Costume à la Victime is a high-end sustainable womenswear collection which explores methods of modular design and reversibility. Fabrics are low impact and/or upcycled and innovative fastening techniques ensure easy repair. A strong heritage story and ease of personalisation aim to encourage wearers to mend and hand down these garments. The main source of aesthetic inspiration comes from the Incroyables et Merveilleuses, a French sub-culture from the 18th century which came about as a result of political turmoil and was characterised by extravagant fashion. This links to the question of how the current pandemic and political issues could affect the future of fashion. Further aesthetic inspiration comes from the paintings of André Derain – whose use of colour and texture are particularly captivating – and from the concept of baby blankets – why do we form such strong connections to these textiles and how are they ‘personalised’ by excessive wear and tear?
Investigation into changes in consumer behaviour and experience during the pandemic led to the development of an adaptable collection which can be tailored to the users’ needs. Parallels were drawn between the need for the Incroyables et Merveilleuses to express themselves flamboyantly and the current demand for escapism in clothing.