About a year ago, I met with Nam Nguyen where he introduced his personal project very briefly to me. He talked about clothes characterized by multi-functionality as the continuous connecting concept. Today, Nguyen is presenting STANDARDCLOTHING, a well-fitted collection defined not by gender or climate zone, but mastering intelligent cutting techniques and a carefully selected color palette. The fabrics range from latex coated gauze to technical nylon, reflective denim and mesh. It features elements of sportswear but focuses much more on typical features of workwear, but stripped from the heaviness that’s typically associated with such clothing. The pieces are delicate, lightly flattering the body of the wearer – confirming that ”travel light” is the new credo for a whole generation of cosmopolites or global citizens.
STANDARDCLOTHING Collection 001 is defined by its collaborative approach, where the design collective developed specific elements that would characterize each look from each other. Through an interdisciplinary application of fields and skills, the team has created a collection that would first undergo a traditional design process but then be produced with highly advanced technology, such as 3D printing. Phillip Koll captured the detailed process of an outer worldly event of printing objects and baking silicon.
Together with product designer David Kaltenbach, the collection’s shoes were designed from scratch. In only three months, STANDARDCLOTHING was presented at Paris Men Fashion Week in the Spring of 2018. Endless nights of hard labor, as well as a meticulous research on what materials to work with, defined a great part of the shoe’s developing process. Inspired by snow chains, as used for car wheels and footwear, the 10cm heels of Collection 001 correlate with work- and protective outerwear. Immediately, industrial design comes to mind, where function follows form, instead of classic fashion aesthetics. Though, being implemented in a complete different context, the shoe as well as the clothing becomes much rather a subject of art than an object of function.
The Paris based creative director Nam Nguyen activated his extremely talented personal network to bring this idea of his to life. Photographed by Joseph Kadow and videographed by Fritz Marlon Schiffers, the campaign’s imagery accentuates the idea of travel and global connectedness. In collaboration with creative director Frederic Heinsohn and stylist Natacha Voranger, the campaign was produced in Berlin. Not only do we see just the clothes, but we discover landscapes that appear as rather abstract. The models are captured in locations such as an airport or a parking lot; settings that function as in-between-spaces of movement and travel. Such locations always convey a certain restlessness and excitement for what the future might hold. On another level it characterizes a generation that lives and thinks beyond borders, and is constantly changing habits and location. Maybe in that sense it is nevertheless appropriate to say that the design of STANDARDCLOTHING is following its function, particularly to equip a mundane, technological advanced society. With this innovative label, a new standard of clothing finally catches up with its people.
Words by Annika Hatje
Creative Director: Hoang Nam Nguyen
Stylist: Natacha Voranger
Art Director: Frederic Heinsohn
Series 1: Joseph Kadow, Photographer
Make-Up: Susanna Jonas
Hair: Dushan Petrovich
Shoes in collaboration with David Kaltenbach
Scarfs in collaboration with Frederic Heinsohn