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Kim Traeger's Run-over Rabbit

Adorned with fluffy bunny ears, the Danish designer's eerie models rock up in soft bobbled cotton pieces and fantastical knitted creations

Kim Traeger grew up on a farm in the south of Denmark. After serving at Hussar Battalion of the Royal Danish Army and working in a kinder garden he moved to London to try his luck in fashion. A Central Saint Martin’s graduate, Kim Traeger talks to Dazed Digital about his collection, based on a grim and surreal tale of a day that changed one rabbit’s life.

Dazed Digital: You final collection is based on a story of a rabbit, can you tell us about it?
Kim Traeger: The story is about a rabbit that was driven over by a car when it was crossing a road at night. When it stands up with its intestines in the paws, it realises that it is the Easter Bunny. We follow the bunny from the accident to the hospital where it was patched together and then to the white forest. My idea was to create a feeling that would be macabre and cute at the same time.

I try to come up with these stories, first of all to have a bit of fun, but also to get inspired in different ways. It allows me to research broader spectra of things, which I can play around with and combine in different ways.

DD: The colour white is very important in your collection…
Kim Traeger: I chose the colour white because it goes nicely with the hospital feeling but also to achieve a balance. I love texture; I wanted my collection to be as packed as possible with different textures and techniques, at the same time I wanted to keep it quite slick and white allowed to do that.  

DD: Was it your love for texture that attracted you to knitwear?
Kim Traeger: I chose knitwear not because I especially loved it, but because I saw it as an opportunity to do more varied work, to have more techniques available. Luckily the course at CSM is pretty relax about weather you knit or not but you have the facilities to learn about it and use it.

DD: You were one of the last few who graduated from CSM historic building on Charing Cross road, what did you learn there?
Kim Traeger: I learned to smoke cigarettes, but apart from that I’m not sure what else. I guess that Saint Martin’s, in a way, is so basic that you’re allowed to do and experience whatever you want. There are some facilities where you can go and ask for help, but no one really gives you a definite solution to your problem. Tutors always encourage you to try things out, which in the end always fail miserably, but then it might lead to something new and exciting. One thing you learn at CSM is that there aren’t any fancy machines that will do the work for you, you have to do everything yourself.

DD: What are your plans for the future?
Kim Traeger: I’ve been very lucky that I had a job waiting for me in Paris at Josephus Thimister.  I have also been accepted at the CSM MA, which I can’t afford. At the moment I am looking into different possibilities. My future plan is definitely to start my own brand, take the directions and choose the ideas I believe in. For me if a garment doesn’t have anything new, it doesn’t make sense to make it. I would like to make clever and saleable clothes, to be able to explore concepts and techniques but still have a commercial aim.

Text by Oleg Mitrofanov