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Fashion's New Optimism: Lars Paschke

An Antwerp grad who doesn't believe in the idea of a fashion idol and would be a cook if he wasn't a fashion designer.

Lars Paschke, 25, German, Menswear/Accessories
Where did you study and why did you decide to study there?
Gender Studies/ Religion at Humboldt University, Berlin. Then fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp. The show and the point of view how to educate fashion convinced me. One is focused on the credibility of each single student.

Which city do work in and for what reason?
Usually I work in Antwerp, since I study here.

What films/books/tv-programs/moments and stories inspire your design now?
It’s these three little sentences by Louise Bourgeois that caught my attention again:
I do.
I undo.
I redo.
Other references:
The image chaos.
The cleaning up.
The renovation of Eastern Europe.
`Traum vom Gesichtertausch' (`Dream Of Trading Faces') a poem by Erich K‰stner.
`Das blanke Wesen' (`The Blank Being') a poem by Thomas Brasch.

In your own words describe your last collection.
Metaphysical questions about the unawareness in our modern society were the starting point for my last year’s collection. Questions like 'Is there too much information?' or 'Am I trapped inside a world of archetypical symbols?'
Rejecting the overload of information and distraction that we are facing in everyday life led to a propagation of a simplified lifestyle.  Naivity/Rurality/Naturality/Isolation became keywords of the collection and manifest an awakening from hibernation (distraction/information chaos/tradition/education).
Choices of fabric, shape, color and styling fetishised these terms. They contain the value and commonly associated characteristics of the propagated idea.
Only natural fibers were used for the creation of the garments (cotton, wool, hand coated and hand painted linen, leather), the shape for the jackets resulted from draping/wrapping studies of blankets around the body.
Natural tones (shades of brown and ochre) were combined in the silhouettes with naive primary colors (red/blue/yellow).
The models were wearing wooden beaded beards, which on one hand work as jewellery and on the other hand as a key object for the collection; finally it became impossible to create fashion for a natural man. All naturality, even that of body hair, in the end became accessory.

Describe the moment you realised you wanted to be a fashion designer?
I decided to work in fashion, not necessarily as a fashion designer. The decision arose from a chain of biographical happenings and cannot be exactly located. I am interested in the vague theories, the collective unconsciousness and the patterns of consumption, the institutional influence/education and the constant change of aesthetics.

Who is your all time fashion idol?
I am afraid there is none. The idol’s importance seems to be temporary. Our view on the past and its characters changes with our approach to the present. Today I say there is none.

In a sentence how would you describe your work/style?
Let’s describe it reworking my view on the present approach to life/culture and my rising and falling excitement/interest for colour combinations/structures/shapes. I do not see the style. I am too involved in the work. Anyway I think that this is as well the job you have as a designer; to avoid as many references to any certain style as possible.

Which new designers do you respect and why?
All of them.

If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
If I could I would like to go to the future to experience something radical, something that would happen after the local new fashion designers for the upcoming elite, something for the masses, a new concept of consumption.
I am dreaming, because it sounds very unlikely to happen. Most likely the new poverty in Western Europe will influence the patterns of consumption.

If you could get any model/ anyone to wear your clothes, who would it be - who is your muse and why?
Today I say Ariel Pink, John Maus and the guys of Black Dice. They reflect my awakened interest in the beautiful chaos and the primal stupor; some sort of new sensitivity. I would prefer to just see them coincidentally wearing my clothes though. It’s like an unexpected kiss.

If you were to shoot your campaign and you could get your dream team of photographer, stylist, and model and do anything you wanted, who and what would it be?
Today I say I would not so much be interested in a photo shoot, more an illustration, something abstract maybe. If I could I would love to ask Johan Hauser, but I can’t.

Where do you see yourself/your label for A/W 09?
I do not even know where I see myself next week.

Where do you see yourself/ your label for A/W 29?

If you weren’t a fashion designer what would you be?
A cook.