1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. (Who are you, where do you come from and what is your field of specialization?)
My name is May Bernardi and I was born in 1986 in the southwest of Germany.
I just graduated in fashion design from the University of Applied Sciences, Trier. During my studies I gained experience, working for “Anntian”, Berlin and the fashion department of “Liebling” magazine. I’ve also studied at the Academy of Art and Design HGK, Basel in Switzerland for one year.
2. How did you come up with the concept?
The starting point of my collection was a bronze statue of “Daphne”, I found in my mother’s house. Actually, it has been standing there in the same place ever since I can remember but I’ve never been that interested in it before.
Then, searching for ideas for my collection the statue somehow caught my attention and I started reading about Ovid’s metamorphoses. I loved Daphne’s story (fleeing from Apollo she is transformed into a laurel tree) and found so many interesting aspects to work with. After her transformation into a laurel tree Daphne remains a thinking and sensing mind in a strange shell, unable to communicate.
This fact made me think about the body and the dress defined as an artificial cover and how both of these components interact. Formally my design refers to the statue itself. The relief that covers her body inspires especially my fabric manipulations.
Well, I don’t think there’s a real connection between my collection and “Kleider machen Leute”. For me, this saying rather means that clothes can influence our belonging to a social group.
4. If not, do you see it in a completely different context? (in which?)
My collection deals with the relation between the human body and the dress and how they interact. To what extent do clothes influence our posture or even our mental state? With my designs (some may intervene in the way we move, for example) I want to sharpen the wearer’s sense for her body and her posture and to feel good and self-confident.
5. Do you think it is important to study abroad for fashion design (or design in general) students to widen their creative horizon and get different cultural influences?
Yes, definitely! I was surprised by how different it felt to study in Basel, Switzerland – only 10 km from the Swiss-German border. The way design was taught was really different. I got to know another culture but at the same time I got to know more about myself and probably grew in a way. An interesting and inspiring time!
Also while studying at the Academy of Art and Design HGK in Basel I got to know a different approach to fashion and design in general. I really had to focus and question my personal vision and myself as a designer. The students there worked closely together, so we could also benefit a lot from each other.
6. How do you personally define „fashionclash“ or „ a clash with fashion“ for yourself?
“FASHIONCLASH” actually means to me that something new or unexpected is going to happen. As there are no rules given what to show or how to present something I hope to see lots of individual and innovative concepts. I also think that fashion will be presented as a wide field of various aspects.
Pictures by Anna Pekala