Through choice of materials, critical perspective, aesthetics and narrative, Timothy Bouyez-Forge explores the capacity of fashion for critical thinking and pushes the boundaries of what a brand can do to circumvent recurrent errors of the industry.
In an age of waste, exploitation, pushing resources to the limit, and over-production, Bouyez appropriates processes, tools, and artefacts with industrial themes and functions, suggesting that new life can be given to forgotten things. The brand juggles abstraction and a strangely romantic vision for the future, as fashion design meets technology, elevating the garments and allowing them to transcend mundanity.
Elena Stanciu: Where do you come from as a designer? What´s your background, main inspiration, vision for your work in the industry?
Timothy Bouyez-Forge: I graduated from the Royal College of Art, with a focus on art and fashion design. Inspiration comes from moments that cross my path, but just t mention a few: metal, cement, and Samsung; exile, films, and certain people.
ES: You started your own label quite soon after graduating. Did it come with any pressures or challenges?
TBF: Of course! It’s all pressure and challenges, every avenue from design to production is pressure and challenges. It’s part of the mission, it’s part of the process.
ES: Your aesthetics and process involve a very forward approach towards appropriation of industrial themes and mechanical elements into fashion design. What drove you in this direction?
TBF: A thirst for escapism, to exile myself into my own thoughts and to make a product that others can feel for, and one that reflects the times, both present and future. My narrative is to work within a “junkspace,” multiple time zones, travel, and migration. Appropriating industrial themes and mechanical elements are part of this narrative. It holds a language and a certain aesthetic that I relate to and that I gravitate towards.
Ultimately, they originate from symbols far apart from each other but that overall thrives in processes and dynamic forms when pieced together.
ES: Commonly, the world of automotive and industrial technology responds largely to a very traditionally masculine frame – how do you explore the notion of empowered femininity at the heart of these? What definition of femininity do you have in mind when you design your collections?
TBF: I see women as captains of industries, as key players, as drivers. Overall, I see force: of knowledge, of speed, strength, direction, and conviction.
ES: Would you describe your designs utopian or dystopian?
TBF: Both and ultimately, neither.
ES: In recent years there´s been some debate on the failure of the fashion industry to cope with the waste and overproduction inherent in its rapid rhythm. What do you answer to the question: “There are enough clothes in the world, why make more?”
TBF: There are too many clothes, but it's about responsibility. There are too many of many things in this world, but for some we continue to create, to push, and to work hard, to give new possibilities and new resolves towards offering intelligent designs and solutions.
ES: Your focus is a lot on the future; for many, the future looks grim, especially in an environmental understanding. How do you imagine the future, and what role does your design work play in grasping with a rather challenging future?
TBF: I see the future becoming only more complex and layered – with less space given for simplicity and clarity. The Future is a “junkspace.” My role is working to create answers to questions that haven´t yet been asked, to reflect the times, and to forecast answers on what is yet to come.
ES: Tell me a bit about your latest collection. What inspired it? How does it relate to your previous work?
TBF: My last collection was about “access,” vehicle paraphernalia, and exile. We showed the collection through an interactive performance. It was a great time to experiment with projection mapping, working with furniture designers, DJs and curators. It was a development from past work, but with deeper roots and expanding narratives.
ES: What´s next for Bouyez?
TBF: Continue to create, collaborate, develop, and do more.
Words: Elena Stanciu
Image Source: Bouyez SS18 Collection