Monday, 13 July 2009

Style Salvage Speaks to... Asger Juel Larsen

The recent GFW and various graduate shows reminded us all that there is so much young talent out there in the UK and there is little better than discovering the emerging talent. Though the LCF press show was disappointingly low on menswear (where was our good friend John Howard Little?), Asger Juel Larsen shone through with his take on modern chain mail. Larsen created a modern adaption of armour by producing 'futuristic' ideas of chain mail using alternative materials such as leather, PVC and rubber cords. We wanted to find out more about the designer and his impressive graduate collection so we asked him a few question about his time at LCF and his hopes for the future...

Asger's modern take on chain mail was the highlight of the LCF Grad Show. Photography by Ellis Scott

Style Salvage: Describe the moment you realized you wanted to be a menswear designer?
Asger Juel Larsen: I have always been interested with how men and women dress. The exact time I cannot remember but it has always been there in the back of my mind.

SS: What attracted you to LCF in the first place?
AJL: It is their historical approach to combine sharp tailoring and at the same time still be able to be experimental.

SS: What was the best thing about your course? And the worst?
AJL: The best and the worst thing go hand in hand. The third year was an absolutely amazing learning process for me by literally working my ass off and having a great design teacher in Tom Adams to push me even further in my ideas. That has without a doubt made me the designer I am today. The worst thing might has been the bickering between the students and teachers rather than just getting on with their work.

The glasses saw Asger collaborate with his good friend Mauricio Stein

SS: Aside from your own, which was your favorite of the graduate collections?

AJL: There were so many great menswear collections this year, and if I had been in the jury I would have picked at least 7 menswear students to go to the press show. To mention a few I really liked Cherry May De La Cruz’s collection featuring three dimensional boning. Another collection that caught my eye was Dandan Zhang’s white collection with extreme proportions and voluminous shoulders and collars.

SS: What next? Do you have any aspirations to pursue an MA?
AJL: I have a lot of stuff going on right now. Some I can talk about and some I can’t. I got picked to show my collection at the Mittelmoda fashion Award in Italy in September and I might do my MA at LCF this fall. I will keep working on my own collections so hopefully there will be a spring/ summer collection 2010.

SS: Describe your graduate collection in your own words?
AJL: Essentially it is a mirror image of me. The collection is very masculine and heavy, both in my silhouette and the materials I have used. If I had not chosen to study menswear fashion I would probably have studied war history or costume design. My collection has gone through solid research into materials and the historical era of the medieval knights. Paco Rabanne’s use of alternative materials was also a big inspirational source. When everything is said I find it very important that the feeling inside is right and the collection looks amazing.

SS: Your modern take on armour saw you use alternative materials such as leather, PVC and rubber cords; was it difficult working with these materials? How much did your chain mail top weigh?
AJL: It’s funny you ask because it was actually very hard and very time consuming to work with. Every evening/night in the first term I made my metal chain mail. The next term I knitted my rubber cord amour and in the last term I did my PVC/leather cord top. 2 bottles of baby talcum powder was used to knit the rubber cord amour. My chain mail top weighs 20 kg and was probably not the most wearable piece for the models to wear during the shows.

SS: What advice would you give a prospective menswear fashion student?
AJL: You only get what you put into it. No matter what you do, work hard!

SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
AJL: I don’t think it is a fashion moment but I would love to have experienced the last Coronation of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II. It’s the most elaborate event I mostly admire in recent history.

SS: What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
AJL: Men these days are becoming more and more fashion conscious than before, so at the moment, I do like the progress of what men try to wear daringly lately.

SS: What would you like to achieve in 2009 and beyond?
AJL: Career wise I would like to see how far I can push my graduate collection. Personally I would like to go on some silly vacation to Mallorca or Grand Canaria and relax by the pool, drink cheesy drinks and relax my mind.

SS: What's the one question you wish people asked you but you've never had the opportunity to answer?
AJL: It would be the questions people didn’t ask.

SS: Lastly, have you got any recommendations that you'd like to share with our readers?
Givenchy is the future, and keep an eye out for the photographer Ellis Scott (who took these great images for the look book).


John said...

Great photographs, I love this collection so much. Great job Asger!

Anonymous said...

I must say that this collection has potential to start a worldwide trip for AJL.
Wish you all the best - Good luck!
And amazing pics by Ellis Scott...

Fanboy said...

Breathtaking designs and shots.

asger juel larsen said...

Thanks for the great respons.
John, I loved your collection as well. Especially your lazercut trousers. AJL

Cillian said...

Great interview, another truly spectacular find.

Also, major props re: the site refurbishment - every inch the style-bible.


dapper kid said...

What a wonderful interview. I would happily put up with the 20kg for that beautiful chainmail piece...just expect me to be sitting down at every given opportunity lol. And I would totally love to see his MA collection in the near future!

Robbie said...

I always love Ellis' work but this designer is new to me, the chain mail looks amazing


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