Patrick Michael Hughes Senior Fashion Editor
Film by Jean- Baptiste Pouiloux
Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2022- Developing a fashion collection always requires research to forge through a number of factors leading to strong concept development and presentation. The range of narratives during another challenging hybrid digital season of collections for the ascending brands have been rich with popular, social and cultural content references. Many collections are in step with or reflections of concerns with sustainability and society. 8IGB Clothing Community's range of interest to create Spring/ Summer 2022 varied form populist commercial art to banned American literature to a fictional outcast Swedish child framed in a setting of supernatural folk horror about serial killing children.
8IGB Clothing Community is a skate inspired apparel brand, based on graphic parodies and dual meaning slogans. It was founded by Bissoli Ruben is an Italian fashion/graphic designer, who studied at Istituto Marangoni Milano and Studio Berçot in Paris. He is another in the historic line of designers who created for the house of Balenciaga specializing in prints, t-shirts and knitwear. 8IGB Clothing Community is known for having a sexual component influenced by Los Angeles based film maker and photographer Matt Lambert’s, whose work explores identity and intimacy in queer cultures and social groups.
The brand's origins are connected to a small building at #8 in the18th district of Paris; 8IGB stands for 8 Impasse Grosse Bouteille. The studio is an open venue within a community of artist 8IGB Clothing Community's concept hopes to achieve a desirable, intimate and 'free' dimensional clothing, with a love for bad taste, poetry and decadent view of life. The brand states "silhouettes are recognizable and friendly created in difficult prints."
The garments are tagged with the logo 'I don't match' a larger statement about the structure of the fashion system, society, and tribal mentality. The 'match stick' is not to be discriminated against subsequently, the 8IGB Clothing Community tags also have a red tipped match stick sewn under the label of each garment. Irony, is the captivating component Ruben Bissoli's vision is "that life is allowed a great deal of freedom when its free from 'good taste' and strict society."
Spring /Summer 2022 for 8IGB Clothing Community drew inspiration from three American and one European cultural documents...
The collection's concept looks to America's racial history through literary characters and mass produced illustrations. The selections would have be seen as once harmless naive characters transformed to modern day caricature. They are examples of idealized racially systemic imagery and gender roles absorbed during childhood. Ruben looked to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer an 1876 novel by Mark Twain known for its tourist eye observations the death of an abiding and submissive Native- American. The redeeming factor of the semi-autobiographical book is the social commentary and satire, what is out of fashion is the idealized gender structures and racial stereotypes. A similar situational style, is the work of Swiss born- American painter and illustrator Hy Hintermeister part of a prolific father son team who created mass produced, prints and jigsaw puzzles from 1890-1940. Much of the late rural genre style imagery is set featuring white male, boyhood, in a milieu of small town adventures. The original signed works are currently collectable and have significant monetary valuable.
The setting for the fashion film and the look of the collection is as 8IGB Clothing Community states 'A walk in the fields to remind the childhood of many people before growing up and moving to the city. Childhood is the center of the inspiration of this collection" ... 'This collection is thought completely gender-less'.
Many of the looks have a utility sensibility, from a powder blue and tan Western motif track suit to a number of bib front overalls. A highly stylized two piece Corduroy look is an element of surprise with an apron bib like top. The details of snap closures are a key decorative and transformable elements in the collection there is also no-functioning. An example of this is a jacket which merges the fashion of a safari jacket and scout's uniform. The theme of utility and heartland Americana is also seen in the cleverly titled 'hot pot holder' jacket and shorts. A quilted knee length, drawstring waist, short pants ensemble.
8IGB Spring / Summer 2022 drew inspiration from Pippi Longstocking a a red hair Swedish fictional wild child and daughter of a Buccaneer character created by Astrid Lindgren during the 1940s' . 'Pippi is 'the strongest girl in the world' she was loosely modeled after Tarzan and Superman. Her message was girl power, being clever, kindness and a caretaker of animals. Pippi also had the bad habit of telling lies and mocking education. Further, its has been noted that the books were steeped in colonial racism portraying people of color as expendable espousing Nordic imperialism. Her best friends were a monkey, a horse and two neighbor children Longstocking like so many children's characters from past generations has not been spared a cultural examination linked to message.
Longstocking merged with 8IGB Clothing Community's DNA skater- styles is seen in stripped jersey and knits with snap closure details adding an element of playful modification paired with drawstring wide-leg pants with contrasting top stitching details in denim. A noteworthy knit top featuring a zipper detail sailor style collar worn with a pinstripe skirt. Rugby like tops are also held togetherwith ties along the shoulder seam as well as adding articulation to the elbow. There is also a clever garment on garment patch pocket top paired with chaps.
Children of the Corn a 1984 film directed by Fritz Kiersch is the third cultural and visual reference 8IGB Clothing Community. The film is based on a short story first published in Penthouse Magazine in 1977 by folk horror writer Stephen King. The mythical supernatural story is set in an abandoned community, the opposite of ideal small town or rural situational boyhood. Children carryout cult like religiously inspired, ritual killings of all adults in the surrounding corn fields. "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" is a warning and herald to follow, obey and kill. Children of the Corn has had many imitators and disciples, the most notable is Slenderman the infamous Photoshop, Internet mythos created in 2009. The meme is popular cosplay, is known for stalking, abducting and traumatizing children, encouraging them to kidnap and kill. In 2014 it became reality with a victim that was stabbed nineteen times in the woods by peers.
8IGB Clothing Community fashion film for Spring/Summer 2022 directed by Jean- Baptiste Pouiloux uses all of this imagery from ghostly, red- hair clones to 'runaway' scenes and capture of the only person of color in the film. The ending is an abduction by the brand's phallus shaped label floating in the sky. Was it all a dream, nightmare or astute commentary on historical and popular culture narrative? It's up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions or to ignore the red dipped corn stalk held by a the female character.
The six min film also brings attention to further elements of the collection among which are two well-tailored men's suits in stripped fabrications, a blue and white chalk stripe sleeveless style with asymmetrical trouser legs. The second is a tan black and white awning stripe with beautifully proportioned sleeves with shirting fabric details and a low slug waist pants, paired with a crystal brand logo top. Both looks feature Italian San Gallo cotton eyelet collar details. The tailoring and finishing details are fitting connections and tribute to Bissoli Ruben's Balenciaga background. This is also seen in a worn by the female model in the collection 'robe baseball' a blue and white cotton shirting baby-doll like dress with drawstring puff sleeves, ruffled hemline and wide contrasting collar.
Bissoli Ruben presented a well made Spring/ Summer 2022 advancing the 8IGB Clothing Community brand. The looks were a step in a forward direction away from just another skate brand with hoodies and prints de jour. The fashion inspiration is in questionable tastes and opens uncomfortable conversations and observations. It is not exactly how clear how much was lost in translation from Italian to French to English, and how much is left to chance. Was 8IGB Clothing Community testing most fashion professionals not to do the work truly looking, counting on most to be oblivious or not ask questions? The brand walked a fine line however, 'why not go out on the limb that's where all the fruit is'...(Mark Twain)