Nicolas Andreas Taralis Womenswear S/S11

The Toronto-born designer continues his exploration of artisinal expression in black

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Helmut Lang archive mining is still floating in the air for S/S11 and whilst Nicolas Andreas Taralis would be the natural candidate to do a bit of that mining, having learnt from the man himself at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, instead, he paves his own path in bleak and black exploration by using traditional, tailored garments as a starting point. From the rigorous codes of hand tailoring which Taralis has come to be known for, for S/S11 he explored the idea of street tribes which meant ensembles that balanced the covered up and the undone. V-shaped open backs, square panel mesh, sheer fabrics, rips at hips, and long tees trailing with suspender-esque straps never went into lewd territory when controlled in the hands of Taralis. A distressed treatment of fabrics also held this balance in place, one which he stresses to us as being key to his aesthetic.

Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for the collection?
Nicolas Andreas Taralis:
It was really a continuation from the last collection. I never really change things in a big way each season. I was really thinking about traditional garments. It's always coming from really sartorial attitude especially in structured tailoring - I was always very interested in hand made tailoring. It's this idea of interesting, traditional garments which led me to think of folk.

DD: How did folk play into the collection?
Nicolas Andreas Taralis:
Folk is an expression of a certain tribe and then I was thinking of certain tribes, like tribes today and street culture. Then I was trying to mix that with a certain artisanal or couture sensibility. It evolves in a very natural way for me - all these things come together in an unreferential way though I think this collection was probably my most referential to date, especially with the Byzantine looking silhouette.

DD: Tell us a little bit about the fabrics especially when you are only playing with one colour in the collection.
Nicolas Andreas Taralis:
The most difficult thing and most important part for me is simply the fabric choices. I tried this season to use as little as possible so I did different things to the fabrics such as washing, treating them, spraying them or using salt water dyes. In contrast, I used these treated fabrics with something sharp and clean. I like that equilibrium between something sharp and graphic and something a bit off or badly treated. There's a beauty in that tension. It's far more interesting to work on something with delicate codes to play around with rather than the obvious.

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