donderdag 29 juni 2017

A.P.monde - FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017

photo Christina Stohn
Meet Anja Perisic. She designs Kimonos for her brand A.P.monde, She also designs costumes for stage productions and develops patterns for the brand Ann Demeulemeester. 9 years ago she finished her studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee. Anja was born in Sarajevo, but grew up in Antwerp, Belgium. She lived in Berlin for a while and now she’s back in Belgium. Anja always knew that she wanted to work in the field of design. She grew up between art galleries and theaters. Choosing to make design her profession felt very natural for her. The real surprise was starting her own business. She has worked for great minds like Ann Demeulemeester, Terry Gilliam, Christoph Waltz and Jan Fabre. But winning Fashion One’s first season of Design Genius gave her the mental and financial boost she needed to create her own brand, so far Anja’s biggest pride and joy. At the moment Anja is designing the next A.P.monde collection. She’s developing patterns for Ann Demeulemeester 2018 and she’s mentoring a master costume design program at the Antwerp Academy. The thing she loves most about her profession is how we need to go through various stages in order to develop a new design. Research, sourcing, drawing, experimenting (when there is time), development of a collection, shoots, marketing, sales, and then it all starts all over again. Each time the journey takes you somewhere new and unexpected. That to Anja is exhilarating.

FC: How would you define fashion?
Fashion to me is a language. To each their own means of self expression. My clients choose to buy my designs because they make them feel a certain way. I choose to create them because they correspond with my view of the world. In both cases its a means of communication.

FC: What fascinates/inspires you and why?
How different people perceive the world in very different ways. These differences can be caused by age, nationality, gender, references, anatomy, etc. So all these different views create different possibilities of creating novelty. Juxtaposition of eclectic elements in a harmonious way feeds my imagination.

FC: Finding your own distinctive voice can be difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity (before you start designing/during the design process)?
I would like to believe that my distinctive handwriting is already there, in the way i think and see and create, in the choices I make. I am a very perceptive person. I observe the world around me. I read a lot. I take pictures. I am interested in history and frames of references. I distill and compare the information that I have gathered and what comes out of it at the end of the process is my very own imagery.

FC: What challenges did you face during the design process?
Sourcing materials is very important for me as the design process starts with the fabric. Finding a beautiful fabric in the right colour and for it to be accredited with the right ecological and fair-trade certificate's is the biggest challenge. The ethical and the aesthetic aspects of my work are equally important. What do you want to communicate with your work in general? Green luxury is what my work is about.

FC: Can you tell us something about the project you will present at the FASHIONCLASH Festival?
The Birds collection consists out of 8 female and 8 male pieces in subtle colours. This collection was created with a focus on layers. The various layers of birds feathers and of traditional kimonos. It was designed in such a way that the separate peaces can be worn together or on their own.

FC: What do you try to communicate with your project?
A.P.monde is about natural fabrics that make you feel good. About a comfortable kimono that still can make you look sexy. A.P.monde is about zero waste luxury and a peace of clothing that has been fashionable in various ways across the globe for over 1300 years.

FC: Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
I am curious to see what other industry professionals and amateurs think of my work. FASHIONCLASH is already working on future themes.

photo Christina Stohn

FC: What are the topics you find interesting?
Semantics in fashion. Multicultural garments. Puritanism through the ages.

FC: What are your thoughts regarding ‘religion and fashion’?
It’s a tricky question. Because everyone should have the right to practice their own belief system. But I also believe that religion is a very personal thing and once you start emphasising your beliefs by waring a certain type of uniform you are politicising it. I do think true believers do find a way not to be offensive. I have been researching the Hijab for quite some time and would love the chance to work with it.

FC: Does fashion makes sense to you?
It is a language on its own. And there are many languages I do not understand and many that make complete sense to me.

FC: What are your thoughts on making ‘fashion’ more environmentally-friendly?
I think it is necessary and that there are so many different ways to approach this question that neither producers nor consumers have the excuse of limited budget or not knowing to continue ignoring this issue.

FC: Do you think that fashion can contribute to a better world / better well-being, and what do you do to make a difference?
For me there is no question about it. The fashion industry is one of the great polluters in the world. It helps maintain modern slavery intact. And it seduces people to consume more and faster thus creating a vicious circle between the 3 major problems. I have done my best to avoid the cheep and easy solutions in production of my brand. All A.P.monde garments are zero waste and made locally in Belgium. These kimonos are of superior quality so you can enjoy the garment for a longer period of time. A.P.monde also practices slow fashion. And as of 2018 we will even be sourcing our fabrics locally.

FC: What senses are engaged in your creation process?
Whether I am designing, wearing or buying, the touch comes always first. The physical sensation that a fabric gives me is crucial in the creation process. The surface, the structure and the movement of a fabric influence how you feel in a garment and how you will move in it. So after finding the fabric with the right character I look for colours and prints that I like in combination with this fabric. Subsequently I try to marry the movement of the fabric with the right shape, silhouette.

FC: How does technology change your creation process?
We are currently looking in to working with ecological digital printers for the future collections, this would create much more freedom in the design process.

FC: What’s a standard day for you?

Walking the dog and working…

FC: Vegan, vegetarian, healthy diet or any food will do?
Healthy, balanced and colourful.

FC: What’s your favourite song at the moment? 
I’m on fire by Bruce Springsteen :)

Best Tv-show/movie at the moment?

FC: What is your bad habit?
Wanting to do too much and overcrowding my planner.

FC: Are you a people's person or a loner?
Neither, I like to socialise but I also need my me time.

FC: Do you have a pet?
I adopted a stray puppy a few years ago. Her name is Bruna Mykonos Gribaldi.

FC: Your favourite quote?
Oscar Wilde said that only shallow people do not judge by appearance.

FC: What’s your favourite city?
Hong Kong

FC: What/Who do you miss the most when you are not at home?
My dog.

FC: If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Japan, because I want to explore their cultural heritage and experience life from a unfamillliar point of view.

FC: What do you enjoy the most in life?
Island life in the mediterranean. Swimming in clear waters. The smell of pines in the sun and a salty breeze in your hair.

FC: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Binge watching Netflix after a busy time.

FC: Who is your biggest example/idol?
Martin Margiela for his seemingly simple yet provocative designs, his up-cycling in high fashion and for his personal choice to stay out of the spot light.

FC: Favourite magazine?
Vogue Italia

FC: Your favourite hashtags #?
#zerowastedesign #madewithlove #adoptdontshop

FC: You favorite social media app?

FC: Instagram account you think deserves more attention?
A.P.monde :)

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