It doesn’t feel right calling Faustine Steinmetz a designer – in some ways, she’s more like a couturier. Not because her creations resemble evening gowns in any way, shape or form, but because of the sheer volume of time and artisanal techniques that go into each piece. Visit her North London studio and it feels like an atelier, complete with various apparatus that she and her team use to spin, dye and weave her fabrics – all by hand.
This March, Steinmetz showcased her AW16 collection at a presentation at London’s Tate Britain – an event which saw models pose from within the confines of large white boxes, dressed in soft, fluffy garments and hard, metallic ones that felt as modern and sculptural as the Hepworths and Moores housed elsewhere in the gallery.
Here, this collection is captured in a series of photographs taken by Steinmetz’s two-time collaborator Arnaud Lajeunie, styled by Novembre Magazine’s fashion director, Georgia Pendlebury and art directed by Aude Debout. This time, she’s also teamed up with an artist Luke Brooks who, rather ingeniously, reinterpreted her garments in foam.
“I have never really been interested by fashion campaigns,” she says. “I have never understood what they were really for, and have always thought they looked very staged and not natural... I want my campaigns to be like a window to my studio, my process, my friends, and the people who inspire me.” She decided to do things a little differently – by enlisting her favourite collaborators and together creating something without worrying about it being “sellable, industrialised, reproducible, wearable.”
That’s not the only way Steinmetz is doing her own thing, however – she’s titled this series ‘Faustine Steinmetz Collection #007’ as opposed to ‘AW16 campaign’ because, like other designers such as Claire Barrow, she’s now creating outside of the traditional seasonal Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter model. She will continue to show as part of London Fashion Week though – stay tuned for coverage of her SS17 show later this month.