Maison the Faux, a Dutch creative studio whose name roughly translates to "The Fictional House," has cornered artifice as its foundation for building a bold, forward-thinking fashion house. While many designers chase authenticity or aim to reflect reality, MTF has no interest in anything as mundane as the truth. Instead, they've created an world that takes the truth and twists, amplifies and distorts it into something that mirrors society, while dramatically pushing it to the edge.
No city in America captures this line between fact and fiction quite like Hollywood, where MTF decided to bring its latest collection during Los Angeles Fashion Week. For their presentation, designer duo Tessa Boer and Joris Suk staged a surreal red carpet that looked exactly like the VIP arrival from an A-list movie premiere. While stylist Lisa TV narrated the event, begging models for interviewers like a reporter would a celebrity, MTF's cast of names like Love Bailey and Tzef Montana flaunted their maximalist, queer outfits.
Leopard print suits and wallpaper-style floral blazers recalled the campy day looks of Hollywood's fallen stars, and vinyl accessories were aptly printed with the words "Sold Out." MTF's signature stamp, "Faux Real," covered waist bands, while iconic cherry red flight suits and ruffled neon dresses rounded out their Fall 2018 spectacle.
We took the collection to its rightful home on Hollywood Blvd, where celebrity impersonators and tourists run wild sipping Starbucks and snapping pics, to showcase MTF in its element. Check it out, below, and learn more about MTF's fascination with LA's glamorous superficiality.
As an outsider looking into Los Angeles, what's your take on the local scene?
There are so many beautiful, vibrant and friendly people in LA. The place really has a great art and social scene. But at the same time, LA also feels like a very strange place. It's hard to really put into words, but it must have something to do with how relatively new everything is. Everything feels really constructed.
What elements of LA culture did you want to amplify through this collection?
As the house of the fake, it was a matter of time before we headed to Hollywood. Hollywood was the perfect location for us to show this collection as "The Premiere" is all about the FAUX. Our obsession with the fake in personality, looks and image is something we wanted to turn into a collection and it just had to be in Hollywood.
Do you think this collection is a celebration or critique of Los Angeles?
I think every form of art is a celebration and critique in itself, it just depends on an individuals' point of view. We were influenced heavily by the LA lifestyle and "star-culture," and adopted these elements into our MTF values to see what we could produce.
What elements of previous MTF collections worked their way into this collection?
We have a preference for certain silhouettes that weave their way through most of our collections. Glamour and irony are always present within our collections, as well as elements of corseting, denim, deconstructed silhouettes and vivacious but dreamy color palettes.
Why do you think we're so obsessed with celebrity and Hollywood?
The celebrity and Hollywood fixation can be explained by how we all operate in a society together as social beings who value sex, power and status. But the short answer is glamour, baby — always glamour.
Having shown in NYC, how is the fashion scene different in LA?
NYC has a bustling fashion and art scene, and has been a really fantastic city for us. However, I think that LA is so hungry for more, and is a place that we can fit right into and grow the MTF family.
In your presentation, you styled looks with visible black binder clips. Why?
They are the ultimate styling tool. We were intrigued by the idea of red-carpet garments not really being owned by the person that wears them. They have to be returned after the event, so we decided to make it easy for the stylist and incorporate their tools into the collection. It also represents the "behind-the-scenes" to their acts and lifestyles — something that is rarely shown on a red-carpet, and that's why we decided to shine a light on this aspect.
"We are a brand that reflects an exaggerated view of society and people."
There were some familiar faces in this cast, from Love Bailey to Lisa TV. How did you choose this lineup?
We just fell in love with them and asked if they wanted to join. This show needed some extra drama and people like Love Bailey and Lisa TV are the perfect cast. It is really important to us that our models have character, and we focus on that in addition to portraying diverse and glamorous individuals.
What do you love most about Hollywood? Hate?
Love: the people, and the expressive nature of individuals. Hate: the fact that your weather is better than ours.
How is this collection a reflection of where you're taking MTF?
We are a brand that reflects an exaggerated view of society and people, so that will always be present in everything that we do. Each show will build on its predecessor, so you can say this collection is a teaser for the one to come... and so on... and so on.
Photography & Direction: Thom Kerr
Styling: Lisa Katnic
Beauty: Melissa Murdick (Opus)
Hair: Iggy Rosales (Opus)
Talent: Love Bailey, Tzef Montana, Chad (LA Models), Max (Two Management), Selena (LA Models), Meng (Freedom Models)
Production & Video: Jovita Lee
Soundtrack: Peaches - "Boys Wanna Be Her"