Malene List Thomsen

The innovative designer talks about her processes and explains her obsession with circles

Fashion Rise
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Malene List Thomsen uses existing objects and ideas to form fresh avenues of interpretation. Graduating from the Central Saint Martins MA, this designer's collection felt industrial yet soft; a contrast achieved with long-line silhouettes crafted in a combination of chamois leather and latex. Astronaut-like structure took form thanks to a black circular motif – a reflection of the designer's fascination with round shapes. List Thomsen spoke to Dazed Digital, elaborating on her influences and sharing her journey.

Dazed Digital: You're from a small town in Denmark. How was that growing up?
Malene List Thomsen:
My journey was not determined by cultural activities but by my own curiosity to explore. I grew up with a lot of freedom, which was very liberating because there was no right and wrong. My main interest was always fashion.

DD: You've been in London for two years. How has the change influenced you?
Malene List Thomsen:
My style has become more conceptual. Since starting at Central Saint Martins I have developed an interest in materials and objects from various fields. I get a true excitement when I discover already existing products with a purpose that can be changed and redefined in a fashion context.

DD: What inspired your graduate collection?
Malene List Thomsen:
My obsession for the ring. My eyes are always caught by anything circular. I found an indefinable rubber ring, which I wanted to assimilate and insert into a surface. It ended up being the defining feature of the collection.

DD: What about artists?
Malene List Thomsen:
I have been quite inspired by the artists Steven Parrino and Angela de la Cruz. I find their simple way of redefining a traditional medium into a new object without losing its reference very clever and delicate.

DD: What materials were involved and why did you choose them?
Malene List Thomsen:
The idea behind the collection was originally dictated by chamois leather, rubber and latex. I then added a dusty black latex as it holds all kind of connotations, open for interpretation.

DD: Can you describe your processes?
Malene List Thomsen:
I build upon a simple silhouette, using objects and materials to define it. My main process is sourcing – I love to find materials everywhere and anywhere. A simple garment can change character entirely, depending on the material used. How far away from its roots can you drag it is up to you.

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