Fashion guest: Antoinette Chalumeau

Antoinette Chalumeau is the founder of Side Project, a multidisciplinary studio dedicated to creating and producing new narratives. They serve brands, artists and institutions, and express their vision through various media. They design significant content and experiences to support thought-out concepts.

Fashion is inextricably tied to the notion of time. The digital era is nonetheless putting this key idea to the test. Side Project examines the issue through a chromatic lens, exploring time as both fashion and social influencer.

“With the rise of digital, time has become completely distended – we’re now living and evolving in a plurality of simultaneous timeframes. So fashion faces a real dichotomy” says Antoinette Chalumeau.

On one side, the environmental stakes speak to us of the need to slow down, a need expressed notably in terms of “slow living”, encouraging more sustainable and eco-minded consumption. On the other hand, scientific and technological progress leads us into a constantly accelerating world. This is a new challenge for brands that have to remain relevant and address the needs and desires of increasingly demanding consumers hungry for novelty. In the age of web 3 and the metaverse, it is vital to remain appealing and cultivate momentary desires. So it is key to find a way to combine these two timeframes during the creative process.

These trends do influence color ranges. Colors adapt to the pace of these two realities by fluidly shifting from a digital reality to a physical reality.

At Side Project, speed, amplified by the rise of digital, is reflected in bright, luminous colors drawn from the world of “gaming”, with chromatic circles destined for electronic screens, i.e. RGB. Bright, even acidic, almost neon hues contrasting with a deep black. These are hypnotic, versatile colors in motion. In the collections we see these tones in metallic, chrome and iridescent aspects, with smooth textures, inspired by digitized surfaces, which serve to heighten a polished, even glazed-looking tactility.

This palette can be found in nature, in minerals or the seabed, from bioluminescent insects, the glinting reflections of scarabs, or chameleon-like reptiles. 

Slowness, on the other hand, comes into play when we are talking about savoir-faire, a tempo completely other than the industrial speed of fast fashion. Its colors are more pigmentary, attained through natural dyeing methods and hand processes. They will bear the traces of time and, whether faded or patinated, will evolve.

The time for the transmission of knowledge, the time to “do things well”, things that will last over time, (sustainability being at the core of these issues) – this notion of time, which seems so increasingly rare, also seems to be turning into something of a new measurement, an exceptional and elusive commodity – maybe even a luxury?

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