London-based fashion designer and Emerging Talent Award nominee Faustine Steinmetz has teamed up with Swedish denim brand Cheap Monday to release a unique, genderless limited edition collection. Known for her elegant handmade classics and her original treatment of denim, Steinmetz worked together with Cheap Monday's creative director, Carl Malmgren, to bring a six-piece capsule collection inspired by the 90s black metal scene in Norway. We had a chat with Faustine and Carl to ask them about the first stages of the collaboration, their musical influences and sewing techniques.
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When did the idea of collaboration between Faustine Steinmetz and Cheap Monday come up? Have you and Faustine worked hand in hand in the creative process?
Carl: With a background in working with denim archetypes but in a new way, both Faustine and Cheap Monday strive to constantly reinvent what we are doing. It’s a challenge and also very inspiring to try and find new ways of expressing something with such a history as denim history.
Faustine: I think the fact that both labels are crazy about denim really was the biggest attraction, and for me it was definitely motivated by the fact that I grew up with Cheap Monday. I would be dressed head to toe in Cheap Monday as a teenager so this collaboration means a lot to me.
To create the Cheap Monday collection you took inspiration from the 90’s Black Metal scene that took place in Norway, do you usually find cultural references from music or pop culture when preparing your clothes?
Carl: I first saw Faustine’s work a few years back, and I was totally blown away with her way of working with something so classic and definite as the denim archetype-5 pocket jeans and classic denim jacket, but with a totally new approach. At the same time, her textures and surfaces reminded me a lot about what we are doing at Cheap Monday, where stuff is often shipwrecked, trashed and half finished. Faustine created a moodboard with pictures of old black metal heads which was really inspiring and totally hit our aesthetic.
Faustine: For this collaboration, we have been looking at the Norwegian Black Kids and also a book whee all the images are of metal concerts and the kids who were going to them by a friend of mine James Naylor. I felt especially inspired by the most geeky ones! I love the contrast between how hardcore this scene is in the music, the esthetic, etc and how some kids can look very geeky and awkward at the same time.
What made you think of felted merino wool for the materials (as well as obviously denim)? Is it a material you usually work comfortable with? What does the pulling technique (pardon my ignorance) consist of?
We've used merino a few times in the past so we had quite a lot at hand to sample with when we started making the samples, I quite like working with natural fibres in general.  The pulling technique is pretty much the deconstruction of the jeans, taking the finish garment and fraying the piece until the desired effect is achieved. Since it is done by hand it makes each piece unique.
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