The Met's Costume Institute Benefit is arguably best known as the Met Gala. It's probably true that not both names carry the some meaning. The Met Gala sounds more like something that easily travels across publications and broadcasts, transcending audiences and becoming part of the popular culture and its celebrity ambassadors. The Met's Costume Institute Benefit, on the other hand, sounds like a diplomatic project and it might well be.
Metamorphosis, the diploma collection of Royal College of Artgraduate, Félicie Eymard, not only sheds new perspectives on the ways people wear garments but also on the reasons as to why they do. “I’ve always been intrigued by what people wear and how they behave with what they wear,” Félicie tells us when we asked about the instigation behind her practicality-orientated and, as the name suggests, transformable collection.
The tightly-edited outfits comprising Metamorphosis include two waterproof technical coats, the Steam Coat (which has a “disappearing” hood) and the Chrysalid Coat (which transforms into an easy-to-wear cape); the double-sided, Duchess satin Dress Coat(which elicits the question, “Is it a dress or a coat?”); the technical,Cocoon outfit (featuring integrated accessories); and the wool, Shawl Outfit (which fuses a shawl with the jumper).
“I believe that it is very important to make wearable objects that improve the quality of life through little details, storytelling and new interactions.”
The collection’s shades-of-white color choice is an equally practical one which Félicie explains: “I need to focus on the principle, the system and not on the colors [or] anything that could pull one’s attention [away].” Living in Iceland when she was younger and dealing with extreme temperature differences between inside and outside left an impression on Félicie which explains why her collection centers around acclimatization whilst her studies in industrial and product design made her “look at garments as functional objects and not just for their aesthetic values.”
“I believe that it is very important to make wearable objects that improve the quality of life through little details, storytelling and new interactions. These garments come from observations and suggest an alternative way of looking at clothes,” Félicie shares. She credits designers likeHussein Chalayan as influencers: “People who really suggest something new, conceptual but unexpected.” That being said, her work isn’t abstract but rather “familiar”, encourages interactions between people and their garments, for they are made for people living in today’s world, “not for tomorrow and not for a museum,” as she puts it.