Schueller de Waal cleans the streets during couture week

Dutch fashion label Schueller de Waal teamed up with Pik Pik Environnement to present its first collaborative cleaning Initiative named ‘Litter’ during Paris Haute Couture Week.

In front of the town-hall of the 15th arrondissement in Paris, a group of 50 models, “cool kids and volunteers” cleaned the streets during Schueller de Waal’s couture collection show, which featured the models wearing head-to-toe looks made from the studio’s leftover fabrics, deadstock and other remains from the fashion industry.

The act of cleaning served as an inspiration for both the presentation as well as a design principle, explained fashion duo Philipp Schueller and Rens de Waal in the show notes, while the fashion performance was to make a “powerful statement on the current state of the industry and inspire change”.

The duo added that rather than changing a location to meet the needs of a fashion show, they created an “intervention” to have a positive effect on the location, which would also educate about garbage separation and conscious living as part of city maintenance.

Schueller de Waal cleans the streets during couture week

Dutch label Schueller de Waal showcases the art of sustainable couture in Paris

‘Litter’ is the next step in the Dutch fashion label’s ‘Fashion Therapy’ narrative on creating sustainable fashion and was inspired by the idea of re-using previous collections and giving them a new context, and centres around the repetition of a singular silhouette, a workwear inspired overall.

The overalls are made from patchworks of leftover fabrics and past collections pieces and to give the uniforms an “eclectic” feel the duo collaborated with textile artist Aliki van der Kruijs, who has researched the potentials of waste ink from the textile printing industry, by airbrushing a layer of purple pigment onto the uniforms into a unique range of prints.

Schueller de Waal cleans the streets during couture week

Working from the principle of avoiding waste, everything touched by the airbrush technique has been used and turned into items of the collection, and to fix the pigment on the fabrics, a reflective coating was applied, reminiscent of the reflective detailing of waste collector’s uniforms.

Another tongue-in-cheek interpretation of ‘cleaning wear’ is seen in the couture pieces made from non-woven cleaning cloth in the typical pink and yellow and Pik Pik Environnement’s logo t-shirts, that are normally worn as a uniform in their activities, have been customised with Schueller de Waal shirting details.

Schueller de Waal cleans the streets during couture week

In addition, pieces from previous ready-to-wear collections have been cut up and remixed into apron like shapes, featuring a clashing combination of workwear pocketing in luxurious fabrics, while the couture fabrics used were often just samples or leftovers, not enough to create full garments, the fabrics have been re-created with office and household materials, with aluminium foil recreating a metallic brocade fabric and marker pens redraw patterns.

Schueller de Waal also reused their deadstock by turning them inside out and bonding them with silk organza leftovers, for a sculptural effect, while shift dresses were turned into sleeves, and uniform pants and dungarees were patched with functional design elements.

Schueller de Waal cleans the streets during couture week

Images: courtesy of Schueller de Waal