Silver is a soft, lustrous and precious metal that has a long history as a medium of exchange and a decorative material, more recently enriched by its electronic, industrial and medical applications.
Stepping into a silver warehouse and workshop hidden in a side street of Parisian Marais area, the smell of dust, long wooden tables and workbenches brought you back to a craftsmanship based industrial era. Wide windows let the faded afternoon light come in, filtered through the tall metal shelves from which hung Deepti Barth’s debut collection. The essential selection of pieces was suspended among countless boxes of stocked silver tools, obstructing the movements of the curious visitors which had to bend and squeeze to carefully explore this crystallized fauna of garments. Stiff silhouettes and exquisitely sartorial patterns gave to suits and coats a certain concrete “power” which made them interact with the roughness of the location. Passing the old engraving machine to get into the basement one felt like breaking into the garments own rein. The theme of silver echoes like a leitmotiv from the forging tools to the clothes, as Barth used pure silver coated yarns making each garment precious as a jewelry piece. The cold glow of a beautiful high neck knit and a weightless fringed scarf sparked into the darkness like components of a metallic armor. Thanks to the especially developed “vulcanising” technique the jackets, coat and t-shirts, available in limited number, are felted together instead of using seams which required several replacements of the working machine within the production process. Far from being flashy, the garments have more the appeal of medical tools, exploiting the silver’s healing and anti-bacterical properties as well as anti-radiation, indeed it hinders mobile phones’radiations passing through the body. Most of the pieces are reversible, such as the tech-like long and short silver bomber jackets, so the wearer can put the silver side in direct contact with his skin to benefit of the metal’s properties and its positive energy, or leave it outside. Unlike other metals with antimicrobial properties, silver is not toxic to humans. As a material memory, the silver yarns oxidize and change while being worn, embodying our past time and carrying it into the future.
The scars and scratches of our existences mark the metallic surfaces, reflecting our transience on their oxidized surfaces.