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Entering Soul Land

The creative wunderkind behind cult Danish fashion label Soulland tells us about his adventures in music videos and album cover design

The eclectic Danish creative Silas Adler has dabbled in pretty much everything – he recently made the music videos for When Saints Go Machine and Rosa Lux with Nikolaj Holm Møller; he is celebrated for his menswear collections (which he makes under the brand name Soulland); he has sent ultra-modern and unique garments down the runway on barefoot models; and he has produced artwork for music labels such as Tomboy & Fredski's Danish Tartelet Records. Suffice to say that Adler shows serious promise in myriad creative fields...

Dazed Digital: What inspires your creativity?
Silas Adler: I am not sure I see myself as a very creative person. I mean, I work with creative stuff but I'm not sure I'm particularly good at it, sometimes it just feels like being naive, if that makes sense? As far as inspiration, I find myself drawn to contrasts, I like finding the brilliant in the stupid, the beauty in the ugly and the right in the wrong. It's just about being open I guess.

DD: In terms of your fashion line, who do you design for?
Silas Adler: Soulland is my main project and it's my baby. I started the company eight years ago at the age of 17. So it's really a project that I have grown up with. In the beginning, it was about making t-shirts for my skateboard crew. When I moved away from skateboarding, I got more serious – I started to see the brand in terms of the bigger picture and I realised that I wanted to do clothing for a wider variety of people. The best thing is when someone I wouldn't expect to wear my clothing does. The other day one of my friend went to his lawyer and he was wearing Soulland shoes – that's so much fun.

DD: You also make music videos, how do you feel creativity in music ties in with creativity in fashion?
Silas Adler: I started to work on some music video projects with my friend Nikolaj Holm Møller, who's a photographer. We actually started the work by coincidence, but we both found it to be a very interesting media to work in so we decided to do more. Music means a lot to me. I think that a very important difference between the two is that music is an art form and fashion is not, fashion can be a way of expression, but it's not art.

DD: What do you think of the Danish music / fashion scenes?
Silas Adler: Denmark is a very small country and that has a big effect on both scenes. I have never been that into Danish music in general, so maybe I'm the wrong person to ask. I think that many Danish musicians are trying to sound international instead of trying to embrace their Danish and Scandinavian heritage, and I think that's a shame, but there are of naturally a lot of good Danish artists like Rosa Lux, When Saints Go Machine, Mass, MFS and Ohland. Again, fashion is under the small country spell, but Denmark has played an active role in the rise of Scandinavian fashion and design that has been buzzing around the world the last couple of years. People dress very well in Copenhagen and I think there is a lot of talent there.

DD: What influenced your designs for the Tartelet Records releases?
Silas Adler: I have been a fan of symbolism for a long time. I Just liked the idea of creating a sharp profile with a system. The symbols I made for the label get a life when the record turns around. I like when you can put some life in something as still as graphic design. The last cover I did was the art work for Kenton Slash Daemon. On that one, I cut out circular pictures from books for a week and made a collage.

DD: What's next?
Silas Adler: We are working on the presentation of our autumn/winter 2010 collection. We have been doing fashion shows in Copenhagen for the last five seasons. This time we are doing something else with someone else. The collection is inspired by Scandinavian Nature and it's going to be interesting to do an alternative to a show. Apart from that, we are doing a collaboration with the photographer Jacob Holdt. We're making three t-shirts with prints from his book American Pictures from the 70s. The book is a masterpiece and it's an honour to work with him. All the money from the sale of the book is going to the Aids Foundation and the launch will be on December 1, which is World Aids Day – giving to someone in need is this year's Christmas action.
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