Tennessy Thoreson “Super Heroines” for AZ Factory
Tennessey Thoreson is the latest Amigo to create a collection for AZ Factory. The emerging designer, who is French, captured the attention of the brand following his graduation fashion show at the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD).
You have been appointed as the new “Amigo” of AZ Factory. How do you define the codes of the house? What do they mean to you?
While working with AZ Factory for this capsule collection “Les Superhéroines” I truly identified with the house’s codes. Indeed, Alber’s philosophy and values resonate a lot with my creative approach and my work. I explored the idea of advocating a joyful, festive and colourful fashion, without forgetting, of course, the inclusivity that is truly key to this collection. To create something kind while focusing on “body positivity,” and above all, to feel powerful and strong in one’s clothes. Alber really thought of clothing as a revelation of his inner strength, and that’s what I wanted to convey in this collaboration.
You have chosen “Super-Heroines” as your main focus. What do they embody? Were they the starting point for the collection?
These super-heroines are my childhood icons: the heroines of the Marvel superhero movies; the heroines of the manga I read as a teenager; or the heroines of the video games I spent hours playing. I dreamed of embodying them, and mostly of mastering their powers. It was also my way of escaping from a world that was too boring, while facing any difficulty. With super powers, nothing would have seemed impossible. These heroines are queer. I live in an artistic environment, and as a drag queen, I admire these strong figures who can handle everyday life and draw us into their extravagance. These heroines are my community, my sisters, my friends, and it’s the art of drag and performing that makes me feel alive and powerful. This is a love letter to our queer community. They were the starting point for the collection, so the cast was thought out along with the design, and the choice of presentation.
You have staged this collection as a performance. How did you come up with this idea?
Indeed, when we think of couture week, we want to be remembered. It’s a time to break out of the mould, and we young designers must rethink the way we present our collections. That’s why we thought about a show with my partner Jean Biche, who is a leading figure in the art of the Parisian drag scene, to present the collection as cleverly as possible. The capsule collection only features 12 looks, and it seemed more natural to present them in a different way so that each character would have their moment and the audience would remember them. It was also about creating a moment together: 35 minutes of show is better than a five-minute show with just linear passages. It is through this effervescence that the collection found its full meaning.