Aurelie Fontan is a London-based Parisian designer, whose label was launched in 2018. Focusing on sustainable designs, she uses zero-waste production methods in the form of cutting, making, and biomimicry. Unconventional materials and modern technology is applied in her brand to create her ultra-feminine pieces. Fontan was requested by Samsung to create the first ever 90% recycled and biodegradable collection, completely designed and manufactured via a smartphone. Her entire graduate collection was engineered in a lab with yeast and bacteria to create 100% biodegradable Kombucha, grown entirely by herself. Her AW19 collection represents a utopia for the fashion world. It is sustainable and ethical, whilst retaining a consistent aesthetic. A garment made entirely from bacteria is included, as well as pieces made of recycled leather and sustainable materials, all linked together through re-usable elements which can disassemble and biodegrade, rather than being sewn together.
The first four looks to walk the runway are made entirely from recycled leather, and are a refreshing introduction to the collection. Four dresses consisting of shredded leather straps were shown, two of them with blue details on the surface, and two with black details, as well as two longer dresses, and two cropped ones. The garments softly hugged the models’ curves and sat around their bodies in constructed sections. In my opinion, I feel the four looks were repetitive, and that there was no need for such excessiveness…or at least a distinctive difference should have been made between them. The fact, however they were entirely constructed on a smartphone definitely made them more impressive. If manufactured like a regular garment, it would have been interesting enough, but the fact that it was entirely designed and made through a Samsung phone makes it next level – okay, adding to the WOW factor. I definitely appreciate the sustainable materials used, and the gorgeous construction of each look. Leather bags completed some of the outfits, detailed with black stitching.
The rest of the collection consisted of dresses, suits and gowns made from cross-hatched, metallic materials such as pigment coated wool, cable ties coated in copper, cork and rubber. It holds a very classic appearance, but shows us something new. Bronze and gold fibres are combined with muted shades such as beige and black. Fontan has stated that over time the copper will oxidise, and turn to a darker shade when in contact with skin, proving her sustainable approach results in interesting effects. The detailed intricate lacing-together of each part pays off, and the amount of thought and labour gone into the collection evidently has a lasting effect. The constructed material has that of a similar appearance to tweed, with lots of surface texture, giving the pieces a wearability factor. As realised pieces of art, Fontan was very successful in her strategy – her modern constructions resulting in a mass of applause.
The finale piece finished off the collection. The same bronzes, golds and blacks, but in the form of a luxurious gown, grazing the floor and reflecting light in the most elegant manner. It swoops with loose sleeves and an open corseted back, ultra-feminising the appearance. I do not hesitate to state that I believe Fontan will be one of the pioneers of modern clothing manufacturing. Following no-waste rules, she proves herself as a fully sustainable designer. I believe her methods in using modern technology will take her far in the industry, inspiring others to take a similar approach in a world where ruthless fashion cycles are unavoidable. She understands the dire need for a change, and acts upon it in a highly fresh and modern manner.
Words By Ava Frances J
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