AM: In my studio it’s just me and my assistant, and we do everything, which is how it is for all young designers, but we all pretend it’s not, and say things like, “Oh, yes, let me tell that to my production team!” It’s one big charade, but then, everybody knows that, surely?
FS: I don’t know if they do know?! Since I got into the final for the LVMH Young Designers prize, people treat me completely differently.
AM: Everyone thinks you’re a much bigger brand?
FS: Bigger than I am, yeah, but it’s part of your job to give them that impression.
AM: I feel like that too. I’m not a marketing team; I’m not a print team; I’m not a textiles team; I’m not a pattern cutter team. I’m not all of the things that a big fashion house has. There is this charade where we are playing fashion house.
FS: Yes, but, at the end of the day, in a department store you’re right next to Céline and J.W. Anderson. You might operate in two completely different universes, but they are still your competitors.
AM: Because it’s all seen at the same time, in-store or online; it’s all viewed as the same product. So you have to be at the same level — there’s no room for you to be less than that.
FS: How do you feel about your last show?
AM: I was really happy with it. Since starting my brand I’ve been looking to create emotional pieces and to have feeling behind the clothes. The aim of my creative life is to do it all with feeling and energy and to encapsulate memories in my pieces. But also my work is a reaction to being bored. I’m so bored with fashion.
FS: And angry?
AM: Yes. I fell in love with fashion at a very young age, and I’m angry now. I’m not saying that this is something that should always come across in my work, but it’s certainly how I feel. My work is always a reaction to how I feel about what I see.
FS: I think it’s good. I watched an interview with Yohji Yamamoto, and in it the journalist asks, “What advice would you give to young people?” and he says, “Be angry at fashion. Only when you’re angry at fashion can you produce something that goes against it and so is new.” You see labels or young designers now who obviously love fashion, but they just don’t bring as much to the table as someone like you, who comes in and says, “Fuck, things are boring at the moment! Let’s change that!”
AM: I’m working with this idea of making things that seem neglected feel special, injecting them with energy. SS16 was all about applying a finish to a completely finished garment. The idea that you can make something “worth” more, just by applying something to it, is really interesting to me at the moment.
FS: There’s nothing better than buying a piece of clothing that someone has physically painted themselves! I think my work is quite different;
I don’t think there is that energy behind it.
AM: I can feel it!
FS: Can you? My work is really all about going back to the very start of the product, by recreating the fabrics themselves. That way you can [create] what’s in your head and not compromise by buying your fabrics. I feel like the fabrics in shops are so flat — they all look the same! The main thing that drove me to do clothes in the first place was that I didn’t want to do the same thing as everyone else. I wanted to be my own, as much as I could. And when you produce your whole garment from scratch, it’s really your own!
To read more of Alex and Faustine’s head to head pick up issue nine of Hunger magazine, Right Way Up, out now