Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Interview with Carola Euler

Carola Euler is one of most exciting talents designing menswear today and we were fortunate enough to steal a few moments with her. If the designer has slipped you by (seriously where have you been?) but here is a quick bio: Carola Euler was born in Germany and studied dressmaking and tailoring in her home town of Gie├čen. She moved to London in 1999 to study a course in fashion design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. In March 2005 she was awarded an M.A, by which time she had already worked for designers such as Alexander McQueen, Alfred Dunhill, Jonathan Saunders, Raf Simons and Kim Jones.

Euler's collection took over bStore who have been fans of the designers work. ‘I was inspired by the idea of what a 16-year-old boy would buy if he suddenly came into lots of money,’ says Euler. ‘That kind of naive approach to luxury dressing.’

What drove you to become a menswear designer?
The opposite of peer pressure. Nearly everybody was opting for womenswear in college and I felt very special being one of 2 girls studying menswear.

How would you describe your work?
Irony, Surrealism, Sports and Sex. I am serious in a subtle, ironic way.

You only graduated from Central Saint martins in 2005? How have the last few years gone?
Very fast and furious. A lot of work, fun, pain and joy. Three moves from London to Stockholm to my small hometown in Germany and finally to Berlin. I met all sorts of people and have done some fun collaborations. It was never boring, that's for sure.

Euler's second line - Carola Euler Stills

Can you tell us about your latest collection?
For SS2009 we launched our second line, CAROLA EULER STILLS - a self-contained jersey collection of t-shirts, tanks, sweaters and cardigans. I always wanted to do more jerseys – I love jerseys - but unfortunately there is only so much space for it in a mainline. We finally gave that idea attention and are very pleased with the result and the amazing response we got for it, so consequently this will be a constant collection from now on running alongside the main collection, complementing each season.
This first season we concentrated on offering that 'special t-shirt' that doesn't rely on print as so many t-shirt labels do, but on cut, colour, silhouette and detail without being fuzzy or overly expensive – jerseys that can be dressed up or down.

There is constant sense of humour embedded within the themes of your work, aside from humour what inspires you as a designer?
Thank you very much, I am happy this is palpable without sticking a post-it on it. I also like repetition, mass-produced single use products, ridiculously expensive individualism, the vicious boy-at-heart and deep male voices singing monotonously.

Is there an Carola Euler man/muse?
The past few seasons it started to be the idea of a certain man or group of men that don't but could exist. Who they are and what they do varies with each collection but I observed they all tend to be highly self-confident bordering on arrogant with an eye for a kind of luxury that is just as virtual as they are. The setting changes, the sports according to season but they all have a hint of American psycho and could be cast offs of each other - quite homogeneous and interchangeable in an aggressive way. All sexy and rich. Give the impression you can buy them in a pack of 10.

How do you feel about the rising interest in menswear? Which fellow designers to you admire?
I hope it's making men feel less insecure to be interested in a 'chick' thing like fashion. I think men want to appear style confident without looking they ever spent ages thinking about it. But very few can do that, I can't do that for my part – so it's good they get a little help by the men's fashion magazines they can hide from their girl-friends and mates afterwards.
I admire Helmut Lang and Raf Simons – not so much fellows, rather icons.

What would you like to achieve?
The perfect show. I am not stopping before I have done that and if it kills me or any of my assitants. To make it sound more dramatic.

Finally, What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more men wore?
None, but there are some I wished they wouldn't wear, e.g. fully ribbed zip ups in beige, tops with lacing on slit necklines, jeans with crazy washings. Still very popular in some regions.


TheSundayBest said...

Hard not to agree with the things one shouldn't wear. Fully-ribbed anythings in beige are pretty deadly, and crazy washes are..we...crazy.

Style Salvage Steve said...

EJ reminds me that I used to wear a pair of badly washed jeans...I wish her memory wasn't as good as it was!

Anonymous said...

the reliance on print mentioned is something i find incredibly frustrating; i'm just not that into print/graphic design on a t-shirt. this might make me sound about a thousand years old, but when dealing with high street fashion especially it just seems to encourage laziness in both design and dress.

Giancinephile said...

It's rather very interesting to see women taking an interest in menswear one of which is Carola Euler among the likes of Siv Stoldal and Ute Ploier. It's rather very intriguing to get into their own perspective.

Ian Brown said...

Graphic tees are just lazy. They are a pathetic attempt at edginess, a poor approximation of rock and roll.

I would hope men would dress up more in earnest. There is very little sense of refinement and class in men's casual wear. There is a difficulty walking the wire between energetic youthfulness and mature detail. Euler is doing a great job, I think.

StyleSalvage said...

roscoe - I agree that too many t shirts depend on prints but unfortunately these really sell on the high street. I wish more designers wanted to approach this wardrobe staple in an interesting new way (just like Euler).
giancinephile - I've been meaning to post about the number of female designers creating great menswear, they really are elading the field.
ian brown - There is hope! An increasing number of men are looking to buy into more refined casual wear.

Anonymous said...

Damn interesting Carola works with new materials now. Damn interesting it will be more disturbing, fresher and it will hit to the bone. If you are good in what you do, you should be groundbreaking. I expect nothing less. Already perfect in making the difference in what looks easy, i´m awaiting what can become of if she let her mind flow free.


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