Friday, June 15, Hall Wattremez in Roubaix held the annual fashion show of ESMOD School. On this occasion, Coline Rivière, director of the Showroomprivé Foundation, presented Stéphanie Da Costa with the “Coup de Coeur Showroomprivé” award for her incredible collection called HYBRID. Meeting with this young designer of 24, already well committed to a sustainable and innovative fashion.
What were your creative intentions and where was the project born?
Having a particular attraction for Tech and innovation, particularly applied to the field of fashion, I am passionate about technological progress. At the beginning of my third year of study, I began researching the subject and came across a lecture by Neri Oxman for TED Talks. Neri is a designer known for her work in bioclimatic architecture and digital morphogenesis, and as a professor at the prestigious MIT University, which is developing innovative materials. This gave me the idea to look for a new manufacturing technique, innovative and unused until now in the textile industry. It is through this that I discovered the existence of the 3D pen. I wanted to experiment for myself with its use in my creative process. I first experimented on the first subject of the year, the creation of a little black dress whose bustier was made entirely with the pen.
What were your inspirations during this year of creation?
I wanted to inspire me of the plant, but more particularly of a “parasite” aspect, which one finds under the bottom of certain mushrooms. A linear imaginary, with earthy colors and whose porous aspect intrigued me. The work of Iris Van Herpen and Gareth Pugh was also a source of inspiration for my reflection. HYBRID is a collection that merges the plant with the creation of man, hence its name.
What convinced you to keep the 3D pen as a process?
I absolutely wanted to use an unused technique while maintaining a handmade appearance, which allowed the pen.
Can you explain to us how it works?
The 3D pen is like a glue gun. By inserting sticks of plastic, they melt at 215 °, which makes the liquid and sticky material adhering totally to my patronages. Once dry, the plastic is flexible, resistant and waterproof, it adapts to movements, has a similar appearance to vinyl and is not fragile: a perfect match with the imagination that I wanted to bring to my collection.
What were the limitations or constraints that you faced during the creation of your collection?
I did not have any material constraints since I had the chance to make a partnership with the company 3Doodler who provided me the pen and its accessories. However, I had to adapt to the speed at which I had to work with the pen, and succeed in adopting the right technique for the creation of my pieces. The time limit has also been one of the most restrictive elements to manage. This last month, I spent between 12 and 15 hours a day on the design of my line, I consider having exploited the maximum of the time which was allotted to me but it was necessary to be productive and effective, and this in spite of the unforeseen related to the discovery of my material. But this is not a regret, I like the idea that everything cannot be perfect, it is also what makes the charm of a collection. The only problem is that as a vegan, I am sensitive to ecology and especially to materials used in fashion … The fact is that my material was not biodegradable …
How satisfied are you with this project?
I am satisfied with my collection and the project I was able to develop because of the time given and the apprehension of my technique. I am convinced that there is still a lot of experimentation to do with this process!
Do you want to develop your collection to market?
Technology is not yet at the stage where I would like it to be: more ethical and more sustainable, I think that before embarking on such a project, the research still has things to show us. Moreover, it is still a bit early as a young graduate to get started. I first want to live my own experiences for big houses or designers before I feel able to start my own business. But why not a jewelry line, already started for HYBRID ..
Which woman do you target through this project?
I do not have a specific target. But if I should describe the woman likely to wear my creations, it would be a woman concerned with innovation and technology, who regularly monitors these topics. A woman with a strong interest in science and design who has some knowledge in this field. A woman likes Neri Oxman.
Can you summarize your collection in a few words?
HYBRID is a new approach to fashion, integrating a futuristic design with a feminine wardrobe with a certain class.
The highlight of your collection?
Both pieces all in 3D. And for the textile: the long vest.
Do you think the future of fashion lies in innovation and Tech?
Yes, fashion must be concerned about ecology-related issues, since it is one of the most polluting industries in existence. Recycle is not enough. There are materials that we should not use anymore, even organic cotton that generates a lot of water. Tech and innovation will allow through research the development of more responsible subjects. There are new clothing techniques to invent, for a healthier lifestyle: for us and for fashion.
What role do you think Tech has in fashion?
To find solutions and not just develop for a purely aesthetic purpose. The fashion world is aware but does not care enough about it, nor does it really control it. It would take more means of communication to spread this approach, by proposing something other than the classic clothing. It is by leaving his comfort zone that we are able to create. Especially since it begins to emerge a wave of creators adhering to this movement: if the message passes, large groups will eventually follow also.
What are your wishes for your young career that starts?
To learn new techniques, to continue my researches and experiments. I wish to continue this learning with young creators or houses involved in research and development.
What are your future projects?
I will soon start my 6-month internship in the workshops of Iris Van Herpen, a pioneer of FashionTech! I cannot wait to meet his world and participate in the development of his pieces out of the ordinary.