What at first seems like works that can be dated, with a period type quality to them – ethereal, otherworldly – as they echo another era in their character, shapes, materials, fabrication and styling – an exact time is hard to pinpoint, name, date or place. It is Anachronism; they are against time – a state and awareness that feels ever relevant to now – as we desire a slower pace in fashion, leading to a focus on craftsmanship and quality as opposed to trends.
Anachronism: from the Greek ἀνά ana, 'against' and χρόνος khronos, 'time' - a chronological inconsistency in some arrangement, especially a juxtaposition from different periods.
This awareness is what draws us to Hans Ito’s work with École de Curiosités – founded in Paris in 2016 – he blends his Japanese origins with his Parisian environment where he works and spent many years studying. Each collection tells its own story based on art – with the subject becoming the muse and focus of the collection. All produced in France using the finest, sometimes vintage, fabrics and refined craftsmanship the result is a collection with unique, exquisite and sublime lasting beauty.
École de Curiosités current collection ‘Caravaggio’ – clothing and a visual exploration for a fictional 16th century encounter – has captivated us with its unique details centered around reversible pieces – morphing and transcending garments.
More than just similarity in name or both being a homage and referencing of Caravaggio and his 16th Century environment. ‘Caravaggio” AW20 by École de Curiosités and Jarman’s ‘Caravaggio’ 1986 film both use anachronism to make connections, build a story, expand references and go against time as it transcends meaning and era - creating a new world of allusions. An approach Carvaggio himself manifested as he transcended and was against time whilst working in the 16th Century. As described by 20th Century Art Historian Andre Bernon Joffreoy; “What begins in the work of Caravaggio is quite simply, modern painting.’.
Jarman’s Caravaggio, with the costumes by British Costume Designer Sandy Powell OBE – her first entry into film where a strong working relationship with the likes of Tilda Swinton started. Her work and in particular with this film has become known for echoing the film’s contemporary tone in costumes that time-travel as they transcend historical accuracy in favor of heightened emotional accuracy. The protagonist himself goes against time, working in a bar with electric lights, leaning on a truck, another character uses an electronic calculator as well as cigarettes, motorbikes and typewriters featuring in the film.
Ito’s Caravaggio Collection at first appears classical and historical, but elements in particular; the reversibility seems modern in its tactility, silhouette and construction - bringing Victorian imagery, 80s Comme des Garçons to mind, as well as the quilting and fabric echoing flight jackets of prominence in trends of the 80s and 90s.
The concept of anachronism and its ability to transcend eras and references – in what it allows in the quality and craftsmanship to be the focus is something we admire not only in École de Curiosités but all brands, vision and outlook at TTS. With Ito’s work in particularly epitomizing this sustainable, solid and ethereal vision we so appreciate.