An encyclopedic guide to understanding one of the Internet’s most interesting creator couples
One of the brand‘s primary sources of inspiration: alien aesthetics and the hybridization of the human body with extraterrestrial life
Explored as a state of mind, presenting an alternative to restrictive beauty standards
“We find beauty in what can normally disgust the general public. We find beauty in our wounds and our injuries caused by violence and abuse. It helps us heal to turn the negative into something positive.” — Hannah
Based in Montreal, Quebec, Steven is a native and Hannah grew up there (b. New Zealand). The couple met while studying fashion design at LaSalle College in 2014.
…of their very own industrial techno music
“We always found with the club scene and nightlife, there was never the type of music that we wanted to hear, or it never got to that level of intensity that we wanted from music and the atmosphere and everything, so we decided to just do it ourselves.” — Hannah
Similar to how Hannah and Steven draw inspiration from their fears and anxieties, namely, revealing their true selves to the world, See Quiet
Independent designer duo serves up cyberpunk unisex garments and accessories like no other through the direct to consumer app Depop
Steven identifies as gender non-binary: “When I met Hannah, I started to have the courage to question my gender,” they say. Today, the pair doesn’t let gender dictate how they live.
Hannah Rose Dalton
The co-founder of Matières Fécales. She’s had a passion for social and political activism from a young age. Her research on the fashion industry and fast fashion, in particular, moved her to learn sewing and patternmaking so that she could create her own wardrobe.
Real-life influencers awarded the Digital Fashion Influencer of the Year Award in 2019 by the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards
Matières Fécales also offer handmade jewellery replete with chains, hooks, rings, locks, buckles and breathing tubes.
This iconic photographer collaborated with the brand for SHOWstudio’s Infamy project in 2017 and their SS19 presentation, Non-Human.
“His work has inspired us to see beauty in a new form and help us understand the power of darkness.”
Across the pond is where the couple regularly holds their presentations. This past October, they showed their 100 piece capsule collection “Chained to the System” at Selfridges.
Adding to a multi-hyphen career, Hannah and Steven act as their own hair and makeup artists. They treat the 1.5-3 hour process as bonding time.
“We never did makeup, but we learned together.” — Hannah
The name of the couple’s SS19 collection was based around societal norms and their entanglement with taboo. It marked the debut of their Skin Heels made from prosthetics and silicone. Originally conjured up using Photoshop, the shoes reflect the future of body modification, social media, and advances in technology. See Alien
Matières Fécales came to be through feeling oppressed by the technical aspects of their schooling. Alternatively, Steven uses it as his fuel, having experienced discrimination, bullying and violence growing up.
The brand’s mantra: society lives in fear of freedom of expression and must be exposed to realities beyond the norm in order to think critically and question their long-standing beliefs. See Exposure Therapy
Believe it or not, Hannah and Steven are very shy, private people with a lot of anxieties.
“Putting ourselves out there, we have this mission to present alternative points of view, presenting a way out of the codes of normality, which we felt we were always trapped by.” — Steven
One of the periods that the brand is heavily inspired by, notably, its contributions to Christian art.
Steven Raj Bhaskaran
The co-founder of Matières Fécales. Half-Sri Lankan and half-Guyanese, Steven lived in Guyana in a “very close-minded environment” for ten years of their life.
“I used to draw since I was really young…especially in terms of makeup, I used to draw all these intense things…and translate them on Photoshop.”
Growing up, Hannah felt confined to an image that wasn’t really her. She attended a private school and favoured uniform dressing.
“I was trying to look like a librarian. I wanted to look very intellectual, in head-to-toe Burberry looks….when I didn’t have a uniform, I didn’t understand what my identity was.”
The creative reuse practice that gave birth to the Crocodile Forest Green Bag Top and the Dark Duvet Maxi Dress, among many others
Matières Fécales’ main hustle: facilitating freedom of expression and self-acceptance.
“We hope to promote the truth; the truth about the fashion industry, the human experience, and our reality.”
The name ‘Fecal Matter’ is a commentary on overconsumption and how the industry keeps doling out crap. It also encompasses the ire of issues such as child labour and environmental pollution. See Upcycling
“Consumption has sort of become something where people don’t really feel anymore, so for us, it’s important to actually see that people are feeling something, whether good or bad, at least it’s something.” — Steven
Fetishwear and BDSM aesthetics feature prominently in their collections, from gimp masks to dildo handle handbags, but the pair insist, “It’s really important for us that we take it outside of the bedroom, and show our parents, and surround ourselves with everyday people.” — Steven
Yin and Yang
The concept of dualism in Chinese philosophy that the couple lives by
“We are strong believers in yin and yang, so there is positivity and negativity within everything. You can’t have one without the other.”
Committedness; something which Hannah Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran have plenty of. See Visionaries