Samstag, 10. August 2013

INTERVIEW / titania inglis

Overlay Peak Dress, cream

Fashion is the creative discipline which is most dedicated to time. Every designer has to create minimal two collections every year, irrelevant if it's needed, make sense or if there are customers outside which are able to pay for the pieces, which are produced under time and money pressure. This strategy get the terms rapidity, marketing and the hottest trends more important then the need of clothes. The most designers take care of these aspects. What's hot, what would sell during the next season, where could it be produced for low costs and what the best marketing strategy? So the most clothes are produced to sell quick and create after the season new space for new clothes.
But one designer has another opinion: Brooklyn based fashion designer Titania Inglis, who's last summer collection was discussed here, produce collections which are able to wear not only for one season. Her pieces are not devoted to the latest trend in fashion, she takes care that the clothes be wearable during summer and winter and could be worn during the day and also the night. She creates pieces for the everyday life.

Her latest collection is inspired by water in all it forms and the structures which surrounded the designer during her walks through Brooklyn. The cracked sidewalk structures or the colors of the cloudy sky, which is reflected in a puddle build the base for the textile prints and colors which are used for the collection. The collection contains pieces which are based on strong geometrical lines and blurred, soft surfaces. The clothes are based on simple but also complex constructed forms, monochrome plain surfaces, modest prints and a carefully chosen color palette.
In the following interview Titania talks about her relationship to the fashion industry, her strategy to create a new collection and her interpretation of time in combination with fashion. 

Which term is the most fascinating for you, thinking about fashion?
Why do you decide to study fashion design?
I’d loved fashion since childhood, but I thought it was shallow, so I resisted until I was in Dutch design school and gradually all of my projects were turning out to be wearable — handbags, a feminine suit of armor. There’s something really fascinating about the intersection of textiles and silhouettes and the human form; about the metamorphosis of 2-dimensional materials into 3D, functional garments; and at the same time, there’s the way all of us, every single day, use clothing to communicate our self-images to the world.

Angel Dress, cream

How do you start a new collection?
I generally start from the materials and processes, and I try several different directions before narrowing it down. This season, I looked into the possibility of 3D printing before deciding that the currently available materials simply weren’t appropriate for clothing, not to mention they’re mostly quite toxic. I’ll be interested to see how that evolves over time.

Flare Top

What is the idea behind your current collection?
The SS13 collection was inspired by water in all of its forms, both literally and conceptually. The print, which wasn’t really a print, was actually hand-painted onto wet fabric, which gave it a smoky look; and I played with the use of curved seams on several of the dresses, as well as with wrinkled, wave-like surfaces on some of the denim pieces, which I arrived at by wetting and crumpling the fabric.
For your beautiful look book you work with a model which looks a little bit sad, her attitude creates an interesting contrast to your clothes. In which way are you involved in the visual presentation of the collection?
In every way: I select the photographer, the location, and the model, and I often style the shoots myself. As for the poses, though, those are mostly a collaboration between the photographer and the model. Once the looks and location are selected, they have relatively free rein creatively, and the wistfulness you sensed speaks to their interaction as much as the mood of the collection.

Flare Top, black and white

Which term are the most important in your current work?
Changed your view on fashion and how people wear their clothes after becoming involved in the industry?
I have, for better and for worse. I don’t think people outside the industry appreciate how hard everyone works to put out their collections; it’s seen as a glamour industry, but as often as not I’m hauling heavy rolls of fabric around the garment district, lugging around garment bags, dyeing my hands weird colors, or learning new techniques by doing them wrong until I’ve exhausted all possible mistakes and finally get it right. It also makes me sad that everyone’s so hooked on fast fashion: for all the work that goes into designing and assembling a garment, it’s never okay when something costs $3 — that just means somebody’s not getting paid enough and safety/environmental precautions are being skipped somewhere along the line.

Flare Top

Fashion is a really fast industry. Do you feel a pressure to produce two collection per year?
Absolutely — there’s always the feeling that I’ll lose momentum if I skip a season.
Would anything be different if you remove time from the collection and produce a collection not with a deadline, ether one collection every two years?
I always dream about having longer to produce each collection — some writers only produce a novel every 10 years, so why should I have to push out a new line twice a year? But realistically, I’m very deadline-driven, so even if I took two years to design a collection, most of the work would still take place in the last two months before it was due.

Overlay peak Dress

Why do you choose so many places to study and in which way take this places influence on your current work?
I already had a bachelor’s degree (in math and political science), so when I went back to school, I was more interested in learning as much as I could than in graduating from any particular institution. CCA was great for my foundation year, they gave me a well-rounded background in everything from printmaking to ceramics to design drawing and sewing, and then Design Academy provided a more conceptual basis for my work, while FIT was where I studied the technical end of fashion design: sewing, draping, pattern making.

Pieced Shirtdress

How important are other design disciplines for you and your work?
While a lot of fashion designers base their designs in references to existing clothing, I like to start from the materials and processes while considering the end use, which is really more of an industrial design approach. I also love architecture: my dad is an architect, and I think there’s a lot more newness happening there than in fashion design. The structures and volumes and textures of buildings are fascinating to me
What is your relationship to fashion in general?   
Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

Basic Shirtdress, black
Do you have any icons in the fashion industry?
Cristobal Balenciaga — Coco Chanel called him the only true couturier. Such a free-thinking pattern maker who created beautiful, simple silhouettes that had never been seen before.
How do choose your own clothes?
I love to wear clothes that are simple, elegant, comfortable, and versatile, preferably with lots of pockets - though I’m a sucker for an exquisitely modeled wedge heel even if it’s painful to wear.

Mini Curve Dress, black

What do you wear today?
Today I’m working in my studio, so I have on a pair of color blocked short shorts that are a sample from my first collection; an old, ratty gray T-shirt; and a pair of Bottes Gardianes from Paris - they’re handmade in France and so simple and comfortable.

Maxi Curve Dress, black

Photography: Edwin Tse 

Jewelry: Nettie Kent 

Hair and Make Up: Kumi Hosoda 

Model: Glairy Kohv/Muse 

Styling Assistance: Boya Zhang 

© Titania Inglis


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