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Brand to Know: A Switzerland-Based Transcending the Normality of the Fashion Industry

By Kames Narayanan

 
 

A look inside the studio. The designer duo works with a small team and everything is done in-house.

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The exterior of the Sottes studio where the designers and their small team create every piece of garment from recycled fabric to a nondescript piece of apparel.

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Samples are often draped on a mannequin to visualise their fit.

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The designer duo’s inspirations. From left to right: Environmental installation by Christo and Jeanne- Claude, Fabric Room by Studio Tord Boontje and Textile Installation by Diana Orving.

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Around the studio, inspiration sketches and eventual pieces surround the interior.

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Their studio has many corners to accommodate every step of their creation. This is one of their workstations, where they work on their patterns.

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As designers who believe in preserving craft, Guenat and Upton experiment with various mediums, such as silkscreen printing.

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These loose fabrics, which have been silk-screened, are hung to dry before they are handmade into the collection’s pieces.

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Pieces from Sotte’s September collection, which will be available at Surrender.

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The same design could be used on both silk screen printing and embroidery as well.

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There are a few key issues that the fashion realm seemingly has long grappled with: amongst them are gender neutrality, body image, textile waste and its unforgiving breakneck pace of creative output. One designer duo, however, has established a brand that transcends the industry’s common grievances: Sottes, named after a French word that translates to rebellious. Created in 2017 by Jeanne Guenat and Elliot Upton, the Switzerland-based brand, as its moniker suggests, is built to disrupt the industry.

Going against the grain, Guenat and Upton have moved away from the world’s fashion capital and settled in a quaint village, where they work from within a serene enclave. With no rules on their books, the pair produces two collections a year made from recycled materials that they procure. These fabrics are then upcycled into novel, handmade pieces constructed and designed by the duo alongside their team of seamstresses.

From start to finish, each handcrafted piece is treated with the preciousness and precision of a couture acquisition. Further owing to their brand ethos that seeks to design for everybody yet no one, every item of clothing is created to be gender neutral and adjustable in terms of sizing. As the brand’s guiding mantra goes: “Undefined clothing for an undefined audience.”

Sottes is exclusively available at Surrender Singapore.