The Androgynous Human

The young Danish designer breaks the boundaries between the male and the female

FashionRise
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    Text by Rachel Walsh

    Does Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug know what it feels like for a girl? The young Dane’s graduate offering, The Androgynous Human, dresses a confused being, ensnared in the gender divide. He contrasts soft feathers and fur with iron and plastic knits. Japanese steam treatments and pyramid shoes give the boy-girl conflict a futuristic look. This is his first collection, set to debut at the Kolding School of Design’s BA show during Copenhagen Fashion Week in August.

    DD: What inspired The Androgynous Human?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: I started out with Marilyn Manson as a muse. I was inspired by his song texts and the fashion elements of his videos. I had an idea that it had to be futuristic. Not that wearable but more a comment on not feeling like a man or a woman.



    DD: Can you see women wearing this collection too?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: Some of the collection, absolutely, but I think people often mistake androgynous fashion for unisex fashion. Really, you can easily be a heterosexual guy and have a sexual life but feel like a woman inside.



    DD: Tell me about the materials and techniques you employed.
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: I used iron, 3-D materials, wool, fur, stretch jersey, mohair, a Japanese steam treatment called Shibuya which gives the material a 3-D look  and transparent materials such as plastic knitwear. These are materials which give the collection a lot of energy through their qualities.

    DD: Would you wear the clothes yourself?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: Yes I would, some for everyday. But it is not important for me to make clothes for myself. The most important thing is to show what is possible and what isn’t.

    DD: Why did you choose a monochrome colour palette?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: My choice of palette comes from another inspiration source, the writer and artist Günter Grass. He worked with surfaces a lot in his art, as well as the colours white, grey and black.

    DD: Was it more important to make your first collection wearable or a statement?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: It was important for me to make a collection with a wide range of elements. I wanted to make a statement through showpieces, materials and techniques (handmade knitwear, Shibuya, 3D materials, iron, feathers) - but also some more basic elements, such as jeans, a blazer, tank tops and shirts.

    DD: Tell me about the shoes.
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: Günter Grass describes androgyny as an installation that human beings can’t get out of. You just stay in it and look at the world but can’t quite understand it because of this confusion about being a man or a woman, while in the same body. You’re just standing in the installation – which is your body – and you can’t move. That is the point of the shoes.

    DD: They look like pyramids…
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: That was also inspired by Marilyn Manson. The way he “made himself up” was to take Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson and put the two together. This makes a triangle. I would be really sad if someone saw Marilyn Manson in my clothing, though. I just brought some elements of his universe into my work. I’m not making fashion for him.

    DD: Who are you making fashion for?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: When I sit down to design I don’t have a specific person in mind. Maybe I will in time but I’m still developing. The person who buys my clothes would probably be very confident about his sexuality. They appeal to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. There are a lot of transparent materials which clearly show who you are and what you are.

    DD: What’s next for you?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: I am starting my internship at Christian Dior womenswear after the summer.

    DD: Will you continue working on your own collections?
    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug: I’m going to concentrate on Dior and try to get as much out of it as possible. I’m really looking forward to starting there.



    Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug can be reached at kongshaug1@hotmail.com

    All Clothes By Kristoffer Guldager Kongshaug
    Photographer: Jacob Keinicke
    Model: Niklas Källman (Mikas model management, Stockholm)
    Hair & Makeup: Malin Sixtensson
    Assistant: Michael Roloff

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