Hello and welcome. The SEQUENCE Newsletter is to keep you updated about new releases as well as offer a behind the scenes look at our design process.
Our previous newsletter was a retrospective on why we started SEQUENCE and the design process ofCollection I: Prelude. Next, we wanted to discuss the progression of SEQUENCE in Collection 2.
Our first collection tells the story of someone seeking protection in a turbulent world. The blazer and layered pants form a literal and metaphorical suit of armor. This armor provides our protagonist with safety, but dulls his senses to the world. He is able to survive, but he is not whole. It’s not sustainable.
We wanted to tell a story that draws parallels to the conflicts of the world that we live in. Much of the conflict in the world today is systemic or structural: climate disaster, systemic racism, income disparity, and authoritarianism are prominent examples. Compared to conflict between individuals, it’s difficult to tell stories about systems. But we believe it's increasingly important to be able to do so.
We decided not to latch on to a specific cause, instead abstracting over the idea of individuals catalyzing change in harmful or unjust systems. We beleive that clothes themselves should reflect timeless themes. Besides, we believe that direct action is both more effective and our moral imperative. We’ve donated to Black Lives Matter and related organizations, and raised money in support of Stop Asian Hate. We will continue to directly do what we can to advance the causes we believe in.
Finally, we wanted this story to be personal, so we thought of the experience of someone struggling against the world. You’re up against seemingly insurmountable odds. You work hard but eventually burn-out or fail. Broken, you tend to yourself, putting your crusade against the system on pause. But then you look back at the experience. You find that your shortcomings and failings are actually symptoms of growth. You learned things about the world, how it’s rigged, and about yourself. You are able to use this knowledge to try again and get a bit further.
A Handful of Dust starts with introspection. What can we find within ourselves to overcome in an oppressive environment? In the editorial, we took this literally. Our protagonist appears to pull his heart from his chest and examine it.
This progresses to actively altering one’s innards. This self-surgery is at once methodical and delicate, yet incredibly visceral and painful. In our own world, this might mean confronting difficult truths, or revisiting painful memories. But we think that this type of personal examination is an essential part of growth.
These ideas formed our primary design concepts, which we expand on below.
Strength in softness: Strong geometric lines divide and break otherwise relaxed silhouettes.
In contrast to the militant, tailored approach of Prelude, we embrace a softer silhouette with more drape. Garments feature drop-shoulders and flowing extended hems. We restrained ourself in the use of metal hardware, instead opting for organic trim, such as the horn and mother of pearl buttons.
The lustrous fabric, Composite Cupro and French Linen, at first appear delicate. However, seam lines form a rigid geometry. Angular pocket openings suggest sharpness but also serve to guide the wearers hand and find the pockets, as shown on the Incisura Blazer below. This balance between concept and utility continues through the collection, as the Linen "veins" frame and constrain the placement of pockets on each of the garments.
Deeper than skin: Outer layers inspired by surgical incisions and inner ones evoking organs and veins.
We continued to focus on the human body and anatomy. Beyond musculature, we dove deeper into the body to the delicate structures responsible for its crucial functions: inner organs and veins.
Outer layers of the collection have sharp lines that are inspired by surgical incisions, with topstitching and linen evoking scars and gauze associated with the post-surgery recovery process. The mid layers have pockets inspired by inner organs and seam lines following our arteries and veins. The naming also reflects this. Spiritus is the latin root for breath, referencing lungs on the Overshirt.
We also wanted to reference the mechanics of the body. French Linen reminded us of medical gauze, and so we used it as a motif to represent the healing process. Much like how a broken bone once mended is stronger, or like the process of muscular hypertrophy.
As we were working on this collection, we adopted a new brand statement to succinctly explain our work: "SEQUENCE is the convergence of emotion, concept, utility, and technique, rendered as fabric and media." We hope that the background on Collection II helps show how we've been putting this into practice.
We are currently in the process of developing our third collection, where we aim to further evolve this set of ideas.
As always, thank you for reading.
–Brian and Kevin