Interview: ThreeASFOUR x Epson's cymaSCOPE Capsule

April 26, 2018 10:00 AM

All clothing design involves an amalgamation between form and function and a negotiation between art and commerce. ThreeASFOUR, the avant garde design collective founded on the Lower East Side in 2005, has consistently favored an output that is more form than function, and more art than commerce. In fact, they see themselves as artists whose chosen medium is fashion, rather than as fashionistas who dutifully study trend forecasts and roll out one fan-friendly collection after another, year after year. 

But if you get the aesthetic of threeASFOUR, then you get threeASFOUR. You will make it a point to acquire a few of their pieces each season which will remain in your archives forever. ThreeASFOUR clothes never go out of style because they were never in style. But the woman or man who is bold and savvy enough to incorporate ThreeASFOUR into their wardrobe is always stylish. 

I could tell you about a cone-collared car coat sculpted in leather and wool from F/W 2010 or the luminous peach dress with a  patterned texture reminiscent of a puffer fish’s skin from S/S 2007. But the clothes themselves are just a part of the creation process. Before a single piece of muslin is draped, the manifestation of a new garment begins with a philosophical exploration involving sacred geometry, consciousness and cultural coexistence. Yep, I’m not exactly clear on all that either, so I figured it would be best to query threeASFOUR themselves (Gabriel Asfour, Angela Donhauser, and Adi Gil), and let them explain everything in their own inimitable fashion:


ThreeASFOUR was one of 13 design teams to participate in Epson’s “Digital Couture Project” during New York Fashion Week F/W 2018 which showcased looks produced using Epson’s textile printing technology. How did you become involved with the project, and what inspired you to use the cymatic photographs of Linden Gledhill as your print and palette?

We were introduced to Epson by Mandie Erickson from Seventh House. It was a natural collaboration for threeASFOUR, a chance to experiment with their Sublimation Printing technique. We have been immersed in sound geometry, exploring different themes of the subject and Cymascope-measuring the geometry of sound in water fit right into that series. Throughout our research, we discovered the powerful images of Linden Gledhill who was photographing water vibrating through sound, and he agreed to collaborate on this collection.

Was the production of a capsule collection a natural offshoot of the Epson project or was that part of the plan from the beginning?

ThreeASFOUR saw this collection as a special project that took place between seasons and took this opportunity to introduce similar future collaborations as exciting surprises between seasons.    

CymaSCOPE pays homage to archetypal threeASFOUR silhouettes: the layered puffer coat, the fitted black dress with an asymmetric hemline, etc. Did you reproduce classic ThreeASFOUR designs with the printed textiles, or create entirely new looks for “Digital Couture?”

For the project, threeASFOUR introduced these digital prints in a selection of classic silhouettes, intended to appeal to our long time customers.

Did your design process differ from garment to garment or in general, did you start with the printed textile and then begin to carve out the silhouette, or did you start with a silhouette and match it with a suitable print? 

We started with the prints and then assigned the different styles then went into placing each layout specifically to the pattern and garment construction.

Are the 10 looks in the CymaSCOPE collection for sale from retail stockists or can collectors contact the atelier for purchasing information?

We are offering these items only in few select boutiques worldwide as well as through personal made-to-order

I love the way the tights and shoes match the dresses in several of the looks. Would collectors be able to procure the entire look or is that more of a runway feature?

For this collection we created shoe covers that are incorporated in the leggings and bodysuits and those are offered for purchase only through our atelier.

In the past, you’ve produced garments using a 3-D printer. Did that technology inform your work with the Epson textile printer in any way or are the processes completely divergent?

The processes differ as they require the use of different computer programs.

The threeASFOUR design collective is often described as a group of artists who have chosen fashion as a medium, and indeed your work is in the permanent collections of The Museum at F.I.T., the Cooper-Hewitt, the Met Costume Institute and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. How do you balance your creative exploration of form with the fashion designer’s mandate for functionality, and the marketplace’s demand for affordable price points?

ThreeASFOUR considers garment creation primarily a way of expressing a feeling or a message. Then, if the garment has a possible wearable outcome, the team will work on it further (through a few iterations) considering its functionality on and off the body.

We have been following ThreeASFOUR for a long time, and remember the old days when there were, in fact, four of you! How have you three (Gabriel, Angela and Adi) maintained such a strong working relationship and friendship for more than a decade? Are there particular points that you often hit heads on and have to work toward a compromise, or have you learned to function as a single unit? 

Since we were three, the dynamics changed to a triangular relationship where the rules of the game are determined by 3 individual players (and not the 4 we were used to). At threeASFOUR we function mainly as a family with agreements as well as differences but in a threesome there is not the chance for equal sides to get in conflict. It is always a majority: two versus one.

It has been about a decade since your Circle Bag appeared on an episode of Sex and the City, and people are still talking about that bag! Would you consider a mass-produced luxury handbag to both extend your brand’s reach and to generate revenue to support your more avant-garde work? 

Yes of course, it is in the planning. We are looking into handbags and shoes as an extension of the brand and the business.

Unexpected collaborations– with Yoko Ono, Travis Fitch, Patricia Correa Velasquez, and now Epson and Linden Gledhill– take your aesthetic into new directions and continue your creative exploration into consciousness and cultural coexistence. Who are you looking to collaborate with for upcoming projects? Can you hint at what you are working on for next season?  

We just had a super exciting collaboration / cultural exchange with the National Museum of Art & Ministry of Culture in Cuba as well as the Rockefeller brothers in New York on a retrospective fashion show that was held in Havana on April 13, 2018. More to come…






related posts

Photo: Puyang.

Ricostru: Interview & F/W18 Backstage

In Italian, ‘Ricostru’ means ‘reconstruction,’ but designer Rico Manchit Au was constructing an entirely new notion of designer Chinese fashion when she launched her label in 2011.

April 10, 2018 9:00 AM  |  Fashion

Jill Stuart Fashion Story "Suburbia"

FASHION STORY "SUBURBIA" is now available! 
Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.
April 02, 2018 1:00 PM  |  Fashion


TWELV returns to Better Days on the Lower East Side for "Blonde Sashimi from Planet TWELV" as New York City relishes in the post-Fashion Week calm.

March 20, 2018 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "Lolita in Zadig & Voltaire"


Check inside for the Full Page Editorial.


March 14, 2018 10:00 AM  |  Fashion
Kitsuné x NBA Tour at Kitsuné Store on Lafayette St. Photo: Ryosuke Miyai.

Maison Kitsuné X NBA Tour Visits New York City

Kitsuné Co-founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki continue their exploration of curious collaborations as they partner with the NBA for a first-time capsule collection, and recollection of...

March 13, 2018 11:00 AM  |  Fashion

Interview: SAGITTAIRE A Debuts in Paris with Fashion Film "Samphrenia"

Sagittaire A is a place deep within the Milky Way that emits radio waves, possibly the location of a black hole, and its perplexing, almost esoteric nature makes it a befitting...

March 09, 2018 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

A Breakdown of Moncler Genius: an 8-Capsule Collaboration

New York. London. Milan. Paris.

March 05, 2018 4:00 PM  |  Fashion
Lisa Verberght. Photo: Ryosuke Miyai.


TWELV returned to Broome Street to bring New York Fashion Week to a close at "Better Days" where DJ's Keiichiro Nakajima, Kristian Kirk, Oliver Stumm, Grier Newlin, Cat Pace, and Phil Anker took...

February 19, 2018 4:00 PM  |  Fashion


For Marc Jacobs Fall-Winter 2018 collection, a foreign kind of drama played out on the runway this season.

February 18, 2018 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
Adwoa Aboah


R13's conception has been one shrouded in a certain kind of cool mystique.

February 16, 2018 11:00 AM  |  Fashion


Fall-Winter 2018 marked an amiable separation of the Linder design duo, with Kirk Millar leading the men’s collection and Sam Linder taking control of womenswear.

February 16, 2018 9:00 AM  |  Fashion

Jill Stuart NYFW F/W18 Presentation: Video and Backstage

The anticipation and excitement buzzing from the queue that formed outside of an 1840’s brownstone in Gramercy Park could be felt blocks away.

February 13, 2018 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Interview: Wei Lin and Mijia Zhang Unite Knitwear and Tech with PH5

To be truly innovative, a designer must be able to control a garment's construction down to each thread.

February 10, 2018 11:00 AM  |  Fashion
Bella Hadid by Cass Bird

Bella Hadid in Dior's Latest Lip Glow Campaign

By the time you finish reading this sentence, three more tubes of Dior Lip Glow will have been sold around the world.

February 09, 2018 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

Raf Simons NYFW F/W18 Men's

The Raf Simons collection is undoubtedly the highlight of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, and his Fall-Winter 2018 show left an exceptionally decadent impression.

February 09, 2018 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine 2018 New Year Party @Better Days

TWELV celebrated the arrival of the New Year at the Lower East Side spot "Better Days" with a late-night dance party spun by DJ's Keiichiro Nakajima, Grier Newlin, Phil Anker, and Cat Pace.

January 29, 2018 3:00 PM  |  Fashion


For Spring/Summer 2018, Gucci commissioned Spanish artist and illustrator Ignasi Monreal to create digital paintings of a mythical universe and utopian fantasy.

January 24, 2018 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

René Caovilla S/S2018 CAMPAIGN

Delicate heels and grainy denim may not make an obvious combination, but stylist Viviana Volpicella uses the classic fabric as a clean backdrop to the scintillating shoes in René Caovilla’s Spring...

January 18, 2018 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

MIU MIU S/S2018 CAMPAIGN “Return to Arcosanti”

January 16, 2018 1:00 PM  |  Fashion

Roberto Cavalli S/S2018 Campaign

The first Spring/Summer Roberto Cavalli campaign developed under the creative direction of former menswear designer, Paul Surridge, proves to be a delivery on his promise to firmly...

January 11, 2018 4:00 PM  |  Fashion
Photo: Yurika Morimitsu.

TWELV Magazine "Blonde Sashimi from Planet TWELV" Party @BETTER DAYS

To bring in the holidays and to bid farewell to the flocks of New Yorkers fleeing the icy city, TWELV held its illustrious party "BLONDE SASHIMI FROM PLANET TWELV" at the renamed-but-not-forgotten...

December 12, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

Helmut Lang NYC Taxi Cab Campaign & Capsule Collection

This year has been a transformative period for Helmut Lang, a brand so inextricably tied with its enigmatic founder who left his label in 2005 and whose influence still manifests in...

December 06, 2017 3:00 PM  |  Fashion

Chanel BoyFriend Watch Celebration at the #CocoClub

Chanel's latest Instagram-geared affair celebrated their BoyFriend watch collection, a line of angular, masculine watches for women.

November 13, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
The Cover of "Dresses to Dream About" Photo: Brad Walsh

Christian Siriano's "Dresses to Dream About" Celebrates a Decade of Work

Christian Siriano's decade of empowering women through his epononymous label launched in 2008 is now being celebrated in the designer's first coffee table book entitled Dresses to Dream About...

November 10, 2017 5:00 PM  |  Fashion
Video still from "STEFFI"

Roberto Cavalli X TWELV Fashion Video "Steffi"

TWELV Roberto Cavalli Video Story "STEFFI"

November 08, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV Magazine Halloween 2017 Party @Better Days

TWELV Magazine's annual Halloween party was on the cutting edge of horror haute couture with costumed guests attending as their alter egos for the night.

October 30, 2017 6:00 PM  |  Fashion
Tetra Neomatik 39

Nomos Glashütte Debuts "At Work" Collection

Luxury German watchmaker Nomos Glashütte has been in the market for 25 years now, but it didn’t take...

October 30, 2017 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
Video Still from "The Gate"

Björk Wears a Custom Gucci Masterpiece in "The Gate"

The genius of Björk, if we can condense it, is her ability to enable the human voice to express in sound what cannot be put into words.

October 12, 2017 9:00 AM  |  Fashion

Enisa Exclusive Interview/Fashion Story "Freedom"

ENISA Exclusive Interview / Fashion Story "Freedom" is now available!

October 06, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion


While there were no show stopping, jaw dropping surprises among the 44 looks presented by Miuccia Prada for Miu Miu's Spring/Summer 2018 collection, it was a solid representation of the brand's...
October 06, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Stella McCartney S/S18 PFW Ready-to-Wear

Stella McCartney's longstanding commitment to maintain a business model with environmental impact in mind was employed...

October 03, 2017 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Roberto Cavalli MFW S/S18 Ready-to-Wear

With the Spring/Summer 2018 shows of Milan Fashion Week now in the rearview mirror of fashion month, we can reflect on some of the visions thatpresent the most radical new creative...

October 02, 2017 12:00 PM  |  Fashion

All:One, the Skate Brand Promoting Inclusivity

The hyper-connected, instantly gratifying world of social media has given people a platform to express their viewpoints and make their voices heard.

September 28, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion


"The future is uncertain and the end is always near" sang Jim Morrison in the song "Roadhouse Blues," and if there is any truth to the rumors that have been swirling all summer, this...

September 15, 2017 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Bruce Weber Photographs Frame Denim

The latest collection from Frame Denim comes like a soft ripple, wending and spreading itself through the fashion world in an organic wave.

September 15, 2017 11:00 AM  |  Fashion


SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲