang’s collection aims to reflect the “uncertainty of information we receive in today’s digital age,” where whatever we experience might not be linked to the truth. “The collection uses the idea of deepfakes and other visual deceptions as their design methodology.” Digital prints of objects in distorted proportions result in visual textures that are far from the materials’ original nature, making up a collection of deceptions. “I would love to continue this research in future projects that will not be limited solely to fashion design but will be more interdisciplinary, involving multiple new media.”

Sibyl Jiang, Menswear

Yasmin de Oliveira Tinoco Pan, Womenswear

Born in Rio and raised in Acre, a state in the Amazon area between the borders of Peru and Bolivia, Yasmin Pan completed the Graduate Diploma at CSM before heading to the IFM MA. Spending the first lockdown in Brazil, Pan felt restricted, wanting to swim and feel free again. This juxtaposition was the main drive behind her final collection. In order to visualise her feelings, she looked at scoliosis braces and worked with soft and hard materials. Jersey, fiberglass, and resin made up the DNA of the collection. “I actually learned from a prosthetic professional how to make a mold of the body to the finalized sculpture. It was very fun to be able to learn techniques that are more out of the usual fashion ones. The twist is that the structures were not made in the classic braces/prosthetic way, but with a technique used to fix cars in a mechanic’s atelier,” the designer shares. When asked what she wants to do after graduation, Yasmin’s answer is clear: “I want a job.”

Yasmin de Oliveira Tinoco Pan, Womenswear
Yasmin de Oliveira Tinoco Pan, Womenswear

Jimin Kim, Knitwear

Parsons graduate Jimin Kim, continued their studies at IFM without many expectations, an assumption soon proved to be wrong since the designer rediscovered knitwear and gained confidence in new techniques and practices. Reflecting on the inner conflicts that are created when moving from Seoul to New York and Paris, Kim created a collection that works as an ode to the aspiration of becoming a fashion designer. Mixing up the traditional craft of crochet with mohair and jacquard with transparent 3D structures sculpted in biodegradable plastic made out of cornstarch, Kim’s project exists between the real and the imagined.

Jisoo Baik, Womenswear

What is your safe space? This is what South Korean designer Jisoo Baik explored for their graduate collection, tapping on childhood memories that bring comfort. “Since moving abroad, I’ve been worried about trying to keep myself safe. My concern intensified after a traumatic experience where my phone and wallet were stolen. This event pushed me to research how individuals carry their possessions with them,” Baik explains. Using everyday objects and accessible materials, the project questions the life of disposable products by reusing them. After graduation Jisoo wants to be a designer that fights towards a more sustainable fashion industry, making the principles of environmental design available to everyone.

Jisoo Baik, Womenswear

Antonia Schreiter, Knitwear

“On one hand you see the older generations who have difficulties adapting to the fast-paced society, on the other hand, the younger ones are seeking attention in the virtual environment. I see my work as a generational clash.” German knitter Antonia Schreiter sees her work standing in between the analog and the digital. By developing woven knits and embroideries out of deadstock, Schreiter aimed to dress the feeling of spontaneity. Determined to overcome the hardships of the present, she wants to gain experience in the industry as a knitwear designer in order to reach her goal of establishing her own label.

Antonia Schreiter, Knitwear

Johanna Imbach, Knitwear

“I‘m Johanna Imbach, and I am a French girl.” This is how the knitwear major introduces herself before going into explaining the inspirations behind her sculptural collection. With artist Bridget Riley and 3D anaglyph technology as the starting point of her research, the designer reworked the principles of the method to create innovative yarns and volumes. “My three-dimensional approach is above all a sculptural process which allows me to create graphic and kinetic looks whereby the body and the garment become one, proposing a new anatomy,” she says. Instead of cutting or draping her knits, she sculpts and thermoforms them, presenting the knitted pieces “almost as holograms”. With experimentation as the core of the practice at IFM, Johanna navigated the uncertainty of the pandemic and saw herself developing into a professional knitwear designer during the course of her studies.

Johanna Imbach, Knitwear

Colin Lin, Menswear

“Fashion as a voice, garments as a strategy.” That is Colin Lin’s mantra, who through thorough research on Oriental typography, poster design, and graphic arts decided to use garments as an interface. Through what Lin calls “subversive tailoring”, the designer aims to come up with innovative silhouettes that bring a sense of femininity into the male-dominated space of tailoring. Oversized jacket-rompers and deconstructed coat-jackets in cashmere and wool, comprise a refreshing take on the office wear genre. “Each silhouette creates its own way to insidiously expose different parts of the male body, based on the deconstruction and reconstruction of the traditional suit.”

Clara Joy Fubini, Knitwear

Clara Joy Fubini’s work is an exploration of identity and culture. Fascinated by the extravagance of dog shows the collection narrates the story of an eccentric elderly lady and her dog, travelling the British Isles, competing in dog shows. When Boris Johnson announced the lock-down they found themselves alone and isolated, slipping into madness. Fubini’s yarns are inspired by interior design images from the ’60s in orange, white, and silver tones. “I used a yarn called TPU which melts when heated. It gives a rubber texture to the knit which can then be cut without fraying. It has a subtle see-through effect which gives a little twist to the garment.” After completing an internship at a fashion house she aims to find a job in Paris or Milan.

Clara Joy Fubini, Knitwear
Colin Lin, Menswear

Lucie Favreau, Knitwear

French-Austrian designer Lucie Favreau started working on her collection during the first lockdown last spring, a difficult time that led her to the question: How can fashion be relevant during a time of crisis? By looking at alternative medicine and art therapy, Favreau found her objective: to develop knits that improve the well-being of the wearer. “Stimulating key acupressure points, using color therapy and visual symbolism, I imagined a collection that creates an immersive experience and helps people feel protected during these stressful times, allowing them to heal from their trauma.” The garments are meant to hug the wearer, the colour palette is designed to energise, and materials such as carbon threads, are scientifically linked to destressing and relaxation. After graduation, Lucie hopes to get a job as a knitwear designer and give back to the community by creating a knit-focused therapy program.

Lucie Favreau, Knitwear

Luhui Miao, Menswear

Inspired by gay porn, Chinese designer Luhui Miao wanted to create garments that depict all the things we hide about ourselves and the ways that we choose to reveal our true identities through clothing. Miao’s black-toned designs give a choice to the wearer by being able to change the shape of the pieces from sexy to modest and vice versa. “The virus made me think about how short life is- we should just do what we want and dress however we want to,” Miao shares. After IFM Luhui wants to explore the possibility of starting a brand but only after learning more about the business of fashion.

 

Luhui Miao, Menswear

Mudassir (MUDA) Iqbal, Menswear

“I wouldn’t say I’m from anywhere because I’m never from the place I’m in,” Muda Iqbal explains about her roots. “I’m Canadian by way of the Emirates and India. Non-Arabs born in Dubai to Indian parents maintain their Indian nationality – even though I’ve never grown up in India. And when you move to Canada when you’re 12, everyone wants to know: “Where you’re really from?’” With a unique background in game design, Muda’s experience with garments was mostly self-taught. For their graduate collection, the designer got inspired by their grandfathers and the poem “Shikwa” by Mohammed Iqbal, a complaint to God about the woes of humankind. Muda placed this complaint in today’s world, creating “a portrait of a man that struggles to maintain his identity between the cultural forces that pull him apart.” Looking at traditional clothes worn by Indian and Muslim workers, Iqbal’s design process is deeply experimental, turning tunics into suit jackets and jacket collars into kerchiefs. “The materials are mainly a mix of sarongs I had sent from my father back home and Tulle/tailoring fabrics that were donated to the school from various houses (…) In the case of the blue workwear jacket and trousers, I fused a blue sarong to blue tulle to create hybrid materials that are rugged but delicate at the same time.”

Mudassir (MUDA) Iqbal, Menswear

Sara Kickmayer, Knitwear

Integrating nature’s principles of creation, Austrian designer Sara Kickmayer developed a fully knitted collection with minimal waste and regenerated materials. Influenced by ancient ways of garment making, Kickmayer developed her own modular transformable textile structures and shapes. During the MA Sara questioned her decision to pursue fashion more than once, but “having the privilege to work with precious materials and create a symbiosis of hands-on crafting and technology brought a lot of joy to my life.” After graduating Sara wants to explore knitting further, following her dream to keep her own sheep and make clothes out of their wool.

Sara Kickmayer, Knitwear

Shari Lesmes, Knitwear

What were we, what are we now and what are we going to become? Shari Lesmes aims to explore great questions like these through her final collection which had Donna Haraway’s renowned Cyborg Manifesto. Seeing the common points between Haraway’s hybridization and Magic Realism, the designer decided to focus on the oppositional elements of her country, Colombia. Based on her research, Lesmes worked on a fictional future avatar warrior translated through the medium of fashion, whose aim is to preserve the traditional heritage of Colombia and bring it to the future. In other words, Lesmes’ collection is a celebration of her culture through knitting techniques and fabric combinations such as mixes of leather and lycra or nylon and metallics inspired by Colombian aesthetics.

Shari Lesmes, Knitwear

Clément Picot, Womenswear

When Clément Picot discovered Bad Romance by Lady Gaga on Youtube in 2009, they knew that she belonged to the fashion industry. After a three-year training in sewing and pattern making, Picot completed an internship at Atelier Balmain at the age of 18. During the first lockdown, Clement revisited their favourite films and connected the dots between the main characters of Harron’s American Psycho and Kubrick’s The Shining. Inspired by the narratives of the protagonists the designer’s collection «Dream Until the End» explores the thin line where a dream becomes a nightmare. Working with a factory in the Netherlands specialized in the development of high definition sustainable jacquard woven fabrics, Picot produced tailored silhouettes inspired by architectural shapes. Starting an internship at Givenchy next month and aiming to apply at the LVMH graduate prize 2021, Clément is excited about what the future holds.

Clément Picot, Womenswear

Sofia Massuti, Womenswear

The Alicante-born designer Sofia Massuti did her BA in fashion design at LCI in Barcelona before embarking on the challenging MA at IFM. Looking at memories that garments hide, Massuti looks at garments as people who can’t let go of their past, keeping the signs of wearing forever with them. Starting from her own wardrobe, she selected some pieces with special connotations that later became the basis of the collection. “Then, I started a 3D deconstruction process to represent the connection between the garment and the person who wears it. In the end, I developed a technique using neoprene (fused with the outer fabric) and darts in order to draw the silhouette of a body in the garments,” she explained further. Before starting her own brand, Sofia wants to work for different houses in order to learn as much as possible.

Sofia Massuti, Womenswear

Soyul Kim, IFM Womenswear

After finishing her studies in Economics and Math at the Emory University in Atlanta, Soyul Kim realised she wanted to follow a creative career. Moving to NYC and crashing on different couches, landed her a job at a fashion advertising agency. She taught herself Adobe and graphic design and in the look for something more hands-on she decided to study fashion at Parsons on the side. With fashion internships at The Row, Alexander McQueen, Céline, and freelance gigs at Lemaire, Kim embarked on the IFM MA to work on a collection about the child that lives in every adult body. With hard silhouettes and stiff materials placed against soft fabrics, the designer depicts the co-existence of strength and vulnerability. Looking into the future, Kim strives to work with a team of designers that she can grow with.

Soyul Kim, IFM Womenswear

Tang Tsung Chien, Menswear

“A home is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Graduating from the BA in Textile and material design at the technique-focused Ecole Duperré and being a 2019 finalist at the Festival d’Hyeres, Tang Tsung Chien designs by making. Completing the MA from home in Taiwan, due to the pandemic, Chien’s collection is deeply influenced by the childhood memory of “dreaming of a future of prosperity”, a concept that led them to the name of the collection: “Kingdom Come”. Mixing the raw with the refined, all materials in the line-up are presented as equals. In contrast with many current students Tang has a unique way of looking at the current climate: “I have spent half of my MA working from home. I have really enjoyed the freedom to make things that are close to my heart. It gives me happiness and peace. I am very grateful.”

Tang Tsung Chien, Menswear

Brian Tedy Tusin, Menswear

“I smell you on my clothes, I keep your clothes.” This was the last line of the Jenny Holzer poem that acted as the foundation of Brian Tedy Tusin’s collection created in collaboration with a former classmate at LCF, Eiley. Inspired by the human tendency to attribute personal meaning to clothes and connecting them with personal moments such as hugging or cuddling, Tusin studied how the fabric hangs on the body. “We wanted to keep it honest and real, elevating the fabrication, constructions, and finishings, mixing them with craft beading, pleating, curtain smocking, and couture techniques to create something new that feels familiar,” they explain further. Tusin’s concept of “wearing your room” seems more relevant than ever, as we have ascribed a higher value to our beds and belongings. Taking this thinking further, the collection comprised of bedroom fabrications such as linen sheets, duvets, and quilts, combined with craft influences from traditional Provencial clothing. Brian and Eiley aimed to try their best, taking their first steps as a young brand after graduation.

Brian Tedy Tusin, Menswear

Anna Karathanassis, Knitwear

Half Greek, half Japanese, and born in Belgium, Anna Karathanassis’ work is about identity and how we are perceived by society; “I have Greek and Japanese parents but I grew up between Belgium and Luxembourg. Not only does my appearance reflect this mix but also my soul, my way of thinking, and being in the world. People perceive and categorize me based on their own origins and cultures. In Japan, I’m seen as European whereas in Europe I am automatically considered Asian.” Through her knitted work, Anna wants to explore this contradiction. With an internship at Alaïa waiting for her in April, the designer wants to get a knitwear designer position before developing her own knitwear brand.

Anna Karathanassis, Knitwear

1 Granary

Magazine Issue 6

With unprecedented honesty and depth, 1 Granary Issue 6 dives into the work and lives of fashion designers today. As a response to the construction of desire and personality cults that govern our industry, the magazine steps away from the conventional profiles and editorials, focussing instead on raw work and anonymous, unfiltered testimonies. For the first time ever, readers are given a truthful insight into the process, dreams, fears, hardships, and struggles of today’s creatives.

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