The further I get from the age of 24 (the age it seems so many designers are designing for) the harder it is for me to find fashions that resonate with me. Because I’m relatively small I deplore wearing ruffles or florals or anything too sweet. On the other hand I get bored with black and all the shredded and deconstructed stuff going on. (although that I do own) So if you’re somewhere in the middle what is there to wear? H Fredriksson is one answer. Designer Helena Fredriksson’s clothes are a brilliant combination of sophistication and sex appeal. Born in Sweden and now living in Brooklyn, her beautiful hand batiked silk dresses and other clothing made with materials such as bamboo and hemp are currently part of the Ecolux Pop-Up Shop at Grand Central. She’ll also be having a trunk show this Thursday at Trunk in Dumbo. So I encourage you to check out her work at either venue. And learn more about her below!
What is your background? How did you become a designer?
I started making clothing as a young teenager, it was something that made sense and happened very naturally, I went to art school where I painted and did a lot of photography, and designing was more of a fun side project… that I did at home. I moved to New York in 97 and continued working on and studying art but with the fashion design as a constant sideproject. A few years later I got invited to do a collaborative runway show, and that’s when my first collection and H Fredriksson was born.
What do you see as the intersection of fashion and fine art?
My process when working is the same as during my years in making art, adapting thoose ideas to a fine art context is very possible and something I would love to explore more. The prints I make are made from photography and drawings that I manipulate. I sometimes make screened and painted canvases with the prints as a work on its own.
I read that you have designed for dance. How did you get involved with that? What did you like about doing this? Are you still doing this?
I love collaborating, and dance is a great way to work together to realize a vision. To design for movement and performance where a different intimate experience is possible, is something I really thrive on.
What’s the inspiration for your most recent collection?
Thie S/S 2010 collection is inspired by the history of film. I draw from the lightness and sensitivity of imagery, the movement and subtleness of the camera and imagery within the framing. The garments have a strong presence while still feeling light and understated. The movement and draping in the shapes creates a subtle drama that draws the eye without being loud. I believe the pieces to be timeless enough to be relevant for a long time, just like the old great films.
What do you love most about what you do?
Making the fabric prints, draping the shapes, and creating the evolving identity for the brand is what I love the most with my job. And of course to get to work on different Costume and Art collaborations is always super fun.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect?
The hardest part is to be the designer, the business manager, the strategist, the creative director, the owner and founder of the business all at once. The necessity to keep creative focus while dealing with day to day business is a hard balance to sustain. This is why I would love to find a partner in crime at times.
What inspires you about NYC?
I love New York because it is filled with people and culture from all over the world. It gives the city a very open minded energy that is hard to find anywhere else. And that is very creatively inspiring.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever given or received?
To learn from everything we experience and realize that the hardest things we go through are the ones that make us grow and understand the most. And that keeping an open mind at all times is how the wonders of life appears.