Meet“Thinking about fashion” (2/6). Fashion has become a subject of study in its own right over the past few years, and links have been forged between intellectuals and luxury brands. As illustrated by the new Chanel chair and the 19M of fashion know-how, directed by researcher and stylist Emilie Hammen at the French Fashion Institute.
There are minds that are as comfortable with ideas as with matter. Emilie Hammen, stylist and researcher, is one of them. The folds of a dress hold no more secrets for her than a writing on fashion by Balzac or Simmel. “I feel lucky to know fashion from the inside, practice feeds my research and vice versa. Fashion carries so many fantasies – both positive and negative. For some researchers, it represents the worst contemporary capitalism has been able to produce, but it cannot be reduced to Devil wears Prada or superstar designers. »
“Today, it is a question of recontextualizing the contributions of each culture. There are mistakes that should not be repeated, there are issues like cultural appropriation that we simply cannot ignore anymore. »
For this Franco-American historian, fashion goes beyond the tangible reality of a pair of gloves or a shirt. From the moment clothes are worn and embodied, they enter into the social game and crystallize political or identity tensions. She is passionate about deciphering these phenomena, as is proving that fashion has its place in the world of ideas.
“The creative aspect has always appealed to me. When I was little, I sewed my own clothes with my mother. But I have also always liked to question fashion through literature and painting, to observe how other artistic practices expressed an interest in clothing. As a teenager, I spent hours contemplating the elegant ladies of James Tissot. I am convinced that fashion is everywhere, even those who are not interested in it cannot escape it. »
The call of writing
After a stint at the Ecole Duperré and the Institut français de la mode (IFM), where she specialized in fashion design, Emilie Hammen joined Marc Jacobs’ studio in 2010 as an accessories designer, with the mission to create gloves and scarves. “Marc has creative flashes. I remember him dictating his visions to me and it took me several minutes after writing them down to realize how amazing they were. There are brains like his that are geniuses. »
After four years of designing accessories and collaborating with the best Parisian embroiderers to embellish them, the designer feels the call of writing. “When you work in a studio, you create a collective work, you put yourself at the service of an artistic director. When he is as talented as Marc Jacobs, we do it with passion and conviction. But when you write a text, it’s different, you’re the only master on board, it’s a way of reclaiming a little piece of yourself. »
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