As I approached the runway to Liselore Frowjin’s Spring/Summer 2018 presentation, I couldn’t help notice the words:
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
prominently engraved on the façade of the Palais Brongniart at Place de la Bourse. Translated as ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’, the national French motto first appeared during the French Revolution. In a similar fashion, it was a fitting prelude for this Dutch designer’s collection which is about the fight for freedom, in particular the current state of affairs in Mexico.
In marched, a kaleidoscopic legion of edgy, robust and distinctly dressed women who were undoubtedly ready for combat. Not one to shy away from color, Liselore Frowjin boldly unveiled vivid hues from every prism of the rainbow, integrated strategically into psychedelic prints and strikingly voluminous silhouettes.
The first look, a sophisticated yet trippy patterned power suit, was as if she had just popped out of a futuristic Alice in Wonderland. Other eye stunners included majestic, almost ceremonial like dresses sweeping the floors as well as a more soft-spoken romperesque two-piece ensemble in pale blue. Simply embellished with crimson pompons and an ascot, it evoked a clean, sweet, contemporary take on a military uniform.
This past March, Liselore Frowjin embarked on a research trip to Mexico where she found inspiration studying the bountiful traditional arts and crafts with local artists and artisans. In this presentation, her fourth major one in Paris, she pays homage to this country and addresses its threatened situation with the U.S. The Meixcan flag’s red, white and green are proudly displayed in bold stripe accents and the flag itself even makes an appearance in a romantically flowy, cape like top with an uneven hemline.
Liselore Frowjin utilized eco-friendly silvery leather to accent softer tones of dusty rose in trenchcoat-inspired jackets and dresses. She artfully directs our attention to environmental awareness and responsibility. “Sustainability in fashion is no longer a choice, but a pledge of responsibility undertaken by a new generation of designers.”
Furthermore, fashion is her way of communicating another important message, i.e. “an aesthetic protest against a political climate which I don’t agree on.” She literally spells out her disapproval with words like Furiosa (furious), escaramuza (skirmish), Caliente (hot), una batalla (a battle) and No Wall scrawled on the models’ fierce and fearless faces.
We are living in unpredictable times — politically, socially and environmentally. Visionaire Liselore Frowjin inspires us to never stop fighting for Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.
By Cat Chow
Photography by Julien Boudet