Coltesse by Florent Biard

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This season, the t-shirt designs of Coltesse, a Parisian label started by Florent Biard, bear testament to their founding father in a captivating, recognizable manner. The name of the brand is a tribute to contemporary French author Bernard-Marie Koltès. His written works, most often plays, championed revolution in man as well as the tragedy of solitude with an absurdist twist; similarly, Coltesse captures the spirited individual as an affecting light in a fading world. One particular shirt proudly displays a cynical Venn diagram on happiness, while another print is a blurred photograph of an anonymous man. While color is not entirely absent from this round of design, the spectrum is laden with a heavy air that visually translates into faded hues. The hard-to-grasp reality of the grayscale portraits of life are a striking contrast to the more graphic, loud, and attention-seeking contributing designs of the past. Not only do this season’s artists for Coltesse lean toward the melancholy and abandoned, but even the images in the lookbook haunt with a wistful, regretful nostalgia. The statement is quietly bold and undeniably clear, that though the designs on the shirts themselves are a ghostly representation, their mere existence draws out significance in their person.

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Kimberly

Kimberly is a graduate from MIT's Department of Architecture, and has recently joined the publication team at MIT OpenCourseWare. While architecture remains her first love, her interests encompass literature – epic poetry and Medieval romances are her favorite – and also fashion.

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