Melting Pot

In 1986, Jean Baudrillard said in his travel diary that “As soon as you set foot in America, you feel the presence of an entire continent”. This is certainly true of a city like New York. Many different communities have made the city their home - not only living there but also helping to build it.

New York City is an obsession of Suzanne Redois'. She is a French textile artist with a British accent, who strives to use her culturally diverse experiences to represent the colour and underrepresented beauty of the world we see.

Inspired by the work of street photographers Dan Lin and Brandon Stanton, her latest textile collection focuses on the overlooked roles that play such an important part in everyday NYC. The variety of materials illustrates this notion of the Melting Pot and societal performance. The combination of hand embroidery and mixed media embodies this cultural diversity whilst simultaneously adding the emotional durability needed for sustainable fashion.

In this project, sport and street influences share the same bed with sophisticated materials and luxurious hand embroidered details. Puffer jackets with heavily embellished basketball jerseys and sweatshirts, alongside fine digitally printed silk, satins were used to illustrate the contrast between refinement and toughness.

In a world where fast fashion and programmed obsolescence have grown in prominence, using hand embroidery to boost the longevity and emotional durability of a garment has become an essential facet in the production of high-quality and ethical designs. Although it may seem controversial, keeping alive century-old techniques such as gold work and tambour beading is essential to help progress and reinvent embroidery. The idea of mixing old techniques and contemporary materials in order to make something beautiful and lasting is the driving force behind this daily crusade of research, experimentation and creation.

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