Afterhomework (Paris) sets Paris Fashion Week abuzz
It all started with a 15 year-old high school student who decided to design clothes after class, when his mates would enjoy kicking a football around. "I was keen to shape something out of what I had in my head," said the grumpy-faced teenager, whose mother used to run a fashion store and whose father works in advertising.
Three years later Pierre Kaczmarek, 18, is still at school, where he studies literature, and takes care of his label in the evening, once he has finished his schoolwork, hence the name Afterhomework (Paris). "It's the deal I made with my parents," he said.
The label's clothes are produced by bijou Parisian ateliers, and for the time being its clients are mostly private ones. But there is more to it. For example, Converse has asked to use Afterhomework (Paris) items for its advertising campaign.
Afterhomework (Paris) was founded in 2015 and, after a tee-shirt range and a first capsule collection made with insulating fabric, it has gradually evolved into a total look, thanks to the contribution of Elena Mottola, a young Italian designer Pierre met in 2016. He is in charge of creativity, and comes up with the big ideas. She fashions them into clothes, as collection director and designer. Elena Mottola is 19 and studies at Paris' Atelier Chardon Savard fashion academy.
This week, as one of the labels featured at Designers Apartment, the French Fashion Federation's showroom, Afterhomework (Paris) will present its fifth collection. It consists of unisex items featuring ample, comfortable cuts and looking totally contemporary. "We are inspired by the everyday, by the street, where we unearth stuff that catches our eye. Our idea is to reshape and deconstruct, to arrive at something that may be strange but coherent, quite futuristic and innovative," said Pierre Kaczmarek.
Like trousers and miniature kimonos studded with anti-theft tags, used as decorations and buckles. Or the legs of worker overalls morphing into two long sleeves. The teenage design duo are happy to reclaim commonplace materials to create their garments, such as fleece, windcheater nylon or thick wool.
For example, a set of reassembled woollen scarves turns into a gilet, and a stock of driver uniforms in navy cotton is put to good use, diced up and refashioned into maxi dresses, while a coating of fake down makes a pair of trousers look like they have been tarred and feathered.
Art seldom fails to be an inspiration for Afterhomework (Paris), which collaborates regularly with other emerging Parisian creatives, whether artists, musicians, video-makers or graphic designers. For this season, the label is presenting a small line of handbags and leather accessories created with specialist Jeremy Kastelani, and a series of tee-shirts made out of resin by artist Camille Pogu.
The design duo is hive of ideas and initiatives, and has already shown before. They will grace the catwalks again on Saturday, in what promises to be a must-see show.
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