Ostwald Helgason on Soviet Sensibilities
Ostwald Helgason have said that their SS15 collection was inspired by co-founder Susanne Ostwald’s upbringing in Soviet-controlled East Germany, an influence that was quite clear amongst the spread of designs that were both immaculately presented and charmingly homemade. Domesticity ruled the day as models strutted in a mélange of attire that conjured visions of the past, such as yarn woven flower power skirts, lusciously sheened house coats, and silky shift dresses that were the quintessence of 1960s mod. The presentation was so pitch perfect that we weren’t even alarmed when we saw outfits that were pure summer camp realness, in fact we’re ready to hop on that train. We were so enraptured by the nostalgic yet effortlessly modern vision of the collection that we just had to run backstage and get a quick word with the designers themselves.
How would you describe this season’s collection in one sentence?
It’s seeing using that prism of Susan’s upbringing in East Germany to reflect and reinterpret what our brand’s about.
From Warhol to Koons to Mondrian, I see a lot of diverse artistic influences. How much does art inform your clothes?
Usually a lot. Because we love it to kind of kickstart things. As well as being a part of pop culture, kind of the symbols of our times in a way. So our goal is an artsy goal, taking things that we love into the collection to edit your life in a way, you can carry around your favorite writers and artists.
Are runway shows more stressful or more exciting for you?
They’re different, very different. You can tell the story much better, because there’s the run through of the girls rather than just one visual impact which is what you’re doing in a presentation. With the runway you have everything, the music, and you can really just tell the story. But of course you can get it wrong as well, so it’s more stressful in that respect.
If you could dress anyone alive or dead who would it be?
We’ve been very fortunate already with the girls that have worn our clothes. And every time we see someone wearing it it’s just such an amazing thing for us, so I don’t know if we have anyone in particular. We feel blessed enough already.