The hazy line between (what we perceive as) reality and illusion contours platonic thought, Renaissance painting, and deep fakes alike. As our means of representation and production have become more sophisticated, and our technologies more advanced, our obsession with the unreliability of perception – and conversely, with our capacity for its manipulation – seems only to have accelerated.
This fascination is expressed not only in visual art and philosophical thought, but in material culture, for example in textile production. Take moiré. Introduced in medieval times and popular at the height of Baroque and Rococo trompe l’oeil, moiré is produced by weaving two ribbed fabrics together to create sinuous, rippled patterns, for an optical illusion of depth and fluidity. While developing the garments that would pilot the 032c Ready-To-Wear collections, designed by creative director Maria Koch, our womenswear team was drawn to moiré precisely for its inherent depth and capacity for double-entendre and suggestion. Moiré appears in the RTW line not only as a fabric choice, but as a concept and a method.
Sequins, for example, are superimposed onto a classic moiré pattern for a pair of glittering trousers for visuals that, according to senior womenswear designer Felix Hupka, are intentionally suggestive of tree bark. To achieve this layered idea, the trousers were fabricated using a Luneville hook to embroider on top of a tulle pattern – a delicate process executed by Aamir Beading, a Mumbai-based fair-trade company and one of few producers worldwide capable of such intricate work.
The flip side of the effect of such doubling is, of course, one of deception, reinforced by the ambiguity of the garment itself: it is a “trouser” that at certain angles is decidedly more “skirt”; sometimes it looks inside-out when it is not. The garment’s layering enhances its apparent multi-functionality, as do equestrian details that additionally confuse its purpose and function. Whether it registers as performance wear or evening wear, in other words, depends on the light. It’s not all in your head, however – the trousers are actually changing. As they age and the sequins oxidize, their hues shift from light gold and green to darker, reddish tones, emulating the appearance of an aging tree – or whatever else you want to see.
The 032c Ready-To-Wear “Sequined Trouser” is available exclusively at KM 20, Moscow.
- Photography and Styling