Few design schools impact the international fashion landscape consistently and unfalteringly. With hubs of the likes of London and Paris, the monopoly, it would seem, is held by fashion capitals. One school that breaks the mould is Basel’s DOING FASHION. The undergraduates and MA students of the Swiss course presented their final collections together last weekend, showcasing new and exciting means of deconstructing design conventions. The collections break away from perpetual imitative cycles, with each collection exploring each and every designer’s expanded horizons. The young talents explored the ‘Highway of Fashion Cycle’ and invited us on an explorative journey of textiles and forms.
¡Ahorita!, the collection presented by Laura Margna, explores her love for travel, and zooms in on the textures we see on roads and signs, inspiring the prints and textures in this collection. Vertical lines, clashing prints and contrasting fabrics are key in this collection. Silhouettes are oversized and take elements from menswear for practicality and ease of movement, emphasizing the wearer’s adaptation to different environments.
Isabelle Mayer expresses the insanity of language in a surrealist collection, that explores German idioms such as ‘pigeonholing’ and ‘crow’s feet’ to make these proverbs into literal, visual images. She plays with eye shapes, faces and hands on lapels in 3D form for this hypnagogic effect and compliments this by using a variety of textures from fur to satin.
Chantal Brogini toys with the idea of an imaginary summer holiday spent indoors in solitude. The materials are light, soft, and summery and contain a lot of colour and print blocking to accentuate the idea of dreaming about the summer in a closed environment in contrast with each other which is also further emphasised through satin-like fabrics.
Romain Sochon explores the coexisting practices of Fashion and Architecture by constructing an urban setting within his collection. The green viscose coat emulates landscapes, while the knitted scarves and striped patterns conferred structure to the pieces. The sportswear inspiration behind the collection translates a sense of urbanity and a representation of today’s youth.
Controversial topics are challenged by Rebecca Ammann. She denatures the stereotypical ‘unmannered’ man by creating garments loosely tailored, for a ‘Gentilhomme’ aesthetic. She purposefully uses a target-like print to emphasise the victimisation over a false convention, with particular sensitivity to the choice of materials used, complimenting the natural lines of the body.
‘Is madness insanity?’ Angela Thurnherr uses billowing silhouettes full of texture and colour blocking to emphasize the idea of ‘letting go’, challenging the line between innovation and ridiculousness in design. Quilting techniques are used on delicately printed fabric to enhance a sense of comfort but also makes use of oversized pearls on a knitted dress for an ‘over-the-top’ look.
Delia Matthäus delves deeper into the tones and colours we see on a blank white canvas using rigid fabrics for coats and skinny trousers. The pieces overall are sleek in texture and silhouette.
Closing the show, Wuethrichfuerst plays with phosphines and hazy textures, similar to images that we experience in flashbacks. The collection as a whole is monochromatic, with shapes created from a rigid plastic-like material that represent ‘blank’ spaces in the mind and the occasional coloured outfit which embodies merely remembered concrete moments.
This conceptual collection was the conclusion to the show. The diversity in styles and designs was ultimately a showcase of increasing talent in young creatives. Whether it be the carefully concocted prints by Wuethrichfuerst and amazing shapes by Isabelle Mayer, it’s safe to say that the next set of graduates are promising.
Discover more about the Doing Fashion graduates here.
Words / Christina Attrah