Words by Melvin Tanaya
Song for the Mute originated from our desire to create something that could communicate to a customer more deeply and represent something meaningful.
Why did you draw that piece? What do you want to say? Those are the kind of questions we want to ask, and Song for the Mute is an attempt to reinfuse some passion and belief that makes clothing worth wearing. We wanted to create pieces that were intriguing in a deeper sense; we want each piece to tell a story.
Lyna and I might have different interpretations when it comes to the label, but there is always a huge synergy between us when it comes to designing our collections. I think this is one of the major reasons why we decided to start this project together – we both strongly believe in the core concept behind this label – the fact that people can come to their own conclusions, see their own stories or be moved for their own reasons. It’s personal, yet universal at the same time.
“Song for the Mute” came from speaking out for people who can’t speak for themselves. There are a lot of people, who through peer pressure, past difficulties or just unfairly high expectations from those around them, are pushed to do things they dislike. Some don’t have a choice at all.
We want our garments to be a catalyst for them.
Lyna draws her designs with the cloth already in mind. That’s essential if we want to give our customers the highest quality possible; we continually search for fabrics that are special, fabrics that talk to us in a certain way. Lyna then tries to find the best way to use this fabric. We have to think about how the fabric will react to the design, the construction, and particularly the comfort. Ultimately, we use the fabric itself as our inspiration.
It is hard to define what Song for the Mute’s signature aesthetic is – because every season it evolves, depending on the concept of the collection.
This label almost acts like a communication channel that we use to voice our thoughts and feelings. When it comes to design, Lyna is a very artistic thinker – she designs for the moment. How she feels, her mood and what she is experiencing and/or experienced, all adds significantly to the development of our concepts. To be able to portray these emotions through the form of clothing, it requires her to develop new shapes, develop new styles and develop new ways of making garments.
The concept and inspiration behind our new S/S 2010-2011 collection “Au Clair” came spontaneously when Lyna and I spent countless hours working in the factory alongside our makers on our debut collection “Ink” for A/W 2010. I remember myself measuring the pockets on our AW2010 version of the Curved Pant making sure every piece and the gap between the back pockets and the waistband is exactly the same.
This is when it occurred to us – these garments are made by real people, not machines – it is not only merely impossible to make every piece to be perfect, but this isn’t the point, as these minor infringements actually give the garments character. Just like humans, everyone has their own imperfections and rather considering this as a fault, we should embrace them as these imperfections are what make each of us unique individuals.
Developing from that concept, we wanted Au Clair to represent each imperfect fragment as a testament to one's character and individuality. To do this, we tailored every garment with one minor infringement, like an asymmetrical hem, differing tensions on the overlocker, an odd number of pockets or a raw finish.