Finding his technical feet during a Viennese apprenticeship, UDK alumnus Florian Máthé arrived in Berlin 4 years ago to begin his studies at the nation’s most prestigious creative institution. With a desire to “[question] the terms of beauty, body and aesthetics” as key motivation, his work is marked by its nuanced explorations of “socio-critical concepts”.
In his recent collection, shot by the talented Stini Röhrs, the designer questions the notion of error, forcing introspection on the precise nature of error and the extent to which it might serve as a window to a prior to unrealised beauty. The primary inspiration for the collection’s naming stems from Eugen Gomringer’s “Kein Fehler im System”, a poem that preoccupies itself with the “negotiation of […] error[s]”, exposing their existence and coming to terms with their inevitability within any system.
Máthé’s collection, “A System Without Errors”, capitalises on this theme, juxtaposing supposed perfection with “chaos, disorder and unrest”. This might occur in the contrasting of particular garments, such as an immaculately panelled light blue denim playsuit, a veritable exercise in precision tailoring, set against a zippered letterman style jacket, an ‘erroneous’ third sleeve stitched onto its back.
Yet perhaps more intriguing is the melding of ‘error’ and ‘perfection’ in singular garments; were an accolade to be awarded to a stand-out piece, it would certainly be to the pair of jeans, shaded in a classic light blue. While one half of the pair appears relatively typical, slightly cropped and wide at the leg, the material of the opposite half is inverted, rolled up so as to give an almost culotte-like appearance. According to Máthé, “[t]he terms ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are undefined and convertible”; it is only through the implementation of such intriguing contrast that we are invited to reflect upon exactly what ‘correctness’ in fashion can or should mean.
The collection’s essential, and certainly most effective, motif lies in the text scrawled across garments. Be they in black woollen knit or light white jersey, pieces are printed with chicken scratch text that both treats and embodies the essence of “human error”. Seemingly scribbled, often scratched out, the writing, inspired by the “sarcastic and personal texts” of writer Odette Schulz-Kersting, serves to infuse relevancy and depth into the collection, while also prescribing to the doctrines of concrete poetry, a movement of which Gomringer is an admired patron. Even if the spatial templates of the garments may conventionally be deemed wrong, their beauty is irrefutable; and so, in the applying language to the pieces, the poetic beauty in the errors of the everyday are thus revealed.
Clothing | Florian Máthé
Eyewear | Mykita
Photography | Stini Roehrs
Models | Leonie Meyer & Anderson Robin
Hair & Make Up | Urnaa Uunii