Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Friday, 13 March 2009
Often likened to Viktor & Rolf on acid and a classically trained concert pianist (“that was my biggest interest till I was 18”), Karolina Kling looks back at her first moment in fashion. “I wanted to show the world what I was doing; I wanted to reach everyone”, she explains. “You just want to get on and be creative and do all these amazing things.” Since establishing her label KLING by KLING in 2006, the London based Swede has made a name for herself through distinct prints and playful designs.
“I shouldn’t say this, but I’m wearing Topshop, American Apparel, second hand and...some more second hand,” laughs the 27 year old in a romantically Swedish accent. “Where did Kling go? I’ll, put it on tomorrow, I can´t wear it every day!” Inspired by anything from viruses to clowns, Kling’s designs have transformed from hooded, oversized unisex clothing to carefully shaped garments. “I try to create the pieces from a personality and a feeling, a special moment in time or just out of curiosity how it would feel like wearing it” she explains of the working process.
Karolina’s passion for prints have seen her praised by an industry happy to see someone doing something different; with experience in scenography, costume design and more recently, a space at London Fashion Week to show for it. Her autumn/winter 09 collection shows how the clothes are a blank canvas for the designer’s signature graphics. “The clown patterns are inspired from the stress going on behind the curtains of the circus, or behind the curtains of public exposal,” Karolina explains.
Quirky plaited turbans and drawn on moustaches mixed with bed-time look leggings, stripy shirts and draped scarves give the collection a peculiar ‘circus inspired’ edge. Even today, with four of her collections being distributed worldwide, Karolina questions her own ability to produce the goods. “You constantly ask yourself; how is this even gonna happen? I didn´t know that the show would come together,” she continues. “The first time I saw everything it just blew me away. I was like; “is this my show?!””
The Gothenburg graduate says of her ideal customer, “it’s more about the energy I want people to have when they wear them.” She claims, if not a little uncertainly, “after all it all goes inwards before it goes out - are you with me?” Such principles have seen the brunette Swede brush shoulders and collaborate with the likes of Reebok, Nudie Jeans and H&M, an experience she wouldn’t be opposed to repeating. “I would love to do more shoe and home interior colabs,” she explains. “That’s my next plan”.
As for the future of her own label, she sees no boundaries in what she can achieve. A catwalk in Hyére, a “tour around the world with installations and special edition product collections” and a line of different collaborations are in her sights. Karolina is a fascinating emerging talent within fashion, a print force to be reckoned with. “One day I’m gonna have that big black grand piano in the middle of the living room wooden floor....”
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
YOU'RE KNOWN FOR YOUR UNTRADITIONAL APPROACH TO CATWALK PRESENTATIONS, WHY AN INSTALLATION?:
We chose to show via film and instillation because it fitted the mood of the range. Each season the presentation of the collection will reflect or compliment the collection itself. The elixir of AW09 blended the prairie men of Hungary and the work of Piet Bloom, to reflect the eclectic quality of the range an instillation constructed from attic clutter, street finds and rusted machines created a perfect back drop in which to present.
HOW DID YOU FEEL BEFORE THE SHOW?:
As with every season the feeling before the show is the same, ecstatic, nervous, focused and exhausted! I live for that moment.
SCARIEST MOMENT AT FASHION WEEK / RUN UP TO FASHION WEEK?:
The scariest moment is the final week before the show. No matter how organized you are (and I am extremely organized), the final week is just crazy! Each day is a 12hr day minimum, but again it is still very exciting.
WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER THE SHOW?:
As the show came to a close I and assistants along with a few friendly friends deconstructed the installation, packed away the collection and sped across London to the bosom of the east end for an informal after party of debauched frolics and fun.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN FASHION SO FAR?:
To date my most memorable moment was the show in our first season at the launch of Theatre de la Mode. We presented the range in an independent exhibition in South Kensington on Miniatures. We of course ran late and had a queue of around 100 people at the venue as we arrived. We set up the dolls ran down stairs to change, came back upstairs to a packed exhibitions of fashionista's all want a piece of us. It was the first point I realized, oh my god I have my own label.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST FASHION MOMENT?:
The industry is full of ups and downs so I can't really specify any one particular moment that stands out as the worst. Because the industry is such a difficult one you tend to build a hide of steel and make sure you are always ready for every eventuality.
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, AGGRAVATES YOU ABOUT THE INDUSTRY OR LIFE IN GENERAL?:
It’s tough! If anything, there could be more support for British designers. It costs a lot of money to start up on your own and there are no funding bodies out there to help. Most labels go under very quickly due to spending all of their time sourcing new funding each season leaving no time to create/produce the range. It’s tough but the rewards far outweigh the stress and hours that goes into it.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE?:
I'm not sure I would collaborate with another designer. I have only recently began to work as a solo designer and to be honest I love it! But if pushed the designers I hold great respect for are Bruno Peiters and Kym Jones.
IF YOU WEREN’T A FASHION DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?:
If I wasn't a fashion designer I think I would probably be working as an interior/product designer. But to be honest it would only ever be fashion for me.
WHATS ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT OTHERS MIGHT NOT KNOW?:
I'm a great dancer...
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
I don't recall any particular one piece of advice that I have been given but the 2 people that shaped the way in which I work are my University tutor Marilyn Rainey and Kate Monkton of Abnormal PR. Both women were so important in my life as they were as hard as nails with the determination of an ox, inspiring me to adopt the same attitude. Maybe I am not as fiery as them but I have certainly used the gusto that they put into everything project they embarked upon.
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Featuring Thurston Moore, Jurgen Mayar H, Christian Schoeler, Ant Farm, Errol Morris, Patrick Wolf, Bobby Gillespie, Veronique Branquinho, Raf Simons and fashion from John Galliano, Giorgio Armani and Carlo Brandelli.
ISSUE 8 ON SALE MARCH 19