DIFFUSION / ILLUSION
Études N°16 – Spring Summer 2020
When diffusion becomes illusion, boundaries are blurred. As the turmoil of border politics rages across the globe, the realities of displacement and diaspora have the potential to re-write our collective history. At the same time, the open-source nature of our contemporary lives gives birth to a new universalism, where geography is almost an abstract construct. Transcending language, graphics and symbols have passed into our collective conscious as signposts for life: the communication tools of industry, intimacy, and rebellion. Both analogue and digital, the Études Spring Summer 2020 collection re-contextualises those symbols, evolving the Études visual language in order to expand the dialogue between fashion and the wider world.
Through human and machine intervention, fabrics appear aged and weathered – from over-dyed camouflage to acid-wash logo jacquards and stencil screen-prints. Natural and industrial tones collide in oceanic sea foam greens, Études blue, safety orange and khaki neutrals, whilst a series of vector-style graphic diagrams offer symbolic hypotheses for the season’s thematic conceit. Hand- painted in Paris, bleach stains provoke glitching tie-dye effects across jersey, denim, and tailored outerwear pieces, whilst broad streaks of white paint bisect a cinched parka and utility trousers. Sprayed treatments create ghost lapel and pocket silhouettes on Italian trench coats, as hand-knits appear to dissolve in sinuous shapes on skin.
Through a series of collaborations within the spheres of contemporary art, heritage garment-making, and informatics, the collection approaches the dualities of representation and the authenticity of craft – applying more layers of process and meaning to the Études wardrobe than ever before. The first implies the figurative paintings of New York-based Canadian artist Chloe Wise, whose works ‘Tormentedly Untainted, 2019’ and ‘You Definitely Lied To The Right Person, 2019’ stir social and consumer commentary by subverting traditions of classical group portraiture. They are printed to scale on silk shirting, pleated skirts, a slip-dress and peignoir. Exploring the season’s theme of Diffusion/ Illusion, a landmark partnership with the online open-source encyclopaedia service Wikipedia results in screenshot placement prints featuring the site’s ‘Diffusion’ and ‘Illusion’ definition pages writ large, as well as all-over embroidered separates depicting the fragmented puzzle globe design of the Wikipedia logo.
The Spring Summer 2020 season introduces the first Études Eyewear collection, with four unique styles crafted in stainless steel and acetate. Tinted lenses are planed in minimalist shapes with graphic brow bars, and feature the signature Études eyelet adorning each arm. Traditional fob chain and hoop jewellery is shrink-wrapped in tape to create rigid new forms, whilst the Études x Adieu footwear collection of boots, derbies and moccasins are treated with peeling paint. Alongside the new leather crossbody messenger, the collection unveils exclusive Études x Porter accessory styles from a backpack to chest bag all in Études blue nylon.
Spatial notes: The runway show is situated on the construction site of a future co-working space on the Rue des Jeuneurs in central Paris. In dialogue with the show space and collection, the artwork ‘How to Screen Mishima, a life in four chapters, 2018’ by French artist Justin Morin unfolds over four steel screens hung with printed tulle
Styled by Georgia Pendlebury
Exclusive Soundtrack by Vladimir Cauchemar