The collection starts with a simple fascination to the work of Katrien de Blauwer – a collage artist from Ronse, Belgium. There is a cinematic quality to de Blauwer’s work. Beautifully composed, we see shards of images and part of stories brought together into a compelling visual metaphor - as though they are enacting scenes from the past. Part abstract, part figurative, de Blauwer’s work evokes a sense of stillness that of a film noir, which sets the tone for the whole collection.
We started looking more closely into the era and found that the rise of this classic genre coincide with the World War II. Turning our eye from screen to reality, we learned that millions of women were encouraged to work in industry and take over jobs previously done by men. Fashion was a large aspect of their lifestyle that had to be changed. It was during this time that women were seen donning overalls and workpants. Despite the industrious works, there were still feminine qualities to the way they dressed.
The silhouettes within the SS18 collection are a reminiscent of the era, adjusted to fit the modern daywear. The focus on this collection are the pants. Women who wore pants had previously been considered offensive even criminal, up until this era when pants are no longer considered as restricted to men. Details like notch lapels and puffed sleeves provide a feminine touch to the range of shirt and shirt dress. The collection is tailored to address a personal sense of comfort and efficiency, not to glamour.
The SS18 collection also echoes the peculiar spirit behind Katrien de Blauwer’s work. For Katrien de Blauwer, who is known for being a photographer without camera, her work revolves around forgotten photographs. She would take them and create a collage that creates a whole new narrative from images that are close to destruction. We interpret our Spring/Summer 2018 collection as having similarity to this. This season, we took materials from past collections to create a whole new narrative using fabrics that are otherwise considered residual. All supporting materials are also sourced from markets that sells 'left over' export fabrics, which would otherwise be 'forgotten'. We believe this as a small step towards a sustainable future.
Click here to shop ZHETTOVA Studio SS18 collection.