The word “embryo” indicates a multicellular organism that literally “swells” or “grows”. Inspired by molecular embryology and developmental genetics, this March the AA Visiting School in Paris will be breeding its own architecturally fashionable organisms.
After the success of the “F(AA)shion” and “Building Fashion” workshops, the AA School in Paris is back with a new intensive programme of lectures aimed at combining different disciplines together and at creating new hybridic ones that mix fashion, architecture and design.
Curated by Jorge Ayala, Director of the AA Visiting School in Paris and founder of the [Ay]A Studio, the new programme is entitled “Post-McQueen Embryos” (19th-30th March 2012) and will move from Alexander McQueen, prompting the students to explore a variety of themes including mass production driven by advanced capitalism and clothes adaptability in temperature variations and in technologically challenging urban environments.
Can you introduce us this season's main theme for the course?Jorge Ayala: Following our previous critical agendas, this season’s programme seeks to continue taking fashion design out of its commercial destination. The starting point for our second academic year is “Post-Alexander McQueen” fashion, but our target remains the same, keeping on mixing architectural processes and fashion. "Post-McQueen Embryos" will operate as a unique atelier where we will be developing prêt-à-porter and accessories.
What fascinates you about McQueen?Jorge Ayala: Different aspects and also his position regarding fashion. On a design level, what really fascinated me about this designer was his skill at creating completely unexpected garments by using traditional materials such as cashmere or leather.
Which are the main differences between last season and this season's course?
Jorge Ayala: A full collection and a catwalk show. The Spring/ Summer season at the AA School Paris celebrates a year of research around the "Fashion+Architecture" theme. Thus, the archives of works we have generated over one year will allow us to develop a unique fashion show. In the past two seasons, we learnt a set of techniques, from clothing design via advanced computational design to physical testing and innovative logics of assembling and rapid-prototyping. This season we are going to refine such design strategies and launch an AA Paris show and catwalk.
What kind of backgrounds should the students enrolling in the course have?Jorge Ayala: We are trying to strengthen the connections between fashion and architecture, so students with these backgrounds or with degrees in these fields. This season will be marked by the making of advanced design and by the themes of fabrication and construction in fashion and one of our guest tutors will be architect Isaïe Bloch, current collaborator of Dutch designer Iris van Herpen. Besides, AA Emtech Graduate Riyad Joucka has been invited to join for a second time the fashion laboratory alongside EZCT Collaborator Thibault Schwartz, expert on the development of robot-assisted tools of construction.
What was the best thing about last season's course?Jorge Ayala: The students’ production was totally stunning. Over the past 12 months, this Parisian workshop has developed a lot, reuniting an open-minded, imaginative and avant-garde group of people committed to fashion while at the same time injecting new strength in the AA School thanks to its international alumni.
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