Karin Bjurström and Alice Fine

With their unique, handmade pieces, Swedish fashion brand Alice Fine combines elegance and dignity with a creative and artistic playfulness. We caught up with the brand’s key designer Karin Bjurström before their show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

With an eye for sculptural shapes and textures, Karin Bjurström is set on creating exquisite and exclusive collections of elegant and easy to wear garments. She believes in a diverse fashion world with the vision of including disciplines from other creative fields, something that comes into being through artistic collaborations and concepts. Her design is always thoughtfully in tandem with materials chosen for their sustainable qualities, such as tencel, hemp and organic or recycled cotton fibers.

– I’m not really sure when I became interested in fashion design, Karin says. There was never a big aha moment for me. I guess I enjoyed dressing up as a child, and my mother saved all kinds of crazy stuff that I could play around with. Fashion is just one creative expression among others that I enjoy.

In her work with Alice Fine, Karin gathers inspiration from contradictions and contrasts, like the clash between subcultures and
high fashion. She has an incredible eye for materials and textures, as well as a great appreciation for time consuming techniques and craftsmanship.

– I like to start with materials, Karin says. I usually begin with finding some good fabrics, then I get the ideas of what to do with it. Sometimes the form just unfolds itself, other times I start with something very direct, like draping the fabric or working with the shape of a square.

I always begin with the materials

Do you have someone in mind when you create? 
– Actually I really don’t. I don’t even use myself as a reference. It happens that I make things that I would like to wear for myself, and usually those garments works with the rest of the collection as well, but I prefer to trust my gut and just go with it.

The main inspiration for Alice Fine’s SS14 collection is different types of shells and protection, like the colourful shells found in nature, and the manmade kinds used within sports and combat.

– As always I begin with the materials, and try to find references based on the fabrics. For this season I found a creased, colour shifting fabric that reflects the sun, which made me think of beetles and insects. I was inspired by their wings, angels, and limbs. I’ve also drawn inspiration from sportswear and protection gear. Different kinds of shells and protection you might say, for both humans and animals.

What does it mean to you to show your collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Stockholm?
– Since Stockholm is where I live and work, it’s of course an honour and a pleasure to show here. I hope it brings a lot of attention to the brand, and that I can reach out to my customers.

 See a sneak peak of Alice Fine’s SS14 collection above. Photo by Frida Marklund. See an Radar Magazine exclusive editorial with Alice Fine’s AW13 collection here.