Alexander Mattsson

Transformers-inspired menswear by the Swedish designer.

Fashion Rise
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Alexander Mattsson was born in Gothenburg in 1984 and moved to England in 2004 to embark on his Menswear BA at Rochester University. He graduated in 2007 and has since gone on to do an MA in Menswear at the RCA. His BA collection, "Exoskeletron", was inspired by Transformers, "a big childhood obsession of mine". "I think a collection should be an extension of the designer's personality and aesthetic," he says, "and I can truly say that 'Exoskeletron' is an extension of me and my sense of style." With such an exciting, futuristic approach to menswear, the future looks very exciting for for Mattsson: his MA collection is sure to be one of the highlights of the RCA graduate show next June, and he is potentially one of the top new menswear talents of 2008.
 
How long have you been designing?
Ive been drawing since 2002, but i have been making/customising clothes since I could reach the pedal of the sewing machine! I still find little embroideries I made from when I was like five.
 
Where are you based?
Hackney and Oslo.

Why menswear?
 
Menswear because male style has a lot left to explore. Also my designs are greatly rooted in my personal taste (what I would like to wear and how it makes me feel). I do dabble in a bit of womanswear too, but it is born from the menswear, only in smaller sizes and more feminine cuts.
 
How would you describe your style?
Alien, fractal, hard, soft, angular, structured, organic, and apocalyptic.
 
What inspires you at the moment?
Testosterone-fuelled brutes and Latin American gangs like MS13.
 
Were you interested in fashion when you were growing up?
Growing up I was obsessed with clothes, but not so much in a "fashionable" way. I was and still am interested in clothes made for another purpose than fashion. I was interested in the feeling you get of putting on a state-of-the-art water-proof Helly Hansen sailing suit when out sailing, or a nice hi-tech Burton Gore Tex jacket when out snowboarding. No matter how much you refine and distill these principles I think this is the raw essence of menswear.
 
What was your favourite outfit from your youth?
Bodybuilder baggy pants (black with a printed shark with a dumbbell in his mouth) with a white T-shirt with a pin up girl in a bikini posing in front of a motocross bike, and a Mighty Ducks E17 style hat!
 
What are your plans now?
I'm at RCA now doing menswear! It's hard, but fun! It has really developed my work so far as you are constantly encouraged to evolve your work and expertise.
 
Who are your favourite designers?
Thierry Mugler (a complete showman with an amazing aesthetic taste) and Jean-Pierre Braganza (a pattern-cutting genius who thoroughly lives his vision).
 
Can you ever see yourself having your own label?
Before I'm 30 hopefully! Even though seeing all these amazing London designers struggling to make ends meet isn't very encouraging.
 
What are your plans for the future?
Graduate again, get a job, meet a lovely girl (preferably a heavily-tattooed professional skater with a French accent), get my own studio, start my own label, do really well, sell the company retire and die.
 
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
In my studio in London havinh a beer, cutting a pattern, sewing some trousers, listening to music, having a chat. That old chestnut.
 
Can we buy your collection anywhere?
Not yet. My RCA graduation collection will be out in 2009, when I graduate. 

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