Liselore Frowijn INTERVIEW
For the first time as a young designer you have developed your own knitwear in order to create comfortable luxury. Do you feel that such an approach can be a constant variable in your design identity?
Knitwear will definitely remain constant in my design identity, but as a designer I also think it is important to find innovations to work with within your aesthetics and develop new steps in materials and techniques. After working a lot with lycra, knitwear was in fact a new step for me. Since “sport vs. luxury” is in my brand’s DNA, I’ll always search for new ways to express this duality. Working with knitwear is one. It embodies the comfortable luxury I aim to translate into my work.
Your creativity and attention to materials and pure colours are remarkable and there is always a beautifully complex ambitiousness in your designs. So what type of women do you have in mind when you design?
Thank you for the compliment ! It’s true that I work with an ambitious mix of influences, ending with an eclectic mix of textiles, colors and prints as a result. My work starts with documenting the world the woman I design for lives in. She is inspired by art, music and her surroundings, and she moves within these different spheres of influence, so her features are eclectic as well. She dares to dress independently. She wears different materials layered poetically, portraying her versatile and sensitive character. The women I design for are not afraid to wear bold prints and colours, they have seen the world through their many travels and from each journey they took something home.
Τhe Fall Winter 16 collection is inspired by the Triadic Ballet and Oskar Schlemmer’s use of geometrical shapes while your SS 15 used Matisse as its inspirational vehicle. How important are art references in your work and how easy or difficult can they be translated from the audience?
Art is one of my most important sources of sustenance. When I see works of art that inspire me, I feel a commitment with the eye of the artist and my own, as if the artist was able to give visibility to a world I wish I lived in. It touches me when artists dare to create their own universe. The energy they put into their work inspires me the most. I am influenced by artists but I insist on saying that my work isn’t art. It’s applied design, it’s clothing, directly translated from my imagination to how I imagine a woman could look like and dress like. Since I’m that much influenced by art, my designs have a poetic approach towards the world. Each piece stands on its own, every look is created layer by layer, and the use of different textiles and prints together causes a laminated end-result. It’s not difficult nor easy to translate my inspirations to the audience, since I capture the influences I feel are important and create something new.
I feel that contemporary design and fashion narrative has become infinitely more sober and sophisticated with a laconic and concise approach. Do you agree ? If you do, are there limitations to your own vision by this au courant approach to design and aesthetics?
I do agree, partly. I feel connected with these words since my own work can be considered as bold. I work with prints and different materials I have been developing myself. My silhouettes are voluminous and direct, but also feminine and luxurious. Even though design nowadays might contain a certain sober-minding feeling, the world around us at the moment is nothing like that at all ! Perhaps it’s why fashion is responding with a more laconic and concise approach. However I don’t think there are any limitations. It’s interesting to see how a subtle uniformity in contemporary design gets translated in either color, materials or everything at once.
As a designer how challenging is it not to repeat yourself season after season while maintaining a trademark identity within the vast number of fashion designers?
This challenge drives me. If I had to repeat my work every season, it would get boring very quickly and I would just quit. In the end, being a fashion designer is something I do for myself. I don’t pay attention to other designers and what is trending. I try to develop my fashion aesthetics every season, while staying loyal to what I love myself, as a woman. Fashion is in perpetual motion. The garments I created three years ago are still beautiful but I need to keep on moving. I am always communicating what I feel is going on in the world right now, thus giving to my new collections a contemporary sparkle and conveying my own feelings at a particular time.
Miuccia Prada believes that clothes help wearers define aesthetically their mental attitude. To what extent do you relate with that statement?
I entirely agree. I praise Miuccia Prada for what she brings to the fashion world. Her quote symbolises just that. Clothes do not only define our mental attitude aesthetically but can also be considered as extensions of our inner world, a marker of our personality. Don’t get me wrong: I think clothes can make us happy and make us feel beautiful, but in the end they are merely clothes. I just find it great that something so trivial as clothes can add something extra in life.
What is your best character quality which inadvertently passes on to your fashion creations ?
Optimism. I am always very positive. I see possibilities everywhere, I dream a lot of exciting things to come, as if nothing was impossible. To be honest, I find it to be true every day. I feel free to do all the things I want to do. My energy is never-ending. This state of mind is very useful in my work, I can take risks with my designs since I always think things will turn out okay in the end.
What do you aspire for your brand?
I’d love to reach as many people as possible, men and women, so they will be able to wear my garments and make them their own.