Friday, October 16, 2009

Lina Österman SS10 review/interview for Dazed Digital

We take another look at the talented Swede's show at the Royal Festival Hall last month.
Text by David Hellqvist | Published 16 October 2009

Lina Österman is a shy person. This humble quality of hers stand in positive contrast to many of her self-exploiting peers, who see no harm in their never-ending promotion. Österman, a London-living Swede since the age of 20, believes in letting the clothes do her talking - and no one who went to her Blow sponsored S/S 10 show at the Royal Festival Hall doubts her way of expressing herself; even a few of the models had wigs that resembled Österman’s long blonde hair and sharp fringe.

And that was just the hair; the clothes were based around Österman’s personal style, so black shades were predominant, the length of the clothes was of importance and layers were, as always, crucial. Österman also designs Pudel, a line that is more focused on jeans, but the denim connection was strong in this more high-end spring summer offering as well. But the change of season doesn't matter so much for a designer like Österman. Monochrome colours rule, but white just featured in one outfit, and the only contrast colour was a gorgeous matt blue, which came out on two models.

Tailoring was enhanced in Österman’s first collection since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2008, which was styled by Dazed & Confused’s Robbie Spencer. It made for a smarter version of her usually gothic and industrial catwalk wardrobe. Also silver chain jewellery and sleek boots were added to this. To the tunes of a one-man version of Rodeo Massacre, city shorts on girls and extra long mesh knitwear on the boys impressed the crowd. In the midst of this relatively grown up collection, Österman made sure her initial reference points still came across; studs featured heavily on both jackets and trousers. Dazed Digital stole a quick chat with her:

Dazed Digital: What inspired the collection?
Lina Österman: I had gothic influences, but I mixed it up with Victorian elements and grunge mentality.

DD: What do you think is the biggest difference between Pudel and your main line?
Lina Österman: The main line is a lot more conceptual and exclusive, whereas Pudel is about reaching people, which makes is more commercial, I guess. Pudel is the diffusion line, but funnily enough I started out with Pudel and then continued with LinaÖsterman!

DD: How much of what you showed comes from your own personal style?
Lina Österman: I think both lines represents who I am, but in different ways.

DD: Do you have other style icons?
Lina Österman: Patti Smith!

DD: There was live music at your show, rather than a DJ. How much is music part of the design process?
Lina Österman: It’s a big part of my life, so it felt natural to have live musicians, since the show is about expressing every part of me, not just the clothes.

DD: Your designs are very androgynous – does that help when you show both men’s and womenswear?
Lina Österman: It doesn’t matter to me if my clothes end up on a boy or a girl, that’s why I show on both! I like the idea of mixing up my wardrobe with menswear, so I don’t really understand why womenswear and menswear needs to be so separated!

DD: There were quite a few tailored pieces in this collection – is this a matured Lina we see?
Lina Österman: I just wanted to reach a new audience with this one compared to with Pudel, and I really like the combination of knitwear and tailored pieces.

DD: What was your favourite piece from the show?
Lina Österman: It’s difficult to say, I have a strong love for them all of course, but I really like the knitted pieces with frills!

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