IFM graduate students open PFW FW23 with sustainable and accessible designs

Paris – They are only 20 years old, believe in sustainable and accessible fashion and dream of breaking the “vicious” cycle of overproduction: the 2023 graduate students of the French Institute of Fashion (IFM) kicked off Paris Fashion Week on Monday.

Twenty-five of them celebrate their transition to professional life with a fashion show, the highlight of the first day of women’s ready-to-wear week that traditionally puts young designers in the spotlight.

Appearances by the graduate students of IFM 2023. From left to right: Huancheng Liu, Remi Strikkers and Eugene Oh. Image courtesy of IFM.
Appearances by IFM 2023 graduate students. Left to right: Juliette Berrod, Juhee Park and Shadyn Gill. Image courtesy of IFM

“It’s my first fashion show, there’s a lot of stress, but it’s good stress, it took a lot of work and I’m proud of it,” Wilfred Eliazord told AFP last week as he put the finishing touches on his work. collection in the workshops at the IFM with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Seine.

Born on the island of Martinique, he grew up in the “working-class neighborhoods” of Paris among a mix of cultures – Afro, Caribbean, American, Asian – that he says he has made his own “unconsciously and naturally” and that he celebrates. in his collection.

The hip-hop-inspired Americana wide-leg pants are made from “slightly more luxurious materials” such as satin and a prominent velvet boxer brief. Accessories marry beach and street, with shells and heavy chains. He remembers not finding clothes he liked as a teenager and wants to “bring everyone into the world of fashion”, which he still considers “elitist”.

It is a challenge to make affordable fashion for those who “cannot spend 700 euros on a pair of pants”, but “it is possible to make clothes that are not ordinary with twice nothing”, by recycling or reusing old clothing materials and adaptation, he assures, showing a top made with an old piece of curtain. “Ecological responsibility is not as much of an issue as it was five years ago. It’s natural for this generation, everyone has looked for fabric scraps at the French Art Reserve, an organization that tries to promote the arts in France in an environmentally friendly way, promoting the reuse of works of art or asked textile manufacturers,” Leyla Neri, who directs IFM’s Master of Fashion Design, told AFP.

Appearances by IFM 2023 graduate students. From left to right: Shanon Poupard, Wilfred Eliazord and Eun Pyo Hong. Image courtesy of IFM.

“Married to Myself”

Frenchwoman Shanon Poupard, who grew up in Chile before returning to Paris five years ago to study, wants to join a major fashion house “to be part of the change” rather than create her own brand. “I don’t want to enter this vicious cycle of fashion that we all fear,” he told AFP. Her graduate collection features feminine knit designs with a mix of flowers, bombs, broken hearts and nuclear mushrooms. The young designer said she was inspired by how we “react to trauma”.

A collection of bridal gowns by South Korean Pyo Hong concluded the IFM show, celebrating a woman who… unites with herself. “I grew up watching Disney princesses, women who are obsessed with marriage, with having a man. Being committed to yourself is just as important,” said the young designer. Such weddings are celebrated in South Korea, India and Spain, he added. It is a reaction, he said, to what is missing from society, which “gives maternity leave” and takes care of family-related matters, but not the well-being of the woman herself.

“In 2023, we need to focus on ourselves again. I wanted to convey this feminist message in the most feminine way,” she says. Her “pie in the sky” and more elegant dresses are made from silicone and nylon used in sports equipment. (AFP)

Check out some more of the students’ looks below.

Appearances by IFM 2023 graduate students. From left to right: Gookhyun Lee, Olivia Philibert and Ju Bao. Image courtesy of IFM
Appearances by IFM 2023 graduate students. From left to right: Tim Rhul, Christian Rocco Rizzo and Mathis Bonhomme. Image courtesy of IFM

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR and FashionUnited.ES. Translated and edited into English by Veerle Versteeg.