Louise Sigvardt: Graduate from Kolding School Of Design showcased a clean, minimalistic, well thought out collection during Copenhagen Fashion Week. Here we talk to Louise about the past, present and future.

Volt Café: Who is Louise Sigvardt, tell us a few details about yourself.
Louise Sigvardt: I grew up in two parts of Denmark, half the time in the countryside and half the time in the capital of Denmark. This gave me insight into two very different worlds and a lot of inspiration for my graduation project.

VC: Your collection is called Old New | New Old, what does this mean / stand for?
LS: I was inspired by a term called ‘New Luxury’. ‘New Luxury’ means that the term luxury has been divided in to two halves, where ‘old luxury’ is defined by the ‘good old’ values in high-end products, such as classic, expensive materials and a particular time-consuming production. Where as the ‘new luxury’ distorts this definition by using unconventional materials in a new way – for example by elevating a pair of jeans to a very exclusive and expensive piece of clothing.
My collection is a clash between Christian Dior’s 1950’s New Look and the 1980’s sports/grunge craziness.

VC: What is your goal as a designer?
LS: To create innovative clothes, but also clothes that people can relate to.
Fashion that does not accomplish this – or at least attempt to do those things – will fail.

VC: Do you have any muses/role models?
LS: Most of my inspiration comes from more abstract terms, such as the new and old luxury. One of my previous collections was about class differences.

VC: What is your relationship to trends?
LS: I have a very ambivalent relationship to trends, on one hand I’d like to design for the masses and on the other hand I also want to push the boundaries of style, materials and construction, these two polarities don’t always go hand in hand.
But I see myself in the loop of what is going on in the fashion industry, both on the established scene and on the street.
I take the better of the two parts – pour the mix in a bowl and stir and at some point something new and exiting comes out.

VC: What do you think about Scandinavian design?
LS: At the moment a lot of things are going on in Scandinavian fashion scene, both Danish and Swedish brands are shooting forward; brands such as Cos, Baum und Pferdgarten, Norse Project and Acne are dominant in the Scandinavian market. One reason, I think, is their ‘new luxury’ approach to their brand, the Scandinavian ‘democratic design’ ethos, where they produce high quality luxurious design at an affordable price.

VC: Minimalism has become significant in Scandinavian design.
What is your relationship to Minimalism?

LS: I have used many references to Minimalism in my collection. Luxury uses a lot of minimalist rules when it comes to the compositions of clothes.
I like the minimalist approach to design because of its defined rules, that dictate the outcome of material, every detail become somewhat practical or logical and there is almost a mathematical equation for the design.

VC: Is Minimalism a trend?
LS: I do not think Minimalism is a trend as such or if it is, it must be one of the longest lasting trends of all times! I think that Minimalism has changed since it emerged, but the key elements have existed since the 1920’s and the Bauhaus Movement.
I also think that simple design and quality is more comprehensible to people and longer lasting than fast trends.

VC: Is fashion still fun, new and innovative?
LS: For my part, I have never considered any other path than being a Fashion Designer; I have always enjoyed it and never gotten tired of creating.
As for the general industry, you would think that at some point all designs have been made, that no one could design something new. But I can still be amazed by clothes and inspired to do new and better designs!

VC: How do you think fashion will develop over the next 10 years?
LS: I think that fashion will follow the pattern it has done so far, by getting inspired by design from about 20 years ago. But I would like to think that 10 years from now some of the very ‘fast fashion’ will be less dominant, and that we will see more brands with considered quality design.

Louise’s 10 favourites

Designer/Brands – Phoebe Philo, Rebecca Bay, Rei Kawakubo, Victor & Rolf, Coco Chanel, YSL,  A.P.C, Sonia Rykiel, Yohji Yamamoto.

Style Icon – Iris Apfel, Coco Chanel, Mia Farrow, Donna 90210, Steve Mcqueen, Jackie Kennedy, Twiggy, Pippi Langstrømpe, Mos Def.

Garment – Denim, Trench-coat, Jeans 501, Bomber jacket

Film – Old danish movies, Lost in Translation, All Quentin Tarantino, action, action, action…

Art – David Lynch, Dan Turell, Akassen (artgroup), Kaws.

Music – Calexico, DJ Shadow, Jimi Hendrix, Malk De Koijn, Mos Def.

Restaurant – Le Le, Dyrehaven, Jettes Dinner, My Mom!

City – Tokyo, Copenhagen, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Hestehovedet, Sillestrup.

Boutique – Irma, Storm, Muji, Colette, Celine, Maison Martin Margiela, Bergdorf Goodman, Dover street market

Saying – ‘The bigger hair the smaller your hips looks’

Photo: Sacha Maric | Make-up: Louise Polano | Model: Ida W Scoopmodels | Words: Emelie Hultqvist

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Emelie Hultqvist, Kolding School Of Design, Louise Polano, Louise Sigvardt, Sacha Maric, Scoopmodels,