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Malene List Thomsen

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

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.