Ravensbourne 2011: Emma Andersson

We speak to the Swedish fashion graduate about her first collection titled 'How to Find Yourself by an e-How Contributor' fusing gothic black elements with a sporty theme

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Recently graduating from Womenswear Fashion Design at Ravensbourne this 2011, Swedish designer Emma Eddy Andersson learnt her trade interning at the likes of Meadham Kirchhoff and Lina Österman / Pudel, alongside patterncutting for Beyond Retro and blogging for online Swedish fashion magazines. This June, she presented her graduate collection curiously entitled, called ‘How to Find Yourself by an e-How Contributor’, based on the idea of burgeoning teenage angst between childhood and adult life. Playing on a sadness and hopefulness, her wholly black collection emanates a gothic theme, juxtaposing delicate lace veils with more sporty materials in oversized balloon shapes. We speak to Andersson about her future plans after graduation and what’s she’s learnt over the process…

Dazed Digital: How and when did fashion first interest you?
Emma Andersson:
I don’t know to be honest. Where I grew up there was nothing like art, fashion or design to talk about. You either played football or went horse-riding, got kids when you were 20 and worked in the grocery shop for the rest of your life.
But I remember at some point in school we voted about the idea of introducing school uniforms. I told them that a school uniform would take away the best half an hour of my day; when I get dressed in the morning. Everyone thought I was mad. But it was the best time of my day, and quite often it still is.
 
DD: Have your interests always been focused on fashion?

Emma Andersson: I guess not. I think I’ve tried every sport and every musical instrument. I wanted to do politics, I wanted to write books… But I guess somewhere fashion has followed me in my everyday life. You get dressed every day and you make choices about clothes everyday. And I still enjoyed it. When I'd tried out and get bored of everything else, fashion was still there as my main interest, just that I didn’t realise that you actually can work with it until I started to meet people that actually did.
 
DD: What are the concepts behind your graduate collection?

Emma Andersson: The collection is called ‘How to find yourself by an eHow contributor’ and it all started off when I saw teenagers using eHow, Yahoo answers and other similar sites to get peoples advices about what to do with their own lives and how to treat their depressions. Based on those answers from random people on internet, where anyone is able to give their advice, I wanted to create a collection showing a desperate attempt that failed. A sadness, hopefulness, naiveness and childishness that turned into an apathetic but beautiful decadence when everything has already been tried and nothing really mattered anymore.
 
DD: What was the greatest lesson you learnt at Ravensbourne?
Emma Andersson: That I can do whatever I want to, as long as I know why I want to do it.
 
DD: Describe your own aesthetic/style and for your designs...
Emma Andersson: I’ve always been a collector and I think that has shown quite clearly in my collection as well. Many different materials, texture and proportions together build up an intense but beautiful outfit. Depending on how you choose to put them together, and the context they are put in, you can twist around and confuse the viewer’s whole experience. I easily get bored, restless and want to try something new. Both in my own way to dress and my collection gives the opportunity to do that.
 
Who would be your ideal icon to wear your clothes?

Emma Andersson: I don’t have a dream customer or an ideal icon for my clothes. All my layers of garments are made to make everyone be able to find their way to experience the collection and express themselves through it whatever life they live.
Every wearer will put their own experiences and feelings into the clothes and that is when the pieces really get life, whoever this person is.
 
DD: Which designers do you admire and why?

Emma Andersson: I admire everyone who manages to do exactly what they want and make it work for a living. It is such a hard industry and the biggest talent and hardest work lies in to do what you want and not settle for less.
 
DD: What future projects are you working on now?

Emma Andersson: My next step is to find this golden way to be able continue to do this, but still get enough money to survive.
I’m working on a few things at the moments and in August I’m going to Sweden to show my collection at Fashion 12 that is a new concept to support new designers during Stockholm Fashion Week.

Photos by Rosa Rendl

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