During their second year at Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, four young students decide to form the design collective INCIPIT. This autumn they will travel around Europe with their second showcase tour, and we met with designers Henrik Hiltula and Peter Schamaun before their first stop in Stockholm on Thursday.
In 2011, four young students are about to start their second year at Royal Academy of Fine Arts, one of the most prestigious educations within fashion design. With a shared vision on fashion, Alexis Gautier from France, Henrik Hiltula from Sweden, Edoardo Rossi from Italy and Peter Schamaun from Norway decide to form a design collective. They call themselves INCIPIT – it begins in Latin. The following summer they initiate INCIPIT, a traveling fashion showcase, with shows in Milan, Oslo and Paris. This year they’ve also added Stockholm to their showcase tour, and this Thursday will see the premiere of INCIPIT 2013 at Revenue Sankt Eriksgatan 79 in Stockholm.
Despite their different styles and visual expressions, the four INCIPIT designers share a vision of what fashion is, and what it can be. Together they form a distinctive synergy, inspiring and encouraging each other. For both Henrik and Peter, INCIPIT means exactly what the name means in Latin, a beginning.
— it begins.
– For me, INCIPIT is a platform for creativity and collaborations, which we’ll always be able to return to. Today and in the future, says Henrik.
– It’s a starting point, says Peter. A way to build confidence outside of school. It gives me hope, inspirations, and energy, as well as a sense of clarity.
Both Henrik and Peter found their way into fashion when searching for something else to do in life, something different. Henrik had studied architecture for three years, and were searching for new grounds for his creativity, while Peter wanted to break from his studies in economics. Their quest would eventually lead them to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and into the world of fashion.
– In fashion, compared to with architecture, I found for me a more suitable way to create, with a faster design process and smaller scale and the possibility to work more with my hands, says Henrik.
What did the education in Antwerp mean to you?
– To be honest the education itself didn’t mean that much to me, says Henrik. That’s one of the reasons I dropped out after two years. There are a lot of negative things to say about the school system, and the way of teaching, but I’m happy I went there. It was a great experience to be surrounded by such talented people.
– I definitely had mixed emotions during my three years there, says Peter. I went from being stoked, happy, and proud, to be disappointed with the school as well as with myself. I’m happy that I went there, and I’m happy that it’s over.
Where do you find inspirations and influences for your design?
– The designprocess can start from everything and nothing, says Henrik. A shape, a color, a texture, a person, a sequence of a film, a news ad, or fashion itself. Throughout the years you create a storage of ideas, that you can combine and develop together with new imfluences. It’s somewhere in this library of ideas that I start my design, which means that it’s not that easy to remember where the inspiration came from at the beginning.
– Until now, my work has mainly been about understanding myself as a designer, says Peter. I’ve felt that I needed to understand how I translate my own thoughts, feelings, and surroundings into design, before I could take inspirations from the outside. So my main source of inspiration has been my memories and the environments I believe that I belong to. I can also find inspiration in human interactions.
Who is your ideal wearer? Do you have someone in mind when you create?
– At this stage, I don’t really have a specific wearer, says Peter. But I do have a character in mind when I create, that I can transform to fit my vision.
– I think it’s important to separate fashion from clothing, says Henrik. If you’re looking for a wearer, we’re talking about clothing. I do make clothes sometimes. Then it’s for myself, what I like to wear, and want to look like. When it comes to fashion, I believe in creating an atmosphere, feeling, or scenery, where the actual garments aren’t forced to be wearable. Then it’s more important how the piece or pieces relates to the body, instead of how it relates to an ideal wearer.
I think it’s important to separate fashion from clothing
Could you tell me more about the collections that you will show at the INCIPIT tour?
– I wanted to look at the differences between how people want to be seen and how others actually see them, says Peter. I also wanted to play with the notion that we express ourselves through our clothes. I drew inspiration from images of Nordic fishermen, marked by their harsh environments, images that both confirm and confront our relationship with nature. This somewhat ironic relationship that we have with nature is a concept that I’ve been exploring for this collection, and that I hope I will be able to develop even further in the future.
– My collection goes under the working title Management of Time, says Henrik. It’s based on the concept of taxidermy, and the idea that human beings are the only species that dresses in other species skins and hides, to form, transform, and adorn the body. To this I’ve added aspects concerning human’s physical evolution, as well as also the history of clothing.
The INCIPIT 2013 show will take place on Revenue Sankt Eriksgatan 79 in Stockholm on Thursday 29 August. Read more about the event here and see photos from the designer’s collections above.