"I make clothes that are bright and have some aspects of playfulness to them" purrs Trine Lindegaard in her soft Danish accent as she stands in in her East London studio and introduces me to her SS13 offering. "I love working with colour and generally like to have fun when I develop a collection." Her words only echo the findings of my eyes as they dart between the frolicsome fabrics. Ever since Lindegaard first came to our attention following her accomplished MA graduate show from the RCA, we've fallen for her sartorial charms thanks to her dynamic palette and light hearted, joyful approach to menswear. SS13 makes us fall that bit deeper.
For SS13, Lindegaard has focused on what she does best; exploring new techniques and textile developments. Lindegaard simply explains the collection as "a colourful collection that celebrates the traditional craftsmanship of Ghanaian fabric weavers whilst adding some sporty elements and of course, the odd bit of embellishment." The collection quickly evolved from an approach from an West African based charity and an introduction to the wonders of their local weavers. Ultimately, the Danish born design talent celebrates their great textile tradition whilst breathing fresh life in their work by mixing it with Western hi-tech materials to achieve a wearable and modern collection.
"It is great to work with in terms of its colour and texture," she explains as she thumbs a sweatshirt. "I try to keep to their traditional patterns but I tweak it a bit in terms of colour combinations and of course using them in an entirely different way." Traditionally hand woven by the Akan tribes in West Africa, the Kenta has a distinctive identity that comes not only from its rich quality, pattern and colour but also its cultural and historical significance. It is an icon of African cultural heritage around the world, Akan Kente is identified by its dazzling, intricate, multicoloured mix of bright hues, geometric shapes, and bold designs. The material is entirely handmade, from the picking of the cotton to the dying of the yarn and ultimately, through to the weaving of the fabrics. Lindegaard worked closely with the Ghanaian fabric weavers for S/S13 in hope to support and raise awareness of this amazing but unfortunately fading craft. "The collection is rooted in these African fabrics. I wanted to take them away from their traditional use, the wraparound dresses and headpieces, and their links to social status. I wanted to make them more accessible but still keep the traditional influences. I've used a lot of technical fabrics and dying throughout to keep it fresh."
On a grey November morning the sight of this collection was just what we needed. We were transported to a different world. It left the pulses of our eyes racing and our enthusiasm was reignited with the recent delivery of the Ivona Chrzastek shot look book. Feast on the vivid visuals of the look book and get drunk from our own detail shots....
Look book credits: Shot by Ivona Chrzastek with styling by Naz Di Nicola & Kusi Kub
Dazzled all over again. Given the timing of my visit, Trine Lindegaard's mind was caught between the production of this collection and designing AW13. A designer has to be a multi tasker and with various projects in the works, this Lindegaard is a fine plate spinner. I'll leave you with a glimpse in to the future thanks to the excited words from the designer herself.
"I'm taking elements of this season forward to next and I've also been working with a charity called Fine Cell Work. They train prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework which is undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells. They've been around for fifteen years or so, they do amazing cross stitching with prisoners. All of the guys are young and tough, as you'd expect, but they hand embroider cushions, it's so strange. I'm working on product development with them. It's great working with them and I'm excited to see how it all develops." Her enthusiasm for textile development is infectious. We share Lindegaard's excitement and can't wait to see this design talent continue to develop before our wanting eyes.