Tuesday 2 July 2019

Litter Cleaning - Schueller de Waal

SCHUELLER DE WAAL / SDW Studio presents

Collaborative Cleaning Initiative


For Paris Haute Couture 2019/2020 the Dutch fashion design duo Schueller de Waal teamed up with Pik Pik Environnement to present its first Collaborative Cleaning Initiative named ‘Litter’, supported by the city of Paris.

On tuesday 2 July, on a public square, right in front of the town-hall of the 15th arrondissement, a group of 50 models, cool kids and volunteers started to clean the streets in an upbeat cleansing fashion performance. The models picked up trash from the streets, dressed head-to-toe in freshly made garments made from the studio’s leftover fabrics, deadstock and other remains from the fashion industry.

Cleaning (in) Haute Couture
 The act of cleaning served as an inspiration for both the presentation as well as a design principle. With the performance, the initiators aim to make a powerful statement on the current state of the industry and inspire for change. ‘Litter’ is the next step for SDW in unfolding their story of ‘Fashion Therapy’.
‘Litter’ elevates ‘the act of cleaning’ by combining different elements into a collective cleaning session. Rather than changing a location to meet the needs of a fashion show, SDW Studio created an intervention that has a positive effect on the location. Collaborating with local NGO’s (PikPik Environnement, Green Bird Paris) educating about garbage separation and conscious living as part of city maintenance, and fashion professionals (stylists, fashion journalists etc.) supporting the mission, SDW Studio dressed a diverse group of people in an eclectic range of cleaning uniforms.

Driven by the idea of re-using previous collections and giving them a new context, the collection translates the concept of ‘Litter’ into re-purposing. SCHUELLER DE WAAL re-purposes their body of work into a range of one-size-fits-all and multifunctional cleaning uniforms through various re-purposing design principles.
The foundation of the collection is the repetition of a singular silhouette, a workwear inspired overall. The symbolic meaning of ‘rolling up your sleeves’ to work defines the look and feel of the collection. Through belting systems the uniforms can be worn in various ways, creating different looks or silhouettes within a singular style.
The overalls are made from patchworks of leftover fabrics and past collections pieces. In order to give the eclectic mix of fabrics a uniform look SCHUELLER DE WAAL collaborated with textile artist Aliki van der Kruijs. Her research project ‘Afterseason’ investigates the potentials of waste ink from the textile printing industry. Aliki and SCHUELLER DE WAAL airbrushed a layer of purple pigment onto the uniforms into a unique range of prints. Working from the principle of avoiding to waste resources, everything touched by the airbrush technique has been used and turned into items of the collection. To fix the pigment on the fabrics, a reflective coating was applied, reminiscent of the reflective detailing of waste collector’s uniforms. When photographed with flash unexpected silhouettes within the overalls become visible.

Another tongue in cheek interpretation of ‘cleaning wear’ is seen in the ‘couture’ pieces made from non-woven cleaning cloth in the typical pink and yellow. The NGO’s logo t-shirts, that are normally worn as a uniform in their activities, have been customised with SCHUELLER DE WAAL shirting details. Pieces from previous RTW collections have been cut up and remixed into apron like shapes - featuring a clashing combination of workwear pocketing in luxurious fabrics. As the couture fabrics used were often just sample coupons or leftovers, not enough to create full garments, the fabrics have been re-created with office- and household materials. Aluminium foil re-creates a metallic brocade fabric and marker pens are used to redraw patterns of a floral jacquard. SDW deadstock has been turned inside out and bonded with silk organza leftovers, for a sculptural effect. Shift dresses turned into sleeves, and uniform pants and dungarees are patched with functional design elements.

Most of the cleaning uniforms were accompanied by safety shoes by the Dutch brand EMMA Safety footwear, known for their Corporate Social Responsibility mission. For the silhouettes mimicking couture references, SCHUELLER DE WAAL collaborated with footwear designer Marko Bakovic. A small series of functional safety boots are presented with fully rubberised uppers and soles made from dead stock pleather.

The soundscape of the presentation, a multi-lingual shout out to not litter, was designed by Bea1991.

Photography Team Peter Stigter

S(eeking) D(esign) W(ellbeing)


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