For this exclusive fashion portfolio for Document Online, spotlighting ATLIEN’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection, designer Antonin Tron shares a poetic reflection on finding home amid ecological crisis
I am interested, in general, in people trying to find solutions to move forward in the midst of spiraling ecological devastation. I am really inspired by the writings of Donna Haraway, especially her last book Staying with the Trouble.
I think we are in a very hopeful moment somehow. I think the climate and environmental crisis is, as we now know, not just a climate crisis: it’s a socio-political and environmental crisis. The solution lies in humanity joining as one to face the biggest challenge ever. We talk about a tipping point—we are there now.
How do you create new things, and new goods, in such a context? It’s always a tough question. But, to me, fashion can carry a positive impact both culturally and environmentally. I’ve been reading a lot about artificial intelligence and algorithms, and how that is going to replace so much of what we do. So many jobs will disappear. New ones will emerge, of course, but creativity is core at this moment. So creating is what I do.
I am not an artist, I am a dressmaker: I drape, and I start thinking about shapes and constructions. I am obsessed with great fashion masters such as Vionnet, Madame Grès, Cristobal Balenciaga, and Azzedine Alaïa. Their pieces have secrets—I try to study them, to understand their construction. The architecture of a garment is always the starting point of my collections. It makes me calm and peaceful to spend time manipulating fabric and creating something with my own hands. Working on cut and construction, but trying to synthesize it; to bring ease and comfort to it.
The name ATLEIN is a homage to the Atlantic Ocean and the natural world. It is about the sensuality and energy I find in surfing. My goal has always been to adapt my creativity and passion for cut to sustainable development, and for this reason I have pushed fabric innovation even further for Fall/Winter 2021: introducing a recycled polyester jersey that uses an artisanal new pleating technique, as well as a high-quality polyester yarn containing repurposed marine plastic from the SEAQUAL INITIATIVE, in addition to ATLEIN’s range of fabric-based garments that use recycled yarns and alternative techniques.
I love to spend time at my parents’ home on the French Atlantic coast because I can go surfing at these beautiful spots. I stay out there until nightfall, just catching waves. It’s like a trance. It’s like a remembrance of a primitive state. Harmony with nature. I chat with other surfers and drink a beer in the parking lot then drive back in my wetsuit, barefoot. There is a sensuality in the after-surf: in getting out of the wetsuit, in the soreness. I think it influences the way I make clothes. The attitude I want to bring through my work is about this energy and tension that I find in surfing.
Model Aivita Mūze at Viva. Hair Olivier Noraz at Home Agency. Make-up Eny Whitehead at Calliste. Set Design Enzo Selvatici. Photo Assistant Peter Keyser. Digital capture and post production Sheriff. Stylist Assistant Anastasia Babko. Casting Director Caroline Mauger. Production Kitten.