What did you think of the exhibition as a fashion designer yourself?
I thought the exhibition was really interesting, it was really cool to see the patterns and how it's all made, how the designers construct the garments and how fragile the patterns and the pieces are. It was also interesting to spot the patterns next to the garments in real life, that’s like being able to discover the secret to a garment.
Interesting to see how the designers construct the garments and how fragile the patterns are
Was there a specific piece that jumped out to you, a piece that you related to or particularly liked?
I think the Rei Kawakubo piece from Comme des Garçons for sure. The pattern impressed me because of how much paper and fabric are actually needed, it’s really impressive to see it on a table like that, it truly stands out compared to the other garments. It’s something completely different.
Would you say you source direct inspiration from Rei Kawakubo in your own work?
Direct inspiration may not be the right word, although I would say that I deconstruct a lot in my work because I usually upcycle. I have been very inspired by Comme des Garçons and Margiela in the past. Deconstructing and seeing how garments are built makes you understand the process more and discover different ways of working. Sometimes I’m like 'whoa I didn’t even think that this part of a top could be a sleeve'. I like to look at historical pieces but not too much at contemporary ones for the reason that I don’t want to be too influenced when I create.
Where would you say you source most of your inspiration?
Mostly from the street and from the trash in general. Sometimes when I see things or waste on the street, I get inspired. For example, when I see a cool tampon container or something with a cool pattern on it and think, can I use this somehow?
Like I said, back in the day Martin Margiela was a huge inspiration - and still is - but it might be a bit too dangerous to look at other designers too much. I feel like you can get too influenced and your work will start looking too much like theirs, so I try to avoid that. My mom is also a huge inspiration, she has a crazy style and looking at her and at how she dresses really inspires me.
What drives you in the fashion industry?
I love making clothes and upcycling, it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid. I would just rip up my clothes, make collages and rip up my mom's magazines. It was only when I was studying fashion that I realised how polluting the industry really is. I started thinking about my role in the industry and how I could make a difference, that’s where I landed on sustainability and upcycling.
I think I’d rather help to find ways to upcycle and be more sustainable than add to the problem, that's why I'm not sure about starting my own brand. Of course, there are also brands that I love and support, like Marine Serre, in my opinion, she’s a pioneer in what she’s doing.
I’d rather help to find ways to upcycle and be more sustainable than add to the problem
How do you implement these principles of sustainability into your own work?
When I make patterns, I always try to use zero-waste cutting techniques, so I lay out fabrics in a way that I waste as little fabric as possible. I usually don’t start with new or even old fabrics. Actually, I mostly don’t even use patterns, I start with existing clothes, then take them apart and remake them into something new. However, sometimes I need patterns, for instance when I take a pair of pants and turn them into a jacket. I usually let the garments speak, take them apart, see how they work, pin different sleeves and see how that looks. Once in a while I make mistakes but that tends to be the most beautiful part of the process, I try to embrace them.
Once in a while, I make mistakes but that tends to be the most beautiful part of the process