From art schools opening tapestry and glass-blowing departments, to fashion houses’ soaring collaborations with artisans, craft seems to be on the rise again. Suddenly, nostalgia for ancient gestures seems to offer an alternative to dehumanized production and frenetic consumption, both in fashion and in art.
Artisan Social Designer is a new fashion label and design gallery that bridges old-school craftsmanship and a contemporary aesthetics – and presents and sells each item like a work of art. Launched early 2011 by artist duo Naïs Calmettes and Rémi Dupeyrat, the garments, presented alongside objects by other artists, all share the same philosophy: updating classical skills for a contemporary result – no ‘crafty’ look allowed, said Ms Calmettes, “artisanal doesn’t need to be synonymous with hippy, or a rough result.”’
The clothes are made following a different technique, embroidery, macramé, weaving, intricate knits, and even the odd architectural method readjusted for clothes. Yet the silhouettes are streamlined and minimalist. “We’re children of the industrial production era, and it’s a minimalism we’ve learned to love. That’s the aesthetic we’re bringing into the garments.”
Yet, radically opposed to the lifestyle encouraged by industrial production, each garment is made in unique pieces or sold in series of 5 to 10. “We just stop when we’re bored,” says Naïs, “we believe the craftsman should work like an artist rather than a machine.” Each piece is numbered, signed and comes label-free but with a certificate of authenticity – similar to the way photos and art series are sold. “This should encourage viewing each item as unique and cherishable.”
While in Paris, don’t miss the space’s next exhibition “2011 Hivers”, which opens on December 22nd. The show is themed around winter, featuring artist duo Ernesto Sartori and Mélanie Vincent.
Photographer: Clément Dauvent; Stylist: Inès Fendri; Hair: Armand Fauquet at Artlist; Make-Up: Elsa Durrens at Artlist; Model: Adeline at OuiManagement; thanks to ‘Le Petit Oiseau Va Sortir’.?
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