One of the identity’s most striking centrepieces was an enormous digitally-printed curtain, lining the walls of the Utopia Treasury — and now the season is over, it has been given a new lease of life as the fabric for a collection of shirts, created by Muggeridge together with Sophie Hawkins.
“The treasury aspect was developed with the architects Dyvik Kahlen, with whom we collaborated with on the design and the content of the space,” Fraser Muggeridge explains, “with the curtain being a clever way of masking its awkward surfaces, finishes, windows, doors and obstacles. Its function was to create an intimate, all-encompassing space, and to act as a backdrop to events, talks, and exhibitions that happened there throughout the year.” The technicolour design of the curtain was created by collecting and combining a range of online visual and written sources that contained the word ‘Utopia’, creating a vibrant collaged backdrop to the Treasury itself. “To us, Utopia is whatever anyone wants it to be; the collaging of nightclubs, coffee shops, computer games created this,” says Muggeridge. “The only requirement for the content was that it had to contain the actual word ‘Utopia.’”
Once the Utopia 2016 season was over, Muggeridge was keen not to see the curtain go to waste, and set about devising a new use for its many metres of fabric. “The curtain was made from digitally printed cotton, so I always had it in mind to make some form of clothing from it — it seemed a waste to throw away such a large quantity of fabric,” he says. “Shirts seemed like a new unfamiliar medium to move into, but I didn’t have any experience or knowledge and didn’t know where to start. I met Sophie Hawkins through a mutual friend, and she had the skill set to cut the pattern and organise samples to get to this stage.” The resulting shirts, which have been produced in a limited edition of 30 to form the FMS A/W 17 Collection, are made to order in London by a high quality East End tailor; each shirt is unique, being cut from a different part of the curtain, creating new and eye-catching juxtapositions of its collaged content.