“Growing up there was a constant influx of natural elements which influenced my artistic way of looking at the world,” says Central Saints Martins graduate Fredrik Tjærandsen, referring to his native Norway. “I developed a unique attention to light and form.”
Using fashion as a vehicle for his ideas, the designer picked up the L’Oréal Professionnel Young Talent Award in 2019 for his BA graduate collection, Moments of Clarity. A series of balloon-like dresses that deflated mid-runway, the collection provoked cheers from the audience and subsequently went viral online. “It was my vision executed to the fullest,” Tjærandsen recalls of the collection’s debut. “The emotional connection that work had with the audience was fulfilling, how it was presented and documented was exactly as I’d hoped.” Earlier this year, he was invited to stage a second display at the V&A.
Tjærandsen now has ambitions to build on this initial acclaim, operating as an independent artist. “(I want) to be able to work self-sufficiently and enjoy creative freedom, creating a business that allows me to explore my vision for years to come,” he explains. “I want to work in alignment with my values, keeping the integrity of the message and content I create.”
What issues or causes are you passionate about and why?
Fredrik Tjærandsen: I’m passionate about equality among all people and about global climate issues that have been an afterthought for previous generations. I am ready to be responsible in this world now, and reflect this in all aspects of what I do as an artist and designer.
How do you want to influence the future?
Fredrik Tjærandsen: I feel the way I have developed working is based on my intuition and my gut feeling towards things. This approach is not only how I develop my projects but also how I direct my path in life. I think that we live in a world that has alienated people from their natural ways of being... I want people to question whether they will feel more connected to the world around them – and with themselves – by buying another disposable consumer good, or if what they are actually craving is being touched on an emotional level. My highest ambition is that my work sparks those discussions and develops new ways of thinking about how we see and perceive the world.
How has the coronavirus outbreak affected you, your work, and/or your community?
Fredrik Tjærandsen: It no longer seemed relevant to create luxury goods or a fashion collection in times where people are struggling on an existential level. More than ever, it is clear that all humans depend on true connection with others and their environment, which is not achieved by buying empty products and mass consumption. It seems absolutely pressing to free our lives from unnecessary materialism and move to a simpler, more meaningful way of sharing work and ‘products’. It is an exciting challenge to redefine my practice so early on.
“It no longer seemed relevant to create luxury goods or a fashion collection in times where people are struggling on an existential level” – Fredrik Tjærandsen
What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?
Fredrik Tjærandsen: I want to use this time now to refocus how my art practice reaches its audience, and how I can create a self-sustaining design business that does not sell physical products and is in line with my values. It will be a long process of research, trial and error, into how the day-to-day business of the practice will actually look. I want to really use this opportunity in my career to redefine how, as a fashion design graduate, I can launch a young brand that does not create any more waste products.
Specifically, I want to challenge how design can look, if it moves away from actual product/fashion design and is expressed through different media that can be presented online. My aim is to create artistic projects that can be shared in a decentralised environment, and build a community that can access my work remotely from all around the world. Now more than ever it seems pressing to free our lives from unnecessary materialism and move to a simpler and more sustainable way of consuming.