For nearly 20 years designers Bayode and Claire have been preoccupied with the suit, and it's enduring iconography. This potent symbol of authority and masculinity takes on new meaning under their scrutiny. The historical and social conditions that have constructed the suit as an article of restraint are called into question.
They begin by asking: What role does the suit perform? As radicals in the avant garde tradition the suit is an unlikely medium to choose. It is unapologetically acceptable and as such a strange choice. But their suits are characterised by contradiction. The suit has a very narrow language yet tremendous breadth of scope. Bayode and Claire create uncertainty in what was once perceived as immovable. Their suits are expressive and uncompromising within the utilitarian ideal.
The suits' are disarmingly familiar and innovative at the same time. It is this tension between the known and the imagined that replaces the suit’s traditional identity with a new and more playful ambiguity. Allowing a reinvention of self without the loss of identity leaves the wearer softy empowered.
Bayode and Claire’s work continues to explore identity, symbolism and meaning in clothing and the practicalities of movement, surface and silhouette.
This is translated into wearable suits that are made bespoke.