Shanon Poupard

Born 1999

Shanon Poupard Portfolio

Excerpt from the Fashion Movie

Into the Realms of the Real

When we infantilise someone we treat them as if they were a child, in a condescending and patronising manner that demeans and devalues them. But what about the infantilisation of reality which seems to plague the 21st century generation, as an escapist response to traumas such as wars and the climate crisis? Shanon Poupard dived into this concept with her collection, developing an aesthetic that looks at traditional children's clothes as the starting point for blown-up subverted silhouettes that use naive pastoral embroideries as tools to project an alternative, dark reality. Crochet turns into an incendiary tool and delicate knitted lace dresses become portents of doom, in a constant, balanced dance between addressing and ignoring reality.

Selection motivation

In the collection there was an interesting juxtaposition between the blown-up children’s clothes and the very serious subject matter being presented. The prints genuinely look like a children’s drawing, which added to the authenticity and successful communication of the collection’s theme and inspiration.

Very young children tend to think in the most creative ways without a filter because they haven’t developed the parts of the brain that let them know the appropriate times to mention something or display in a certain type of way. This means that at the base of things, some of the most authentic forms of expression come from young children due to their unfiltered nature. The iconography felt like it was through the lens of a child. For example, using paper planes as a substitute for actual plane makes it feel more through the lens of a child and is a connection that most people can place to their childhood. Other key pieces in the collection alluded to the theme including a bomb crochet bag that featured a lit fuse woven into the design. Accessories are a strong part of world building for a designer and it was good to see a range of products in this collection from clothes, to bags to socks. The landscape also depicted the sad reality of when innocent civilians become victims of a war. On one of the pieces you see kids playing in a flower garden as bombs are close to impact.

The clothing details made sense within the theme. There were aviator hats that came in different fabrics including a hand crocheted version and hand crocheted bonnets worn under leather aviator hats which were a reference to the type of hats air force bombing pilots would wear. The children’s silhouettes were blown up in a way that could still be wearable for an adult and doesn’t necessarily look like cosplay which is a very difficult feat to achieve but it definitely was achieved here.

Something else that really stood out was the body diversity presented in the collection. There were people of different genders, sizes, heights and ethnicities in the lookbook which was good to see. Many designers say they design for “everyone” but then they represent a very singular vision of the type of person they are designing for through the models they choose in their marketing campaigns, lookbooks and runway shows.

The knitted tiered lace dresses looked good in the lookbook and the fabric weight made sense. There is a fine line as sometimes if the bottom of a knitted lace dress is too heavy due to added ruffles and tiers it can start to pull downwards on the rest of the knitted piece (which as most people know is a disaster for knitwear and would damage the piece very quickly). You’ve found a successful way around this, with a result being knitted pieces that maintain a desired silhouette.

The thing that tied all of it together was the sustainability aspect to the collection. It was great to find out that fabrics used in the collection are compostable, limiting the long-term impact of the clothes on the environment.

Odunayo Ojo

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