UNconventional: Christian Stone
UNconventional by FTC is a series exploring creators, designers and artists expressing unique, thought-provoking perspectives of socio-cultural and global significance through their craft. These creators stray away from the conventions and norms of everyday ideas and give them a new meaning through their otherworldly creativity.
Redefining the expression of resplendent creations, Christian Stone is probably the first name that strikes when one talks about a post-apocalyptic aesthetic, in the true sense. Everything about Christian Stone is captivating, starting right at the story behind his name.
While watching America’s Next Top Model at the age of 15, the designer stumbled across Christian, the name of one of the contestants. He was deeply intrigued by the fact that an entire religion could be taken up as a name. The power and spirituality attached to it encouraged him to call himself Christian, while Stone came from his fondness towards Dutch model, Lara Stone.
Stone is known for the creation of highly futuristic, utilitarian and conceptual apparel. The end product is achieved through multiple rounds of experimentation and material play. This design expertise has come through the quirk of the designer’s mind, which started off quite early.
Stone’s fondness towards the unnatural treatment of objects started when he was a kid. He was into the practice of making his own toys, re-fashioning already existing pieces as per his imagination. The desire of wanting a personalized environment around him pushed him towards pursuing design as a major.
Stone graduated from Central Saint Martins in the year 2017, after which he worked with the masters of couture, Hood By Air and Gareth Pugh. The designer got closer to the concept of gender-neutral clothing while working with Hood By Air. While developing more shapes and designs at Hood, Stone got to hone his personal design style and eventually started his own brand, Mutant Artisanal, which co-incidentally was also the name of the designer's SS2018 collection.
Posing as the first founding block in the making of Stone's interest towards the creative representation of the future and afterlife, the collection derived influences from the movie Re-Animator. Iterating the concept of outdated technology and afterlife, the apparel in the collection consisted of the designer's take on functional wear.
Born out of the desire to continue making clothes that he likes, Stone’s label procures a highly evolved form of streetwear, with more functionality than any brand out there. Stone’s designs are more than just clothes; they’re more like artifacts that manage to spark a thought and a conversation upon being seen.
Often referred to as “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller” aka C.H.U.D., Stone uses the acronym to describe him and his brand’s identity. The acronym is a cult horror movie from 1984 - one of the many cult subjects that Stone’s designs are inspired and influenced by. The designer derives his exceptional aesthetic from Sci-Fi Anime movies and books - another one of his favourite genres to delve into. The futuristic aspect of the genre has merged with the designer’s creative thinking, giving birth to a whimsical blend of designs with a character that speaks volumes, quite literally.
Stone is a self-proclaimed “Alternative tech-wear” designer, and we completely agree. Steering away from the generic idea of utility clothing, Stone aims at instating a hyper-conditioned format of functional fashion that rises over the staple windbreakers and tracks. To aid this, he makes use of extreme and unusual technicalities, like combining different items of utility to make into one - bags and shoes, shoes and trousers together, are some of his most looked into material amalgamations. Stone’s boots range from simplistic surfaces with basic utility to exaggerated look and feel with compartments more than that a normal bag can have.
Christian Stone’s SS2020 was a ready to wear collection, called Death Becomes Her. The collection was Stone’s technical and detailed interpretation of the 1992 fantasy film, starring Meryl Steep. The designs and the show worked around the concept of bringing the dead back to life. The collection, while having futuristic and punk accents, also displayed a truckload of functional apparel with zippers and compartments in places one wouldn’t imagine.
Christian Stone for Coeval
To add to the already existing futurism, Stone has collaborated with Elon Musk in the past, working on some groundbreaking concepts for boots. The designer also created apparel inspired by the life on Mars when SpaceX announced the launch of their 200th Starlink Mission, which planned the relocation of Paris on Mars!
Giving true meaning to the words dystopian and futuristic through his design projections, Stone’s creations are bound to instigate curious thoughts about the future and wonders it can behold into the viewer’s mind. Head over to Christian Stone’s Instagram page to take a look at the larger than life universe of the creator!