That jogs my memory of Cristobal Balenciaga’s design process and dedication to obeying the needs of the fabric.
Completely. And every thing was achieved in reverse earlier than I met this man. The fabric selection was all the time last. Now, I can’t perceive how designers can do this, having a certain concept in thoughts after which going out to find the material for it, that’s. Until you personal a mill and may truly make it happen, you’re never going to have the ability to simply discover the fabric you’ve gotten in your mind. Now it’s all the time concerning the material first. My grandad was a carpenter, and in carpentry, you all the time choose the wooden first. It’s a comparable state of affairs when producing music as nicely.
Since you’ve talked about music, I need to say that one of the first issues that got here to thoughts on listening to ‘Deadstock’ was a pun on ‘Woodstock’. Wanting on the collection, this seems to manifest itself within the patches tacked on to jackets and trousers, virtually like band patches.
Utterly, and in addition the supplies refer back to previous Heikki collections; for those who’re aware of them, you already know that this patch is from this season, that one from one other. They refer back to collections as if they have been, simply that, bands.
The story it tells is essential, but I never need its presence to be too apparent in the precise clothing, it’s a bit an excessive amount of for the wearer. I would like there to be keys of interpretation that they will decide up on, but that they will additionally apply their own personal meanings to. In the event that they know that this patch is from a certain assortment, great, nevertheless it may be that a leopard print patch means something specific to them.
The strategy you’ve adopted is basically sustainable, but they aren’t credentials that you simply explicitly promote. Why is that? Has “sustainability” turn into a soiled phrase?
Sure, perhaps, nevertheless it also needs to be one thing so pure that we don’t want to shout about it. It’s 2019, it must be embedded inside us to produce sustainably. My research all the time has one thing to do with nature, my Scandinavian heritage, and notions of gender neutrality, all of that are someway sure with sustainable production practices.
Given your work with deadstock fabrics and your referencing of earlier collections, it’d be fascinating to hear your take on what originality in trend is. Does something need to be ‘new’ to be unique?
Think of a bass drum in techno; there are two varieties that each one producers use, and but distinctive, unique music is consistently being created. There’s a widespread language, however the contexts through which you hear it make you mirror on attainable new meanings and features. Fashion is all the time a matter of many issues coming collectively in a host of various contexts. That extends to entire outfits. It’s frankly superb how totally different a single outfit can look on totally different individuals. I really like dropping that control, where I not dominate the garment and it takes on new life by way of its wearers.
That sense of various notions coming collectively in new contexts fuels your SS17 assortment. You might have point-collar leather jackets and buckles giving a hardened biker’s masculinity, which is then complemented by headscarves and printed references to Tove Jansson, early Finnish feminist Minna Canth, and Emily Davison, the pioneering suffragette.
All of it began with Emily Davison. I went to this exhibition documenting the bandana-wearing ladies of the Hells Angels. I’ve all the time been a feminist and great admirer of Tove Jansson, one of many nice Finnish authors, and of the suffragettes, and observed the similarity between Emily Davison and Harley Davidson. You wouldn’t put the 2 together at first glance, but I felt there were some key similarities of their beliefs and how they lived their lives.
For that assortment, one of many first issues I did have been all the lino-cuttings of prints utilizing wood-carving methods, marrying early 20th century strategies with basic Harley Davidson-style motifs. It was time consuming to say the least, I worked on about one a day.
That’s another factor I observed on this collection, how you use certain methods to pull these references collectively. Using visibly rough stitching is a good instance. It attracts consideration to the act of hand stitching and its importance throughout historical past in the creation of radical identities via clothing: punks sewed; suffragettes sewed; bikers sewed.
Yes, I feel that’s a very legitimate point. I’m additionally a nice admirer of Japanese boro stitching and the methods employed by previous English prisoners of warfare. The identical sew is discovered throughout all of these cultures, but its putting and the strains you choose to create by way of them actually has an effect on the way you view its cultural positioning: this relates to America, that relates to Japan, for instance. Or that’s how they figure in my head.
Anyway, for this assortment, I began with these [Heikki shows me through a portfolio of illustrations that serve as the starting points for his collections].
Once you start sketching, do you set out with sure motifs in thoughts? Or do they arise organically in the course of the sketching course of?
Both actually. I often spend a couple of days on each, figuring out the silhouette and making an attempt to perceive what can come out of it, to see what garments may be produced. Typically it’s fairly summary, more of an artist’s strategy, which I hate! I’m not an artist, I’m a designer at the beginning and I really like to make products. Taking a look at my sketches, you possibly can see that probably the most distinctive options of the gathering, just like the seam down the entrance of the sleeve, come pretty early on within the course of. I already knew what I needed to do right here, but by repeating by way of the sketches, the exact shape I needed it to take turned clear. Then it was off to the sample chopping table!
But funnily sufficient, I by no means return to those drawings again. It’s a comparable course of at the different brand I work for, the place I collaborate with Robbie Spencer [Dazed creative director]. It’s nice working with him, we each actually feel that collections ought to all the time refer to the previous, whereas hinting at the subsequent assortment. It fosters a sense of respect to your clients as properly.
“I see myself as a service provider saying: “This is the product, do whatever you want with it.” If meaning the clothes go someplace I didn’t essentially anticipate, that’s all the better.”
Off the again of that, there are some delicate widespread options across Heikki, Vyner Articles and your other model. How acutely aware are you of preserving your work at the three separate? Or, on the contrary, how consciously do you cross-pollinate?
No, there’s no acutely aware effort, they maintain themselves separate enough as it’s. With Vyner Articles, I’m truly making an attempt to introduce a bit extra of Heikki. This first collection was a new enterprise for me, the chance to produce a new kind of assortment. But, after the first assortment already, its visible language is unbiased enough for me to easily introduce parts of Heikki without the danger of it turning into a Heikki assortment all of a sudden.
Vyner Articles’s identify is taken from the road on which your studio sits, recognized for its group of artists. Is the model instantly influenced by life on the road it calls house?
100%! In reality, once I was learning at RCA, I used to reside two blocks away and are available right here every Thursday for various gallery openings. There used to be seven on this one road, one among which was owned by our current landlord. It was so necessary to me to be right here on this very road; the area matters a lot.
How would you describe the challenge of Vyner Articles, particularly when positioned subsequent to Heikki Salonen?
There’s nothing specific that I’m making an attempt to say, as such, it’s extra a case of allowing individuals to converse by way of the brand. I see myself as a service provider saying: “This is the product, do whatever you want with it.” If meaning the garments go somewhere I didn’t essentially anticipate, that’s all the higher. Anna Pesonen, for instance, she owns perhaps 100 Heikki items, and can all the time ring me up to ask if it’s ok to chop the hem off, or one thing like that. “Go ahead, it’ll look fantastic!”, I say, so she now has a tremendous assortment of self-fashioned Heikki shift clothes. She’s a trend individual, in fact, however I’d love to see a chef, an artist or anybody else doing similarly. Vyner Articles ought to be much more open to that.
“It could even be the way someone walks that flips a piece from something that appears aggressive to the total opposite.”
Vyner Articles draws closely on archetypical workwear silhouettes, but there’s still a sense of tapping into rebellious youth cultures; skateboarding options prominently, for example.
In fact, but this assortment was also the laying of a basis for the model. We call it “ArtWorkWear”, a assortment that treads the boundaries of paintings and workwear. Whether or not you produce art in it, or flip the garments into the art itself, the doorways are very a lot open to the wearer’s own creativity.
But I started this collection with sketches of figures which are recognized for the power of their personal fashion. If you consider Peter Saville, for instance, you see him in a turtleneck and white jeans, or Basquiat is all the time in a tailor-made go well with. He utterly recontextualised the go well with; without him, it might be actually onerous for me to perceive it in the same means.
Taking a look at them helped me to perceive what the gathering wants if we’re wanting to create a wardrobe for at this time’s artistic. There wants to be a turtleneck, there needs to be a go well with, a pant or jacket at the very least.
This research additionally made me realise the importance of colour to Vyner Articles. I’d never been a lot of a individual for color, nevertheless it actually is sensible to give attention to it when producing these stripped again, virtually stereotypical, clothes. What colors do they need to be in order to look new? I mean, take a look at Basquiat sporting a pink t-shirt underneath a blazer, that’s what made it new. In fact, the whole lot is offered in white or black, we’re catering to artists in any case, however then we produce items in colours which are odd someway, sorbet tones you wouldn’t have the opportunity to discover from Levi’s or Carhartt, for instance. It triggers one thing in you, you recognise the form, just not in that exact color.