Young design / New faces #4: Francis Ames X David

Photographer Elisabeth de Vires shot eight mini-series on 35mm film inspired by the vibrant personalities of fresh Dutch faces wearing young design. The fourth item in this series was shot with David, wearing Francis Ames. 

Selected piece:
#multi-coloured jacket

There are these lines in a Peggy Lee song that inspired this collection:

And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to a circus the greatest show on earth. There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears. And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads. And so I sat there watching the marvellous spectacle.

I had the feeling that something was missing. I don’t know what, but when it was over, I said to myself, “is that all there is to a circus?”

Is that all there is, is that all there is,

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is

With this collection, I wanted to give the optimistic answer to that question by showing the playfulness and joyfulness of a vigorous circus, by focusing on the costume history of the circus and extract the goofiness and outspoken shapes.’

Francis Ames graduated ArtEZ last year with ‘Is That All There Is?’, a collection of tailored menswear with bold shapes and extravagant details, sometimes on the border of the feminine. A clear principle, which is often repeated, in shape as well as in print, is the ‘marbling’ technique. The designer used the original technique: a tub filled with specially made groundwater to which small paint droplets are added to create a pattern. The fabric is laid down in the groundwater and the print adheres to the fabric. Together with the Dutch Textiel Museum she transformed these marbling prints into 3D woven fabrics. ‘I wanted to add an unrestrained and vivid design language to the current image of menswear’, she explains.

This multi-coloured jacket is exactly that. It feels nostalgic and modern at the same time, with its buckled sleeves, narrow notch and fringed bottom. The pattern is based on a marbling print translated into a voluminous 3D pattern. Somehow she found balance in an extravaganza of shapes, colours, and tailoring. ‘If a design would be completely done in white raw cotton, it should still be interesting in my opinion. Colours and prints should be there to add extra value.’

Words by Anne Dirks 
Art direction Laila Cohen
Photography by Elisabeth de Vires @elisabethdevires
Styling by Elise Verhoeven @eliseverhoevenfashion @ Pim Thomassen Agency
Hair & make-up by Elise Langenhuisen @eliselangenhuisen
Lay-out design by Roi Oosterbeek
Hair & make-up assistance by Bobbie Jongejans @bobbiesophie
Styling assistance by Lisa Hartjes

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