It may seem counterintuitive to consider contemporary womenswear inspired by The Renaissance truly modern. After all, fifteenth century culture was tirelessly fixated on reviving the antique past. Yet UNTTLD’S FW16 collection, presented as a part of the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program, showcased the duo’s talent for modernizing period references and doing it with sprezzatura.
“We are fascinated with the intrigue, mystery and decadence of renaissance court life.” —José Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger of UNTTLD
The Montreal-based designers combined their signature aesthetic – androgynous and unapologetically empowering – with the drama of renaissance costume.
Although the collection was decidedly avant-garde, the textiles reflected a sense of traditional luxury: from satin evening coats to opulent furs. Accents that suggested filé d’or stood out against the season’s monochromatic palette. Gender ambiguity materialized into the standout look of the night: a boxy alpaca coat paired with a gold slip dress. Most admirably, St-Jacques and Bélanger executed this pastiche of influences with subtlety and restraint.
“We believe in powerful and authentic women who exude a sense of modern femininity. We are always looking to balance the masculine with the feminine.” —J.M. St-Jacques & S. Bélanger
It is perhaps this talent for nuanced design that has earned UNTTLD recognition in the world of Canadian fashion. St-Jacques and Bélanger attribute the line’s success to the strength of their partnership: “We have developed a sensibility to each other’s desires and we have learned to merge them into a singular vision. We are also great listeners and we surround ourselves with talented professional collaborators.”
Their FW16 collection was met with a standing ovation at Toronto Fashion Week; a testament to the brand’s knack for creating clothes that are tailor-made for the twenty-first century.
To learn more about #CAFA2016 Nominee UNTTLD visit: unttld.ca