Meet Makerversity alumni Aurélie Fontan
Aurélie Fontan is a French UK-based Womenswear biodesigner, currently exploring the Symbiotic Fashion Design territory. After completing both her BA in fashion and a residency at the public-access laboratory Ascus Art & Science in Edinburgh, Aurelie began working with microorganisms to explore sustainable textiles and systems. In 2018, she established her Couture Atelier focusing on circularity, new technologies and biodesign. Her avant-garde circular collections have been shown at LFW and in several publications.
Aurélie co-founded Mykkö while doing her residency at Makerversity and Open Cell, exploring the potential for mycelium and mushrooms to become a sustainable alternative material for the fashion industry.
During her MA at the RCA, Aurélie was working on Mykkö alongside her final MA collection. Having won the London Mayor Entrepreneur Award in the Creative Industries category 2020, as well as grants from Innovate UK and the Future Fashion Factory. Aurélie obtained the support of Innovation RCA to file a preliminary patent detailing a new hybrid technology to grow mycelium textile and Mykkö are joining the incubator at InnovationRCA this autumn. At the moment they are establishing a virtuous circular supply chain in Yorkshire for the manufacture and post-processing of the material, supporting regenerative agriculture.
Aurélie believes that through the exploration of speculative and iterative bio- related systems we can progress towards ecological futures with innovative real life solutions for the present.
Her latest collection is Autarky : Fashioning Space. A speculation on symbiotic and adaptive wearables for interspecies communication and collaboration. This interdisciplinary fashion narrative explores relationships between humans and non-humans through space exploration.
Projecting into the 23rd century, the first Astrobioneer is sent to explore super habitable exoplanets to study alien ecosystems. The organic symbiosis she uncovers defines new biologically integrated design processes and aesthetics to reshape our notion of organic versus inorganic, macro versus micro and natural versus artificial through evolutive wearables.
This collection was created through high-technology processes mixed with bio-chemistry from crystallisation to bio-sequin and biogels. The idea was to foster circular hybrid manufacturing for autarkic living, and space exploration.
A space mission simulation, the project was inspired by pandemic isolation and the current climate crisis, re-writing our approach to new territories in autarkic settings. Autarky is an ode to circular living for the future of our planet, as well as a philosophical challenge to existing paradigms.