Paris – For the first time ever, BA students from the Institut Française de la Mode presented their graduate collections in a runway show for the men’s program of Paris Fashion Week.
The school’s MA students are opening women’s shows from 2021.
The appearances ranged from androids and the surface to far-flung escapism and what might spring up after a “best-before” date. Techniques and materials were varied, from fabric and wicker to latex and even cigarette filters glued together to form soft coconuts.
“It’s something I find really cool – and something we’re trying to avoid. [faculty] – The IFM ‘style’ doesn’t exist,” said Xavier Romatet, the school’s general manager, after the event. “And we don’t want to. We want to give them all the tools they need to really express themselves, and we’ve seen that. [resulting] The diversity of creative states.”
Although these students began the curriculum in 2020 under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, program directors Thierry Rondenet and Hervé Evrenogau felt that the class of 2023 had blossomed.
“Each of them has a key to their house. At best, we lead them to the door – or sometimes the lock,” said Evrenogau as he moved around with obvious joy, wrapping up their designs and cheering each other on for a job well done.
Among the highlights are Janine Sirbovan’s complex and unusual Dandis of Robin Mayet’s “Rhythm and Longing” from Romania. “Humans are herd animals,” asked German Paula Dichinger, planting shadowy figures in her designs. For Jiawei Han, the inspiration for the “white collar system” of the tough workers he saw leaving the offices around the school came from those cigarettes and the rubber body became the “leather suit”. Tie on the shirt and bottom.
Meanwhile, French designer Lucie Savarin’s collection and her cast of wheelchair users touched Romatte in the way she embraced the human body.
For the school’s executive, the bachelor’s degree is “the most creative ground” for young designers. “The older you get, the more limited you are. [The BA students] Young people who are trying, have freedom,” he said.
“We asked them to write their work realistically, politically, creatively and even economically, because it is often seen as an escape from what is becoming fashionable,” says Evrenoga.
In the three-year program created in 2019, 250 students from 30 nationalities, 70 of whom graduated with a BA from the French School of Fashion Design.
But they are not required to return to IFM for an MA – ever.
“Most of them need a break and we encourage them to apply what they’ve learned in the studios,” Romatte said. “Fashion is a great platform for this and we give them the keys to personal success in fashion or any other field.”