Denim all over. Hours of artisanal work. A cool way of seeing jeans and jackets: that is, for short, the idea behind the exhibition of London-based Faustine Steinmetz, “Slow Denim”, at Joyce Gallery in Paris www.joyce.com.
“I find our contemporary relationship to buying and owning very wrong. We no longer buy things we like, we no longer even buy things that we intend to keep, and we are only interested in things which are cheap and readily accessible. Everything is disposable. My work is a reaction to these wasteful ways. I focus on denim because it is the symbol of industrial clothing, an everyday object, valueless to most and worn by so many”, says the artist.
The exhibition of Faustine Steinmetz, “Slow Denim”, is at Joyce Gallery in Paris www.joyce.com
Faustine Steinmetz – www.faustinesteinmetz.com.
Presenting a retrospective selection of denim jackets and jeans from Faustine Steinmetz collections, each garment is displayed alongside information about how many hours it took to make, the number of artisans who worked on it, and the materials and tools used.
From silicone and oil painted jeans that took one artisan 14 hours to make, to a felted pair that four artisans spent 50 hours on – exhausting 45 felting needles in the process – to the most work-intensive garment, a cotton canvas pair of jeans that five artisans, each with a tapestry needle, spent a total of 1,080 hours forming into a thick wavy texture.
“I work hours on them because I want to add value where normally very little value is seen. Why should a pair of denim that you wear everyday not be given the same level of attention as a couture dress, destined to only ever be worn once?”, says Faustine Steinmetz.
Faustine Steinmetz (www.faustinesteinmetz.com) started her label by unpicking the idea of denim quite literally, and is acutely aware of how fashion’s food chain functions. She thought about ways she can soften the impact on the environment more and more.
Steinmetz worked with sustainable cotton and mohair in lieu of the recycled denim of her debut, and set about making what she called “little sculptures” for Fall 2016.
Photography: Faustine Steinmetz