Clara Daguin grew up between Silicon Valley and Paris and was first spotted during the 2016 edition of the prestigious Hyères International Fashion & Photography Festival. After a bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, obtained from California College of Arts in San Francisco, Clara graduated from ENSAD Paris with a masters in fashion design.
In addition to experiences at Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Iris van Herpen, Clara developed a curiosity for technology and participated in a workshop with Leah Buechley’s High Low Tech group of MIT. Her proximity to numerous tech companies, of which some of the most influential in the world, deepened her need for an artisanal approach in both the conception and creation of her work. Her will is to preserve manual savoir-faire in a world which sometimes seems dominated by technology.
This season, for Fashion Week, the young designer was selected to showcase her light embroidered bomber at the unmissable Designers Apartment. Organized within the official calendar of Paris Fashion Week® by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) with the support of DEFI, Designers Apartment shows a selection of emerging designers located in France and selected for their creativity. She also worked all Summer to prepare her latest creation, a silhouette on the theme of Sportivity, for the second edition of the Les Etoiles Mercedes-Benz contest, in association with designer Alexis Mabille.
We seized the opportunity to chat with her on her creation, a lightning coat that required more than 650 hours of work!
futur404: You were selected amongst the finalists for the Etoiles Mercedes-Benz contest, could you tell us more about it, and why you participated?
It was the second edition of the “Les Etoiles Mercedes-Benz” contest, I was interested in participating because at the same moment, I was very inspired by movement, speed, intertwined freeways and for me this coincided well with the theme: sportivity. We were to propose three illustrations and create a silhouette based on the theme for Mercedes-Benz.
Indeed, I spent 655 hours embroidering with my team; then several days of sewing, finishings and electronics followed. The longest was to embroider the glass beads which created avenues for the chevron plissés. Everything is embroidered by hand, and so each brad represents a moment spent. I started alone, and at the end we were 8 people!
I did not consider sportivity as a subject to be taken literally, because for me, overall wellness also comes from knowing oneself and what surrounds us. This is why I developed a system that detects the different wifi networks and lights up the electroluminescent fibers embroidered on the coat accordingly.
We are surrounded by invisible networks and waves all the time and suddenly they become visible to us. The visual inspiration for the coat came from highways, their graphic markings and the rubber traces on the asphalt. In addition to the embroidered coat, there is a panel containing the electronics. It can be clipped onto a leather corset. The corset is there to cover the intimate part of the upper body and to contain the electronic components without weighing down the coat.
To (re)discover Clara’s work, we invite you to watch her interview in the new documentary series by Arte Creative, Fashion Geek. Dedicated to fashiontech, the series follows cutting edge talents working on the future of fashion. I had the pleasure to contribute to the ten episodes as editorial counselor.