Growing up, we were the sisters who did everything together. We created imaginative worlds that we could escape to, and we filled them with adventures. This universe of storytelling has since developed into our own unique language. Now, we are speaking this language to the world through our collections.
The marriage of our process as a human and artist is to articulate emotional experience into stories and characters, giving them actuality. Our creative process for Spring/Summer 2023 interpreted emotions through various characters and settings. The emotional experience inspiring this season’s story is the human, internal battle between honor and doubt.
In previous collections, we’ve told stories through an illustrative lens, but “Doubt is Poison to a Dreamer” is articulated through both the collection design and construction. The most prominent technique throughout the collection is the element of tearing and reknitting, and is inspired by the juxtaposition of interconnectedness and separation from ourselves and the people around us. The space between the loopers, crocheted knits, and torn and reknit textiles symbolizes the spaces that remain vulnerable to doubt’s invasive nature.
The journey to overcome one’s inhibitions is realized through human interconnectedness. The torn and reknit pieces are constructed by tearing fabric and reknitting the strips back together using various knitting, crocheting, and macrame techniques. The process is inspired by the influence of emotions in the story: feeling doubt from others tears one down, while human connection builds one back up again.
For example, the White and Ivory Torn and Reknit Jersey 3D Shrug Vest from Look 20 is tightly knitted with additional volume to represent the parallel between interconnectedness and confidence to pursue one’s dreams. This directly contrasts with the White Poly Looper Knotted Fantasy Pants constructed through an exaggerated open knit. The juxtaposition leans into the reality that doubt and honor will always coexist within the human experience, but through community connection we can march forward to wholly honor our hopes and dreams.
Fantasizing traditional silhouettes is another main technique employed throughout the collection. Within each alternative world that we create, we reimagine the silhouettes and construction through “fantasy pieces.” The use of fantasy intertwined in silhouette can be seen in the Multi-Colored Faded Rainbow and Ivory Cotton Muslin Spray Insulation Foam 3D Fantasy Jacket from Look 12 and the Multi-Colored Faded Rainbow Poly Looper Fantasy Sailor Knotted Bra from Look 3.
Interconnectedness also inspired a collaborative component to the collection. We worked with multiple Detroit-based artists from our community to bring ideas to life, including the Black Hard Plastic Hand-Painted Briefcase from Look 8.
The printed textiles are inspired by German expressionism and surrealism. We grew up with every Tim Burton movie, and we were raised on lessons from Dr. Seuss. The intersection of these styles influences the visual language behind our collections. This can be seen in the Black and White Stripe Cotton Mock Neck Sleeveless Ankle Length Dress from Look 9 and the Multi-Print Black and White Stripe Cotton Mock Neck Exaggerated Sleeves Maxi Dress from Look 11, both of which reference Tim Burton while symbolizing the coexistence of doubt and dreams. The Multi-Color Lavender and Green Sunset Prints are inspired by our characters, and pay homage to German Expressionism, specifically Edvard Munch.
COLORS: Our color choices are inspired by the juxtaposition of doubt and dreams. As doubt poisons dreams, interconnection is lost, and we represented this through colorless monochromatic looks and contrasting colors. The collection also draws on bright colors that are reminiscent of our childhood, as each collection is an expression of the language we developed as children.
Kelsey Tucker, Founder, Deviate