Three questions to Jeanne Vicerial

July 11, 2017

Design and innovation, these are two concepts that broke in the world of fashion today. Jeanne Vicerial, PhD student at SACRe (Paris Sciences & Letters (PSL) research university Paris), is working on a applied design thesis in research and innovation, within the EnsAD Lab, echoing these trends. The 26-year-old, with black hair and graphic outfit on her back, also gives classes at the Condé school and co-founded a creative studio, “Clinique Vestimentaire”. What drives her? Fashion as an anatomical object, and at the same time as a vector of sustainable development – which has become indispensable for the textile industry.

Hello Jeanne ! How do you integrate the idea of ​​sustainable development into your design?
For the new generation, of which I am a part, sustainable development is not even a question: it is obvious. In the pieces I created within the studio we founded with my collaborator Jennifer Chambaret – “Clinique Vestimentaire” – we create according to mankind and its anatomy, looking for optimizations of matter and fabric scraps. I was inspired by the Dutch fashion designer Li Edelkoort, [who signed a tribune in Libération in 2015, evoking the death of the current fashion economy] : she speaks of a system fallen ill, stranded, at the end of the race .

In your opinion, what is the link between tailor-made and circular economy?

During my studies at Arts Déco, I was asked to do a project collection and on this occasion, I thought it would be great to make a custom collection. I remembered my costume studies, which consists of making unique pieces, especially thanks to the presence of a model. We must take into account the individual. This is what I did, while focusing more specifically on human anatomy. So I realized a textile model taking over the muscular model, hence the name of my studio “Clinique Vestimentaire”. This dress is made of a single thread of 150 km, which takes the form of the backbone, and engages no fall. This piece also cost very little – but not regarding time, I spent two months on it! To do this, I would collect reels from companies or fashion houses, from the leather and nylon-based industry. As it’s a knitwear, I do not produce any waste. For this graduation collection, I became my own machine, because I sewed everything by hand with a surgeon’s needle. Hence the idea of ​​automating.

Fashion has become multidisciplinary. How do you envisage working with sectors like robotics?

When I wanted to automate my concept, I thought I could be able to make tailor-made, but industrial. For these creations, sort of portable x-rays, I have partnered with the Ecole des Mines-ParisTech, in mechatronics [discipline combining mechanical, electronic and computer, ed] and robotics. Thirty engineering students help me build a fairly basic but very precise prototype that allows me to do in one hour what I did in three days at the pin. The result is zero drop on an industrial scale, even if it is more a consequence than a starting will. At first, the dialogue with these other disciplines was not obvious because we had to learn to speak the same language. My only query is that I can pick up my hand anytime on the machine.

What other techniques do you use to offer alternative solutions for slow fashion?

In the studio, we make ready-to-wear, but tailor-made. We have indeed developed adaptable size systems, which range from 36 to 42, thanks to a system of folds, quite conventional in the end. The garment thus adapts over time. So in terms of lifespan, it fits in a design opposite to disposable fashion. For us, it does not matter that a fashion piece costs a little more, as long as it can follow its wearer for a longer time.

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