We at Kid-in were excited to come across Franzzz, Belgian children’s-clothing designer Caroline Bosmans most current and rather astonishing collection.
With painstaking attention to texture and materials, the highly conceptual pieces effect full masquerade – abstractedly mapping the stages of the wearer’s transformation, body part by body part, into an insect.
In doing so, the almost primitive aesthetic brings as much to mind the incredible photography of Phyllis Galembo as it does Franz Kafka’s early-twentieth century Surrealist tour-de-force The Metamorphosis, for which the collection is named.
Unique and slightly unsettling, the clothes are part fantasy, part science fiction and part Surrealist nightmare – borrowing equally from World as from Western Culture.
Bosmans’ pedigree as a trained and practicing psychotherapist surely adds to the intrigue as well as to the confusion – nothing that a brief tete-a-tete with the designer could not resolve. As Bosmans explains, not only art but also reality itself – as examined in psychotherapy – contains more than a little of the surreal.
With a new line slated for Spring 2013 and with web as well as brick-and-mortar retail in the works, expect just about anything from this surprising up-and-coming designer for kids.
How do you describe your design sensibility?
I try to surprise with little, funny details and extreme accessories.
Is Franzzz intended as art, costume, or daily wear?
Thee focus is more on the creative than the portability. But the pieces can be easily used as a basis for a prêt-a-porter collection.
What have been some inspirations?
A previous collection COW COW & COWS was based upon the animation movies made by Cyriak Harris. Also, in my work as a psychotherapist, I deal with a kind of surrealism. During assertiveness sessions, I work with reality – how we interpret it based upon our cultural and social background; what we have learned, what we know, who we are. That’s also why I’m interested in experimenting in my collection.
Were you experimental in dress as a child/youth?
I’ve always been a misfit! This gave me the will and drive to focus on my fashion and to evolve my creativity.
Does the personality risk anything if prohibited early on to experiment with self-image?
As long as kids feel OK in their clothes it is fine. I try to teach my kids that it is OK to be different – that they can create their own personality or fantasy, as they want. I encourage my kids to experiment with clothing but I never force them to wear pieces if they don’t want to. I think it is very important to develop your own personality as a child. Your environment walks alongside you during this growth process. But, it gets more difficult once you step out of your comfort zone; start at a new school, move to a new neighborhood, etc.
In your opinion, what type of parent and what sort of kids respond well your line?
The local idiots or geeks – people who do not have the urge to follow the main stream, people for whom it is OK to be different and people who utilize clothing to express their identity.
What can people expect from your next line this spring?
Knitwear – bunnies – happy prints Craziness!
For more on Caroline Bosmans, here: http://carolinebosmans.com/