a canadian talent
For young designer Delsey Ruel Bilodeau, everything started with the idea of self-actualization. Her collection, titled “^”, studies this last step of the hierarchy of needs. Subsequently, the conundrum of cost to reach the top was implicit given her desire to have a realistic point of view. As the main inspiration for the direction of her collection, she was inspired by the iconic work of Robert Longo called “Men in the Cities”, a series of graphite and charcoal drawings from 1980 and printed in 1998. Of the drawings, her favorite piece was a man subject to the upward pull of his noose-like tie, as if what made him glorious was stifling him. Therefore, she wanted to illustrate clothes that give people a sense of confidence and lightness, to make one feel as though they were floating to replicate that upward transaction.
Another main idea of the collection was to create unusual yet still classic basics to be used as professional uniforms. The wardrobe includes bras and puffy jackets, and also consists of a lot of white shirts, tailored pants and structured t-shirts. All the garments have many openings to liberate the body. The balance of different volumes joins the idea of a minimal body where the focus remains in the shapes and outlines of the structure of the garment, rather than the body itself.
As Delsey developed her collection, she chose to select many natural fabrics for their comfort and breathability. Her use of Latex for its dimensional structure allowed the formation of perfect undulations, symbolizing the struggles in reaching a goal. One crisp vinyl joins the wool, cotton and silk, which are either worked to be inflated or pressed, and arranged to create a rigid structure. Last but not least, the poses in the photographs are meant to represent going from feelings of hope to euphoria to the demolition of fantasies, the emotional responses ranging from pride to shame.
Abigail Bowen, Molly Otteson, Chloe Sos