DRESSING YOU IN...
Frank Schütte… Sewing along with Raving
Fashion has always been connected to music. When it comes to Techno, fashion was one of the main elements introducing the lifestyle to the world, since techno music rebelled against the mainstream of the nineties. The new musical genre was accompanied by adventurous fashion designs that sought freedom from traditional lifestyles to set the new global orientation.
Sewing along with raving
It began in Berlin when Frank Schütte gave his fashion designs for clubbing the name ‘Techno Couture’. Together with Stefan Loy who is a trained tailor, during the nineties, they invaded every clubhouse with their fashion designs. Dancing was the main inspiration for Frank along his way. He describes the sound of the sewing machine as the music that has always accompanied him. His job felt like translating techno tunes and audible party life into visual colors and materials to wear. Frank designs used to express the needs of its consumers and their desire to break free.
How did it look like
Out of love for second-hand fashion, Schütte created outfits made from plastic bags, nets, polyester sweaters, and everything that could be recycled. Neon colors took over the scene along with wool shirts. Collage artwork that used ceramic fibers woven into the clothes was obvious. It was described as the exercise of being naked as possible and still being dressed.
As Techno was inspired by an anarchic DIY spirit, it depended on everything that could be recycled. Functionally, cheap material began to be favored over expensive ones. The limited lifespan of the clothes didn’t bother anyone within the raving society. Usually, DIY is followed for economic reasons. But within Techno, it was more like a political gesture to assure the ravers’ choices of ideas, attitude, and friends. Frank Schütte was one of the DIY designers that could stand for his generation’s choices and ideas. He succeeded in making stereotypes for techno ravers that lasted for decades.
After the success of Frank’s first label 3000 that reshaped the clubbing look, Stefan and Frank went to the US and created their new label ’Loyandford’ in 1999. Famous techno musicians like Carl Cox used to wear their designs. Other celebrities within Hollywood society like Cher, Angelina Jolly, Courtney Love, and Britney Spears wore their clothes as well. Loyandfrank was so well received it won awards such as Lincoln Icon in 2005 at the MoMA in Los Angeles. The couple was asked to present a Design Show at the Smithsonian Institution in the National Design Museum of New York.
“Everything went right up to Metrosex in the design studio. Everyone was beautiful and sexy. Man or woman” Schütte describes. From their designs, it was obvious that they were appealing to a highly rebellious crowd. Think of the printed slogans Frank Schütte used in making his designs back at this time like ‘Rich Bitch’, ‘Spritzen’, and ‘Porn Star’. They for sure had a shocking and proactive effect on public opinion back then.
Frank’s effect went far beyond club life when his work took place on the international fashion runways. DIY techno couture was seen and heard in Paris fashion shows and in every nightclub. Which guaranteed more understanding of the philosophy behind pieces of cloth.
Besides being immortalized by his work, Frank’s story was mentioned in Rainald Goetz’s famous novel ‘Rave’ as a hysterically coked guy who disappears in the madness of the night. Frank Schütte wasn’t meant to be an ordinary person. He suddenly disappeared as he suddenly came. He works with inspiration and stops when he has nothing to add. That would always make him one of a kind.