Alina Brane

With her exceptional collection Dreamwards, emerging designer Alina Brane has explored a sense of enclosing claustrophobia. Stunningly beautiful, it hints at something deeply human and slightly unsettling. We caught up with the young designer to learn more.

I was late at getting into fashion, Alina tells us. Growing up in a suburb to Stockholm in the nineties, art and cultural studies were not exactly something that was presented as a natural choice of career, rater the opposite… It was not until I was in my late teens that I realised I had an interest in creating images and sculptures through garments, and understood that some people, although far from my world, actually had it as a profession. As soon as the thought of making that interest into a full time venture has got into my head, I couldn’t get rid of it.

Alina’s interest in fashion would eventually bring her to Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, where she recently earned her bachelor’s degree in fashion design.

– To me, Beckmans was always a very unattainable dream. I still remember the first time I came it in an article in Elle on something like ‘how to become a designer’. The thought of getting in there became almost religious. Now that I’ve graduated, Beckmans has become a symbol of anything being possible. It has helped me to map out who I am, and what methods I can to use to communicate what I want to say as a designer.

I’ve experimented with ideas of weightlessness, fragility, scale, space, and transparency

With her graduation collection Dreamwards, Alina wanted to explore and express a sense of enclosing claustrophobia. Drawing inspiration from Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson’s famous images of fetuses, she created a stunningly beautiful, yet slightly unsettling collection, where exquisitely ruffled skirts, feathered dresses, and beaded tops comes are made with sculptural shapes and sheer layers of transparent textures.

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–My graduation collection Dreamwards is dealing with thoughts of membranes, protective shells, and enclosing claustrophobia in relation to the body. It has it’s origin in a self experienced feeling, and is in that sense a sort of textile self portrait. I have been inspired by, and worked closely to the images of fetuses in the series A Child is Born by Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson, and experimented with ideas of weightlessness, fragility, scale, space, and transparency in my choice and elaboration of fabrics, techniques, and volumes.

– To further enhance a sense of claustrophobia, I decided to collaborate with the glass artist Erika Kristoffersson Bredberg, student at Konstfack, who developed the unbelievable veils in clear plastic shown together with the collection. She will graduate this spring and I can’t wait to see her work at the graduation show!

What happens next?
– Right now I want to pursue a master’s degree, hopefully already next autumn. I still believe that anything is possible, and I tend to aim quite high. We’ll see where I end up…

Photos by Pauline Suzor. See more photos of Alina Brane’s collection Dreamwards here.