Beyond the seasonal collections, UNTTLD create exceptional pieces as part of their experimentation with technique, structure, shapes and styles. These pieces, which also include private commissions are kept in the Vault, which will only be open at specific times throughout the year.
THE VAULT IS CURRENTLY OPEN
PRESENTING THE SAMURAI DRESS
VIDEO OF ARSENAL PROJECT HERE
THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE SAMURAI DRESS
"Inspired by a journey to the edge of the world, where East becomes West, this dress mixes the idea of a Japanese samurai armour and the iconic corset silhouette of Western historical dressing. With this piece, UNTTLD continues to explore the tension between strength and fragility; an antagonism which is embodied to perfection in the contemporary absolute of what femininity is.
Kozane Dō, the armour worn by samurai in medieval Japan, is made of leather or metal scales intricately laced together by silk laces. We love how in Japanese culture a simple idea like lacing together rectangles of leather can be elevated to such an exuberant and sophisticated object like the Dō armour."
"After researching the traditional ways to construct Kozane Dō, we decided to develop our own lacing patterns and scale shapes to obtain the body hugging silhouette of a corset. We painstakingly calculated the angles on each scale so that, to the eye, they would look evenly rectangular and reminisce of an actual armour. Then, we carefully planned the lacing patterns for each row of scales, calculating the number of holes each single little piece needed and positioning them at the exact place to precisely keep the body’s measurements. After a month of testing, experimenting and planning, the pattern was finally ready to be cut in leather."
"In keeping with our interest in juxtaposing strength and softness, we decided to create this hard-edged armour-like dress in a natural leather distinguished by its subdued beige colour containing all the complexity and richness of skin. By touching and manipulating this leather, a golden patina emerges over time, leaving a trace of the hands that meticulously laced the 311 little pieces making this dress through 19,012 holes."
One very patient assistant with a pair of serger tweezers would lace all day, sometimes making a mistake. To encourage her, designers José St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger would bring the dress to their home in the evening, unlacing all her work to the source of the error and re-lace it back up.
After 2 months of lacing the dress together,
The Samurai Dress is finally assembled.
Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, Quebec. She studied in Sociology and Communication at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the University of Granada (Spain) before pursuing a career in visual arts and films. Her work has been programmed internationally at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), TIFF (CAN), Sundance (US), Aesthetica (UK), Palm Springs (USA), Cannes Film Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art (Montréal), Arsenal Contemporary NY, Axenéo7 (Gatineau), Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff), Division Gallery (Montréal) and the National Art Gallery (Ottawa). In 2016, she was selected for the prestigious Cinéfondation residency in Paris. Her work is included in numerous collections including Quebec Museum of Fine Arts, National Art Gallery, RBC Royal Bank, and Museum of Contemporary Art Montréal. Current exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto Biennale of Art 2019. She is based in Montréal and represented by Division Gallery.
"LIKE SHIPS IN THE NIGHT"
Proximal I, II, III, IV, V (2018)