>> On the back of my RA visit, not only did it affirm why my clothes must mostly consist of permanent fun, but I also found myself a new face to talk up through one of the shop assistants there.  Well I didn't technically speak to Damien Fredriksen Ravn as I was left alone to shop (service just how I like it – leave me to browse peacefully and I'll buy something eventually!), but he did email me later to say that he's a fledgling designer.  Music to my ears as I've been short on new NEW names on the blog lately.  Ravn isn't a complete stranger though as I vaguely remember his graduate collection featured in the "Fashion's New Optimism" issue of Dazed & Confused, back in December 2008 when I was still working there.

He has come on leaps and bounds though since his time at the Royal Academy in Antwerp although he is still obsessed with technical fabrics and a retrofuture aesthetic.  Take this linear sketch here.  It was for a uniform that Ravn had designed for the staff at the Interieur design biennale in Kortrijk in Belgium.  Interieur has had a rich tradition of commissioning forward thinking outfits for its staff with the likes of Issey Miyake, Stephen Schneider and Walter van Beirendonck all contributing uniforms to the biennale.  Ravn won a competition to literally Dress a Host(ess)! and he came up with raw-edged unisex tunics inspired by the Interieur logo.  Using 3D spacer material, a breathable neoprene/foam replacement more commonly used in sportswear and lingerie he prints a triangle pattern on it and then uses metallic polyurethane to work a believable kangaroo storage pouch into the front.  Essentially Ravn has delivered a highly visually stimulating t-shirt with skirts and shorts in black coated jersey.  Oh, and the staff were made to wear Underground Wulfrun creepers (they were tested beforehand for wearability) to complete the spacey-teddy look.  It makes you think whether more innovative fabric choices or design details could infiltrate the many workplaces that we encounter on a daily basis, where uniforms are required.  

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Ravn was inspired to use similar fabrics from his Interieur uniform experience and incorporate them into his S/S 13 collection titled "BEN.NA".  He once again worked with the Belgian company Liebaert, which has a long history of producing fabrics for lingerie and technical textiles for use in medical, sports and science fields.  He's used the neoprene-replacement 3D spacer again and has experimented with bonding it with silk velvets to give this slippery fabric structure and depth.  Laser cut-leather and pastel coloured latex represent the harder armour-esque elements of this texturally rich collection.  On the flipside of spacer tech, Ravn has also handwoven silk velvet and antique ribbons into loose kimono tops as well as hand sewing bias tape into seams for a fine finish.  It's a collection that pulls back and forth between soft and hard, especially as the hues of silverscreen metallic coated jersey contrast with the Elastoplast pink of the bonded jackets and latex pieces.  The Austrian Meisterwerke der Hofjagd und R√ºstkammer (Masterpieces of Arms and Armour) is the root of the collection although with such a direct inspiration source, Ravn has done well not to reflect medieval armour too literally in his collection.  Metallic leather collars, iPad clutches and special silver Wulfrun creepers from Underground with a black patent ankle strap complete this collection showing shine and promise that designers are out there, really investigating the possibilities of materials that are out there and not just looking at the tried and tested solutions.  On a side note, I love that shoe companies like Underground, who produce in sizeable quantities are willing to take a punt on young designers, making their creeper dreams come true by doing custom designs.  I'm the last person on Earth that needs another pair of creepers but it wouldn't hurt to try these silver bad boys on for size.  

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Comments (9)

  1. Rhoda Wong says:

    i love the shape of these designs! the fabric also looks really good!
    http://www.styleandshades.blogspot.com

  2. Kasia says:

    Boldly, good inspiration it makes you desire to paint shoes with silver colour !
    http://kukumag.com/en

  3. Susann Akers says:

    My first thought when I looked at the Ravn collection was …” no wonder that man looks so miserable” but then it got me thinking. Most workwear supplied by companies for their staff consist of cheap polo shirts with an embroidered company logo and it looks scruffy. Even beauty counter assistants look like air stewards. How refreshing that someone has come up with some really funky space age looking clothes for their staff. Fun to wear and also will encourage shoppers to talk to them. I also, (suprisingly) like the creepers, the silver has bought them really up to date.
    I really like these collections you have shown here. Vintage is great but it makes a change for new designers to take inspiration from an age that hasn’t happened yet and predict the future rather than take a safe route from the past. So thank you for making my day again

  4. Safety Shoes says:

    This is amazing shoes! For this shoes one of the best!

  5. alex says:

    love especially all the shoes <3 so good
    alexostyle.blogspot.com

  6. Wow Susie! These are some really sci-fi fabrics! I love the designs, and the shoes are something else!!!! Thanks for the share!
    Zoe

  7. sofie says:

    I like the designs and the interesting shapes he gets from using these fabrics, but I have to admit that the Interieur outfits looked better in the pictures than they did in real life… Possibly because the hosts/hostesses HATED wearing them (or at least the ones I talked to) because they thought the outfits were just plain weird (in their words) … a pity.

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