Interview by Mia Kingsley
Faustine Steinmetz is making some extremely cool garments, producing her own fabrics and is the woman behind amazingly fluffy woven jeans. Originally from Paris, she moved to London to complete her masters in Central Saint Martins. In her East London studio, her team spins, dyes and weaves all fabrics before constructing into incredble pieces of art. She claims she doesn’t like fashion and compares her practice of making clothes to the art of painting a vase. Making iconic pieces like the jean or leather jacket and giving them a whole new level of texture and design. We chat about personal style, her parents forbidding denim in her teenage years and her inspirations, meet the wonderful Faustine Steinmetz…
What is it about making clothes that attracts you?
I am attracted by the garment as if it was a beautiful object of art. I design each of my pieces as if I was painting a beautiful vase.
Have you always been into creating and making things?
Only since I starting making cuts in my pairs of jeans when I was a teenager…I’d use a pair of jeans as a jacket by making a slit in the crotch, I would cut the back pockets to make bags out of them, I used the waistband as a headband…
That was all until my parents decided I was forbidden to buy denim items…
Why did your parents decide no more denim?
Because I was cutting them all!!
You make all of your own fabric, tells us about the process and why you don’t want to just buy ready made fabrics?
I feel like a lot of the fabrics I see in shops are so flat, they have no life. That’s how I started making my own… To me, it is the way a piece of clothing can make me feel very special, if a person spent a lot of hours weaving it artisannaly for me.
It must be really exciting to finish the journey of a garment from designing, to making the fabric and then constructing. Which part of the process of your favourite?
It is definitely when I sample…I make loads and loads of different types of fabrics, structures, textures, colours before I find the right one and nothing equals the pleasure of loving a sample and getting very excited at the perspective of making a whole piece out of it.
Texture seems like an important part of your designs, tell us the story behind your woven jeans…
I like when things are not what they seem to be, to me this is what imagination is all about. Texture is just a way to confuse the mind I guess…
Which designers do you find inspiring?
Martin Margiela and Bless for the vision. Alaia for the quality.
Do you have a favourite show that stood out from the recent fashion weeks?
I don’t like shows, I get bored very easily. This is actually what made me realise I had no interest in fashion, that my passion was for the garment as an object.
So how was your fashion week experience, did you take part?
Yes, we did for the first time. I have been given a space in London fashion week b the BFC as part of Newgen’s ones to watch. We created an installation featuring some of our AW14 copper pieces.
Out of all your designs, which are you the most proud of?
I think it is very important to hate your designs, if you truly do you will work harder each single time to try to rich the never-coming excellence..
When creating designs where do you look to for inspiration?
I have a very big collection of old women’s craft books. I love to study very different artisanal techniques…It is usually how I start getting inspired.
How would you describe your style?
I don’t want to have a style, when you have a style you start becoming a fashion designer. I consider myself more like an object designer, an artisan who reproduces objects which already exist in my own way.
How about your personal style?
I don’t have time to care about that at all, I doubt designers who look good…every time you spend shopping, looking at yourself etc is time you’re not working...
What are you into at the moment, what are you wearing?
like most days I am wearing ‘Pleats Please’ by Issey Miyake…I love the idea of collectable garments. The shape always stay pretty much the same but they have been made in thousands of different ways…I love that idea…
If you could collaborate with any designer in the world dead or alive who would you choose?
Whats next for you? Whats lined up for the future of the brand?
Our SS14 collection just started being on sale this weekend on LN-CC! We are very excited about this, and that it will be very soon available on Opening ceremony as well!
Thank you so much Faustine Steinmetz!! We look forward to what the future holds for you.. If you want to check out more amazing work and follow Faustine Steinmetz journey check out the links below:
The next ‘Mia Meets…’ will be out this coming Thursday but until then for more Mia Kingsley: