Elodie Carstensen is a fashion designer who is a graduate of Berlin’s Weißensee school of art. She debuted in the fall of 2019 with her collection „alluvial“ at SeeFashion19.
There were many influences to the narrative of her collection, among them were: how ocean organisms layer details surreptitiously, the lullaby created by the lapping of the tides, and the loving force of water. Treasures that belong to everybody. The collection plays with femininity by consciously revealing parts of the body proposed to be taboo and enhancing parts of the body viewed as powerful, taking the silhouette and creating drama within it. Playful and classic patterns get liquefied, quoted and interpreted lucidly.
You are invited to step into the ethereal world where the fairy tales we know to be set amongst the forest are now envisioned beneath cliffs of coral and the crashing ocean above.
Elodie was inspired by the textures she found in the pieces of flotsam she gathered from the beach in Nabeul and formed her process of creating the garments around this, each detail a reflection on the intricate organization of an underwater landscape.
An excellent example of this is the process she used to create the porcelain scales for a few of the pieces in her collection. Each of the 450 scales was lazer cut to mimic an oyster shell and soaked in water to achieve the contours of the shell. They were then put in an oven and then sprayed from both sides with cobalt oxide to give them their color. Finally they were glazed and put in the oven a final time to finish the process. Each scale was hand sewn onto the garment. The digital and transfer prints used for the fabric are inspired by flushed edges of rivers and oceans which flow into small, colorful ramifications. Through transparent fabrics and partial embroidery the whole body gets enclosed and transformed into a hybrid of corporeal form, fabric and otherworldly.
Studying in Berlin came with its own unique challenges. Living in the day to day reality of an urban environment that asks of its citizens to arm themselves emotionally and otherwise often felt in direct opposition to the realm of fantasy in which Elodie creates her garments. In a time of societal unrest we ask the question „how do we protect ourselves?“ and fashion designers as artists are called to respond.
Where some designers respond with streetwear to harden a person for the battles that life presents, Elodie begs the question; What is it to be soft? To wrap yourself in the transparent fabric of vulnerability. What is it to find ones power in the ability to dream, to reveal that dream to the external world.