Representing the creative future

Institut Français de la Mode MA 2022: Crafting Utopia From Uncertainty

See the show and discover this year’s graduating line-ups and sketchbooks

For its second iteration, IFM opened the Paris Fashion Week schedule as a beacon of optimism. While our world remains immersed in post-pandemic and political bleakness, these students beam with diverse, unfaltering talent.

In light of recent turbulence, fashion’s purpose became upended by questioning; whether clothing exists to embody protest, vivacious escapism, a barometer of expressive identity or a vessel for craftsmanship. Behind the IFM doors, the graduating cohort explored every avenue with ingenious flair, presenting a final showcase that radiates hope and hints at prosperity for the next generation. As humanity fell apart, the class came together, piecing their global experiences into a singular community that navigated lockdowns, deadlines and the pitfalls of self-doubt. Competition and negativity held no place on campus – a nurturing, 9,000 m² environment built on experimentation and tradition for a new age. Still honouring a Parisian proclivity for detail, these MA designers are adept in technical excellence, from Etienne Diop’s homespun Senegalese weaving to Claire Barreau’s acrylic nail chainmail that warps perception on body dysmorphia. Debuted virtually, the 32 collections are visually striking and able to stimulate a visceral response to the current climate, both in a social and sustainable capacity. Divine intervention, dynamics of grief and information overload are but a few themes that punctuate the line-up with further intellectual currency. For their final learning module, students will complete a six month atelier placement before transitioning into the industry, and although the future remains a haze, this parting project felt rich in optimistic clarity. Needless to say, it is fitting that a school in the City of Light should produce such bright-minded luminaries.




Claire Barreau – Fashion Design 

False nail chainmail is Claire Barreau’s feminine armour. “Having had eating disorders since my childhood I couldn’t dress as I desired, like all the other little girls, so fashion directly represented the unattainable – a dream,” says the French designer, who found acceptance in the photographic caricatures of Nadia Lee Cohen and strength in Maurizio Di Lorio’s garish imagery. Entitled J’te Dérange, her collection materialises girlish nostalgia through bubblegum pinks, unravelled slinky toys that jerkily contort the skin, then artificial hair textiles, hosiery laden with fake eyelashes, and bead-peppered balaclavas. “Its creation has allowed me to accept and assume a part of my history and hopefully help other people. I started to draw and imagine the clothing that I longed to be able to wear because it has the power to transmit sensations, to give self-confidence as a fantasy extension of our personality,” she explains. From afar, the sweetheart motifs and candylike bras emit an otherworldly feel, yet her own vision of fantasy isn’t one of the gingerbread houses, but one set in an inclusive reality. “I don’t care about the dictated standard of beauty. I made a collection that goes from [European] size 34 to size 48 because all bodies and ages are beautiful and I want to represent that,” says Barreau, noting how garments were initially draped on her mother and best friend. Determined to champion diversity, she intends to launch her own brand beyond graduation: “I’m 23-years-old, at 25 I promised myself that I would give up everything to make that wish come true.”

Ariadna Becerra Lendinez – Fashion Design

Turning academia into artistry, Ariadna Becerra Lendinez pieced her collection together from fragments of fashion theory; using a research paper about clothing and the body as an unlikely starting point. It led her to understand the psychology of colour, exploring how perspectives on the human form are contorted and challenged based on visual signifiers. “How we decide to dress has a direct effect on impressions, behaviours, and performance of the wearer and observer,” says the Barcelonian native. Thus, the designer subverted known identities of everyday garments, such as a basic t-shirt and tailored jacket, into corkscrew draping that is unexpected, even reactionary. Utilising deadstock jerseys and wools to do so, Ariadna pushes the capabilities of textile manipulation to an abstract degree. In much the same way, the course also tested her capabilities as a person: “It was hard, at times, to focus on what seemed a superfluous project, in comparison to the dual morality of world crises, and having to put all my thoughts into the collection.” She underscores lessons learnt in self-affirmation and enhanced creativity, using these positive experiences at IFM to seek a progressive future. “I’m looking for a maison workplace that is deeply connected to political and environmental issues, that fights to be relevant and allows me to continue searching for ways to raise my thoughts about gender, feminism, and sustainability,” she adds.

Hugo Castejon-Blanchard – Fashion Design

“I use the selfie picture as a muse.” On a quest to materialise vanity, Hugo Castejon-Blanchard looked to mirrors for the answer. Hidden in reflections, he found attitude, admiration, “but also the search for identity and the fear of not liking one’s appearance,” he says. These elements are seen in his model’s cloaked heads, their vests that have been crumpled by tense knuckles and elasticated waistbands haphazardly lowered as though one cannot decide what to wear. There are also virile aspects in the Narcisse collection; protruding codpieces that speak to the masculine ego. ”I am working through universal elements of the male wardrobe. Blue suits, grey joggers, and soccer jerseys, because I wanted to blur the details of a common language,” the designer explains. Prior to his time at IFM, Hugo had traversed from his home of Lyon, France, to a fashion exchange programme in South Korea. It was afterwards that he worked briefly for Chloe in the dressmaking department. Here he found an affinity for detail that underpinned his MA project, stepping away from surface decoration but towards textile development. “I wanted to build garments with emotion, that are natural and spontaneous. To forget about the challenges we can face as students, to produce something ‘big’  or ‘showy’  – where instead I opted for trompe l’oeil.” This rejection of superficiality is rare in a world fabricated by filters yet the designer is confident that authentic expression has its place. Particularly in the fashion industry, where he ambitiously heads to find work for a design studio.

Etienne Diop – Fashion Design

Etienne Diop designs at a cultural confluence between the racial state of France and colonialism in his parents’ homeland of Senegal, West Africa. Rejecting imperial values, the designer launched a brand entitled Tareet, which translates from ancient Wolof dialect to the phrase “it tears”. In one sense, a linguistic nod to fabric ripping, and in another, a reference to the political tearing up of tradition. “The purpose of this collection is to reflect my position as a Métis man,” says Etienne. “I looked at the daily life that surrounds me.” Before joining IFM, the designer spent two years studying as a modelist formation in his birthplace of Marseille, noticing increased police violence on the streets as well as public discrimination against race, gender, and religion. His MA collection encapsulates that disorder through a spliced approach that blends African vestiaire and streetwear into primitive weaves, produced in imposing volumes to reflect the scale of urban architecture. “Working with heavy, heritage fabrics was the greatest challenge – because they came from my family I was obliged to do a beautiful job,” he says. Due to their weight, the garments had to be fitted on human models instead of mannequins, so Etienne believes organisation has been an invaluable skill acquired from the course. “I am grateful for everything I have learned so far, but my final objective is to open design schools in Marseille and Dakar – the capital of Senegal – to give people from the hood, at a disadvantage, the opportunity to make fashion and art.”

Erato Fotopoulos – Fashion Design

Digital overload: it’s staring at screens until your eyes squint, it’s information saturation and being so steeped in connectivity that cognitive function suffers. It’s also the focal point of Erato Fotopoulos’ MA collection, which addresses the “non-stop multitask” mode in modern brains. “I focused on moments of confusion and mnemic emptiness, that we are left with after consuming too much, when a feeling of numbness arises,” says the Greek designer, touching upon her prior background in chemistry. “We are accessible 24/7, new distractions reach us at any time like emails and pop-ups on our phones. This exposure affects us through stress, fatigue and sleeplessness, the inability to focus, and in our productivity,” she explains. To begin the creative process, Erato researched locations that trigger anxiety stimuli, and of these, urban streets and shopping malls ranked first. In conjunction, they produced a clear aesthetic for her collection – grey hues that emulate concrete cityscapes and garments fashioned from shredded carrier bags. “For the element of overload, I tried to look at all the unwanted, unread information, printed mostly on packaging that was surrounding me,” she says. This development, too, serves as a commentary on wastage and consumption of physical goods. In defiance, the designer approached secondhand stores for graphic print t-shirts, seeking the oldest that simply would not sell, before taking them home to be box-woven together, or embroidered with screenshots from her phone. Finding joy in upcycling, the designer also relished “giving up control” on the course, encouraging her creativity to develop organically and never through a linear vision.

Tania Marcela Garcia – Fashion Design

“This was the start of my spiritual awakening.” Tania Marcela Garcia had a divine intervention. It occurred after she deferred the first year of her MA course, returning home to Mexico City to heal as Covid-19 plagued the planet. Astral projections overtook her body, she could “see energy flowing in all directions” and felt an instant connection with her deepest, truest self. “I experienced time dissolutions and a complex feeling of being at the origin of the cosmos. I had never felt so much love and gratitude for being alive, for what the experience of life is,” says the designer, going on to tell of her ethereal pilgrimage to the Wirikuta desert. Harnessing senses through meditation, she began to create psychedelic ‘power plant’ sculptures and pottery as a therapeutic means to connect with primitive instinct. This translated into the floral motifs that stipple her garments; some as pendants strung across the stomach in reference to talismanic amulets. Her designs consider “energetic points” of the body – some with exoskeletons that outreach like an aura field – and Aztec decoration, seen in the plentiful feathers. “This collection portrays ritualistic, magic beings who are connected with the power of the universe. They live between realities, they are dreamlike and eat flowers,” she describes. Returning to IFM from a state of tranquillity took Tania weeks of adaptation. Her peers had completed pre-collections and the designer had little more than a few lumps of clay to propose. Citing friends as both her motivators and assistants – notably throwing a wig-making party to meet deadlines – she pushed on to completion. After seven years in fashion education, Tania feels her industry calling is one of Latin American representation: “In the near future I want to be able to talk more about my culture, my ideas of fantasy and beauty.”

Geun-Yeong Go – Fashion Design

Geun-Yeong Go had always held a fascination with the rockstar presence; their ability to command an audience, not least their sexual iconography. For her MA collection, she studied ‘90s mischief and roguery of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. “My whole fashion journey is the process of going forward to the future but by looking back on past nostalgia, the good old days that everybody misses,” says the South Korean graduate. It’s seen in the bulging plush-toy cloak she sent down the runway, featuring Mickey Mouse for childhood’s sake, also the youthful neon hues and the rock logomania. Except there is something much more poignant below the playfulness. In January 2021, Geun-Yeong lost her father: “I kept thinking about the other side that we must reach when we die. There are a lot of guesses and expectations but we still have no idea because no one has the experience.” This project became a grieving acceptance of losing her dad, a vision with no bounds – so she removed it from our reality entirely. “To figure out life after death, I used the band as a mediator to explain it. Their weird behaviours and actions made me imagine that they might have come from another dimension. In the way we need a spacesuit to go to space, I thought that they would need special clothes to go back home.” Metallic, futuristic elements in the collection are a nod to this time-travel odyssey. The designer goes on to discuss the alienation she felt for a long time before IFM peers gave her the strength to press on. “I couldn’t have restarted my studies and kept working on my collection without all the help from the people who cared about me,” Geun-Yeong shares. Looking ahead, she aims to work at a high-end luxury brand as an advocate for sustainability – a path her father would undoubtedly be proud of.

Ibrahima Gueye – Fashion Design

Strength and courage are two qualities found in a lion as much as they are traits of black women in today’s livelihood. This is the comparison that Ibrahima Gueye makes through his MA collection, which has roots in his West African home of Senegal. It all began with childhood observation; seeing his mother at the market selecting vivacious fabrics for a special occasion or watching local seamstresses as they toiled away under the burning sun. “My family taught me how to look for the most within the least. To throw away something that could be repaired or reused was not an option,” says the designer, outlining his conscious principles. Narrating a local fable and cultural dance ceremony entitled Simb, the collection tells the story of a hunter who becomes spiritually possessed after fighting a lion. “How can I express possession through garments? How can I express virility and empowerment in a feminine perspective that is excluded from the legend?” questioned Ibrahima. His answer arose from the furniture designs of Malian artist Cheick Diallo that place emphasis on suspended and string-like structures. In Ibrahima’s final project, cut-out latticework and netted threads that constrict snakily up the bodice and around the neck share a similar tension while flattering the female form. Faux crocodile skins and contrasting textural trousers seize one’s attention in hot pinks and rich mustards. Producing such a technical range came with its professional benefits – Ibhrama learned how to liaise with factories, craft leather goods, and establish a sponsorship for trimmings. “The course was enriching, I feel more confident in my skills due to the quantity and quality of work that we had to provide,” he says. “Now that I’m leaving, I would like to sell accessories under my own brand called Jant, which means “Sun” in native Wolof.”

Anna Heim – Fashion Design

Anna Heim found a penchant for handicraft at the bottom of her grandmother’s crochet box. Upon receiving her first sewing machine as a gift, she would stitch costumes for plastic dolls and make self-taught alterations using her mother’s wardrobe. This proximity to the women in her family became a subliminal thread in her final collection, as “a poetic love letter to the female body. One that communicates a sense of acceptance of our fears and our desires – it’s about redefining sensuality in a way that does not want to please the male gaze,” the former MCQ intern explains. It began in the safe space of home, a place where getting dressed also meant escaping judgement. Diaphanous lingerie, that is, her torn mesh bustiers held up by fishnet panels and suspender clips, are a window into such privacy. Their tactile softness eases any discomfort, the black and blush palette is gently provocative. “The textures, the liquid latex dresses seem like a second skin and the hairy objects draw you closer, luring you in to feel them,” Anna adds. As she gathered materials, the designer stayed true to her sustainable morals and rummaged through deadstock storage units in warehouses all across Paris, turning eyelet tops into corsets or leather scraps into a jacket. Reflective of a family bond, “every piece was made with so much love and patience and that’s what the collection should convey as a feeling as well,” says the German designer, for whom intimate connection is the beating heart of her practice. “I loved that females really understood my topic and my pieces. But I also loved that the community at IFM had something special; so many people jumped in to help, so in the end, it was a relatively relaxed finale.” Anna wishes to collaborate further by restoring a past duo with fellow student, Jan Paul Klages, following a six-month internship at Acne Studios.

Judit Itarte – Fashion Design

What does satire look like? For Judit Itarte, it manifests as childlike overalls in primary colours overlaying a broad-shouldered business suit. Or in the paper grocery bag that’s actually, technically, cut from pinstriped shirt cloth. Her designs are a pendulum swinging from “surrealism to sarcasm” and back again. They reinvent the banal and thus, reinvigorate the imagination. “I was trying to find unusual forms which evoked behaviours that are uncommon for the eye. Garments that have unexpected structures, materials or placements,” says the Spanish designer, on her stark contrast between formality and sport. The intention is that both work in tandem to provide the wearer with an updated uniform of practicality, comfort, and safety. Whereas, visibly, they play on social synergy – mish-mashing workplace associations. “For this, I used the collage technique, a method very popular in surrealist art.” While Judit does not share a background in painting, she studied architecture for two years in high school but switched to fashion illustration when she was 16-years-old. Honing on form and function, her creative trajectory has led to an MA collection set on user-friendliness; garments that “take on an important role in contributing to a better living experience, to face our daily obstacles,” she says. As for obstacles on the course, Judit notes the great difficulty in sewing a single garment from a multitude of fabrics. Construction remains her primary interest and she is confident that any future learning she undertakes will build upon this area. “My goal for the future is to work in a team where I can research and be as close as possible to 3D-making.”

Shangrila Jarusiri – Fashion Design

“How I dress provokes them.” Parading down the runway in stripper heels, salacious latex and with a ball-gag handbag to clutch, Shangrila Jarusiri’s models look anything but innocent. Behind the bondage, however, her MA collection is a sincere study on identity; how it feels to exist on the peripherals of what society deems acceptable, a physical embodiment of taboo. In Thailand, her home, when conservative onlookers told Shangrila that she dressed “too sexy” it triggered an internal conflict that diminished her right to be an individual, for fear of harassment. This alternative interest began when she was a teenager, delving into underground subcultures such as punk rock and Japanese visual-kei music. “I grew up at a very strict school so fashion is something I only experienced on weekends; five days of trying to be a nice and polite student, then two days of being a punk girl with cute stockings,” says the designer, whose insecurities worsened as the pandemic hit. “Cat-calling seemed to always be my fault as what I wear is not deemed appropriate,” she continues. After an Agoraphobia diagnosis that meant Shangrila was scared to leave the house and face crowds, she took a year out from the course and started using her “work as a diary to collect feelings.” On her return, teachers helped Shangrila to “remember the joy of why [she loves] fashion all over again.” It kickstarted the process of piecing herself back together. As a result, her MA collection looks back to the helplessness she felt as that timid schoolgirl, and it reacts as a defence to judgement. “My collection talks about how something that looks so fragile – lace and lingerie – can also be strong and protective,” she says. “Also, I researched sex toy shapes and some studies about fetishism. How sexual activities translate onto fabric, how fashion is not for hiding everything but more for decoration of the body.” Shangrila hopes to spread positivity around decensored fashion by opening her own brand in the future.

Jan Paul Klages – Fashion Design

Jan Paul Klages tamed the wild spirit of womanhood. “In my collection, Hunting Prey, the women perceived as prey become the huntresses,” describes the designer, who hails from Hamburg, Germany. One day as a young boy, Jan Paul remembers seeing his aunt standing in a doorway, waist gloriously cinched by a blazer and in heels near-reaching the heavens. “I grew up with strong women that inspired me to define a modern goddess. She is strong and fierce, but not afraid to show her vulnerable side.” Despite a brand-laden resume, working at the likes of MCQ, where he met fellow student Anna Heim, VETEMENTS, and Botter, Jan Paul was primarily a sports professional. “Even without knowing anything about fashion, it was always important for me to stick out of the crowd or underline my character,” he says, highlighting music as another early pursuit.  Sheathed in black mesh, featuring spiked choker collars above vampiric shoulder pads and a leather jacket, his MA project may not be so far from the punk agenda. “For me, power comes through structure, shapes, and silhouettes. It’s the balance of being verbally dexterous and physically seductive to be in control,” he says. That feminine prowess first struck him in a scene within the film Basic Instinct, where Sharon Stone plays a criminal vixen, Catherine Tramell. The character uncrosses her legs in a police interrogation with brazen authority. “I have always been fascinated by these women who are aware of their impact, using the current state of society – being underestimated and being objectified – to get the upper hand.” It is a strength he hopes to imbue through his clothing. Leaving IFM, Jan Paul reflects on his learning experience: “I had such a nice time here in Paris. Our whole class became like a family – we supported and pushed each other and elevated our works.“ Currently, he is one week into a six-month internship at Y/Project, working under the esteemed Glenns Martens.“There is no Plan B beyond fashion. It fulfills me,” the graduate concludes.

Yaein Lee – Fashion Design

“I think fashion is a balance between art and commerciality and there’s no answer on which side it is biased towards,” observes South Korean designer, Yaein Lee, who similarly finds herself on a cultural axis. Looking at the duality of ancestral dress, her MA collection explores differences between her traditional grandmother and contemporary, architect mother. “They are two women that affected me in my identity, yet they are two completely different people in every aspect. My grandmother is also a designer and lives in the calm countryside, and wears Korean hanbok and mountaineering attire. On the other hand, my mother can only live in the city, in Paris, and always wears tailored suits and minimal clothes,” she says. Growing up, Yaein spent equal time between the two homes; recalling how she would draw spontaneous silhouettes as a hobby that eventually led to seamstressing and her acceptance into fashion school. She credits IFM for giving her the chance to uncover something deeply personal; the two halves that make her whole identity. Her collection is composed of sweeping capes, boots that fold and hug from behind the calf, drapes that bunch with a bungee cord, some in ornate florals, others slate grey or loud fuschia. “It was delicate and sensitive to work on, I enjoyed the whole process,” the designer muses. Seeing the course as closure, she aims to return to work. This time, with a newfound passion for everyday garments that anybody can enjoy: “I love to represent a person’s taste through clothing, it is the greatest reward.”

Cecilia Mari – Fashion Design

If Renaissance followed the Black Plague, then what supersedes our pandemic? Cecilia Mari explores cultural regeneration; art as a reaction to adversity. Creative curiosity rose from her Italian upbringing, where she excelled in classical studies and would pass time tinkering in her grandparents’ tailoring studio, “silently sneaking away spare fabrics to drape on their mannequins, surrounded by fabric rolls and mirrors,” she describes. “My passion for their craft was born with my love for drawing.” Going on to study at Central Saint Martins, Cecilia became immersed in moving images – specifically the work of directors Jim Jarmusch and Gus Van Sant. It sparked a fervent interest in technology and sci-fi, setting the basis for her MA collection at IFM that “urges coexistence and contrasts between digitisation and human imperfection. A post-pandemic Renaissance where the human positively hacks the machine-made.” By definition, Renaissance refers to a revival or renewed interest in something. Making use of charity shop jersey t-shirts, Cecilia hand-slashed each garment – a historical method – to bolster individuality onto an otherwise ubiquitous and mass-produced object. Therefore, “framing the concept as literal garment rebirth,” she says, whilst also reusing pattern cutting paper, spliced from ‘70s newspapers that were boxed away in her grandparents’ studio. In keeping with 15th-century finishings, the designer dyed fabrics with rare ultramarine and porpora colour pigments and outsourced chain hardware, as inspired by the Renaissance paintings of Lucas Cranach, depicting the well-decorated heroine Lucretia. Cecilia paired dexterous weaving skills, taught by her sister, with virtual design software like CLO3D – which had inevitable glitches. From these, she draws comparisons to faults in contemporary humanity. However, on the course, Cecilia gained endless benefits and experience from others. “I also felt very lucky to be able to really use the time to indulge and play with drawing and draping freely following my instinct, which came after I set conceptual limits.” Patience, she says, was her greatest teaching: “My grandfather always used to say ‘to undo and remake is still working,’ to be grateful to where the mistakes might lead you.” Heading into a post-graduation unknown, Cecilia remains interested in collaborative creation and wishes to merge with “like-minded spirits” across art and music.

Sejin Park – Fashion Design

Existing as the tension between freedom and control, Sejin Park’s MA collection is a direct outcome of the pandemic. Straitjacket silhouettes force the wearer’s hands under pencil skirt waistlines, and oversized trousers swallow whole arms, sitting just below the bust. There are also the expected face masks – but this time, drawn over model’s heads into constrictive lace balaclavas. “Most people worked from home and had video conferences during Covid-19. It has changed our business wardrobe quite a bit; dressing up only in visible areas by wearing formalwear on the top half and comfortable clothes on the bottom,” says the designer. “I saw that formality as being ‘controlled’ whereas bodywear and comfortable clothes were like ‘freedom’ expressions,” he adds. Tainted by a dark, black palette, the clothing conveys an ominous, shadowlike mood. During his South Korean upbringing, Sejin remembers the defining moment when he made costumes, with friends, for a festival at high school. Running to a local bookstore, he bought a copy of Vogue Italia which cemented his dreams to become a fashion designer. By studying at IFM, he is ever-nearer to its realisation – hoping to work in Paris shortly. “The course taught me that it was important to believe in myself. As I repeatedly made decisions within a set timeframe, sometimes I questioned myself – whether what I was doing was right, but they were the best learning moments for me.”

Riccardo Russo – Fashion Design

“What if Cinderella went to a queer techno rave?” That’s the premise behind Italian graduate Riccardo Russo’s project, a glitzy vision that imbues the princess with feminist grit and feist for a modern age. “Cinderella is often depicted as a very demure tale – a woman who got saved by a prince – but in my vision, she finds the strength within herself to keep her mind clear and uses her kind spirit to keep living life serenely,” he explains. Highlighting the character’s ballroom escapade, Riccardo goes on to make comparisons to today’s queer scene that uses rave nights to, similarly, run from injustice and express themselves freely. “In the case of a queer person, they are discriminated against by society at large, as she is her stepmother,” adds the former Istituto Marangoni student. By fusing contemporary y2k cuts, rhinestones, and PVC with an “18th-century fête galante” look, the collection tested his technical finishings and historical understanding. “For this collection, I wanted to explore the universe of haute couture, a world that strongly talks about heritage and tradition. I was also much inspired by Mademoiselle de Beaumont who is the first transgender identity recorded during that time and Virgina Woolf’s book Orlando.” Through black fabrics, Riccardo captures both the melancholic plotline and the blackness of night, when secretive dances take place. In his collection, panels of pink flora were developed from period oil paintings, just as boned corsets reflect restrictions felt by the LGBTQ+ community right now. Overcoming perfectionism, the designer believes the course was a thoroughly enriching experience. Although, just as Cinderella’s evening ends at midnight, the sun is setting on Riccardo’s fashion education. Next, he looks to intern at a couture house and “be first in line to the actual making of the pieces.”

Rémy Wiener – Fashion Design

“I’ve always been an observer,” shares Rémy Wiener. Growing up in France, the designer refined a sharp eye for detail; noticing sartorial manifestations of attitude or the transformative power held by posture. ”I realised later, that the way people dress has much to say on who they are, the message they want to convey to others, to themselves, to society.” As such, his own message became one of familial honour, merging figurative memories and physical silhouettes to establish an image of his grandfather. These took on nuances from a typically masculine wardrobe; black satin tuxedos tailored into a dress but also rejected expectation through vibrant silk taffeta stripes and coral-like ruffles that stand out against rougher wool checks. “I unconsciously added some artifacts that no longer belong to reality. The flamboyant extravagance of [my grandfather as a] figure is contrasted with the austere and strict uniform of how you are supposed to be,” says the designer. Seeing clothes as comfort in a harsh world stung by the pandemic and political crises, the MA course was a chance for Rémy to consider his contributions to life. “It was the first time having to think about a collection not directly in terms of technique or volume, rather, asking myself what is my process? What do I have to say?” Entering the industry down a design pathway, he intends to amplify hope and optimism at every possible opportunity. “Many people think fashion is disconnected from reality but in recent years I’ve never felt so rooted in the real world. We as designers have the role to overcome these situations and keep on making people dream. Fashion is the experience of the instant, a representation of today’s and tomorrow’s society.”