Take a stroll through the hallways with the New York duo as they debut their AW15 lookbook and talk furries, cliques and re-enrolling as rule breakers
“Furry subculture, medicine, hospitals, goth punk girls, vampires, Guro Lolita, ball-jointed dolls,” these are a few of design duo Ammerman Schlösberg's favourite things – at least for AW15. Treading deep within the dark side this season, black PVC boots were buckled high, stitching was zigzagged in Bride of Frankenstein fashion, fur was cuffed and purposed into pinstriped tails, and black hair was untamed. It's a turn away from SS15, where the New York-natives tapped into the 00s nostaglia of Paris Hilton's The Simple Life with pink plaids and cherry motifs. “She still loves bows and glitter but she's going through some issues,” Eric Schlösberg told us after their show last month. Honing in on an obsession with Lolita culture, for their lookbook the pair have headed back to school with the intention of doing nothing but breaking rules – they discuss their fascinations with furries, teenage cliques and what we'd find in their AW15 girl’s locker.
What references did you look at for AW15?
Eric Schlösberg: Our AW15 collection references furry fandom, the psych ward at a haunted hospital, traditional Japanese costume, and the Guro Lolita subculture. It sounds like a lot, but something about it makes so much sense to us. Every season we usually pick like four or five main themes that may have nothing to do with one another and blend them together to tell the story we’ve dreamed up.
What fascinates you about Lolita culture?
Elizabeth Ammerman: I think one weird aspect of Lolita is that a subculture so visually independent has rules about their outfits and mannerisms. Blouses must be worn under jumperskirts, hems must be a certain length depending on the type of lolita, and the way you carry yourself must be a certain posture and attitude. I guess it's the fascination with the depths at which they've created their culture.
Why set the lookbook in an elementary school?
Elizabeth Ammerman: We wanted to highlight the angsty goth punk girl aspect of the collection. Similar to hospitals, schools have square rigid institutional control that you either conform to or break the rules. My boyfriend, who shoots all of our lookbooks, went into a two day wormhole of school administration, phone calls for permits and eventually the Principal he had been speaking to just snuck us in after hours.
Eric Schlösberg: There was just something really dark and fucked up about it. It even felt really wrong being there. It was a fun day though. You should have seen the kids' faces when we were walking through the hallways!
“At my fifth grade graduation I said I wanted to be Gucci’s biggest competitor, so we’ll see!” – Eric Schlösberg
What would we find in an Ammerman Schlösberg girl’s locker?
Elizabeth Ammerman: She has a book of shadows/spell book, eyeliner, thigh highs, cigarettes, and all of her text books because she's secretly smart.
Eric Schlösberg: She definitely has her cigarettes, a couple of crystals, her red eyeliner and some glitter, and love notes from the hottest and most popular boy in school – but he keeps it a secret because she’s kind of a freak.
What were you like in school?
Elizabeth Ammerman: Really quiet. My grandma would always say talking to me was like pulling teeth. I was in the 'art-girl-who-dresses weird' clique – which was just me!
Eric Schlösberg: I was kind of exactly like I am now except shorter. I was really nuerotic and anxious, super dramatic, definitely not popular, and addicted to all things pink, glitter, and covered in bows. But my best friend was the most popular girl in school so I sat with the pretty girls. In highschool more people wanted to be my friend because I was gay and it was trending.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Elizabeth Ammerman: A veterinarian originally. I love animals but I passed out in biology class when we had to dissect fetal pigs.
Eric Schlösberg: At my fifth grade graduation I said I wanted to be Gucci’s biggest competitor, so we’ll see (laughs).
Which kids’ TV character would grow up to wear this collection?
Elizabeth Ammerman: Angelica from Rugrats. She's cute and bratty but uses her dark side to always get what she wants.
Eric Schlösberg: Topanga from Boy Meets World. There was something totally naughty about her.
All clothes by Ammerman Schlösberg AW15; photography William Eadon; hair Sean Bennett; make-up Alejandro Calvani; model Alyona Shishmareva at Q Model Management