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Chrysalids by Léonie Sauvan

Smiling and radiant, Léonie Sauvan's end-of-year project, which marks the end of her three years studying in Paris, depicts a dark and hostile world. "When I struggled with my health during my teenage years, I unconsciously created a social shell for myself," explains the fashion designer in her art book. Yet the grace of her illustrations poetically shines a light on silhouettes that transform latex drips into cottony clouds, soft and alive. The effects of lacing and air-bag quilting inspired by the works of Dorota Buczkowska, and the ropes and wings certainly evoke an image of capture and imprisonment. But they also suggest the possibility of rebirth under the vital impulse of a chrysalis sheltering a sensitive soul, brilliantly mastering the science of the oxymoron.

Planetesmod: What made you want to work in fashion?

Léonie Sauvan: I've been interesting in the fashion world since I was very young. This passion hasn't wavered over the years. Clothing is a powerful means of expression with its own grammar. I use volumes and materials to develop unique narratives that I hope will resonate.

How would you define your final year collection?

My project is called "After Carapace". It highlights a world that has decided to stop. Four silhouettes, obsessed with their mental survival, tangled up in their thoughts marked by hypersensitivity, are the chosen ones in this hostile environment. I wanted to develop protective garments with external hazards and psychological contingencies in mind. I played with volumes - they're imposing yet practical - and a palette of dark colours. Choosing the materials was crucial: they give a feeling of brutality while changing appearance depending on the various external factors.

What are your future plans?

First of all, I'd like to do a 6-month internship to complete my three years of study. Then I'd like to explore the world and travel, to nurture my imagination. Perfecting and improving my art is an ongoing process.

Photo credit: Woodoproduction

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