DESIREE SLABIK · DESIGNER TO WATCH

desiree slabik

Every year thousands of talented designers graduate all over the world, but some are particularly gifted. At Vendôme we can spot an upcoming star when we see it (or so we’d like to believe) and that’s why designer Desirée Slabik’s first collection after graduating from the London College of Fashion got our attention. We’ve interviewed this young designer about her experience, which is just the beginning:

It has been always a dream for me to study my postgraduate course abroad.
I mean I had an extreme good Bachelor study back in Germany where I learned lots of different techniques and developed my whole skill set. In my Masters study I focused primarily on my signature. I think London as an inspiration source and London College of Fashion as one of the top universities have been a good place to deepen my sensitivity for my individual aesthetic.
I decided for London College of Fashion because I felt already quite connected and comfortable when I went there for the personal interview during my application period. They have a excellent equipment, great technical support and dedicated tutors.

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The name ‘Life After People’ (of her latest collection) refers to the title of an American documentary series where experts discuss how the world could look like if the population disappears. Indeed, it was the starting point for the story of the collection.
It is about the post-apocalyptic future vision of our world: The key image I had in mind is based on a white clean architecture captured by a coloured firework of flora growing all over the human constructions and creating a paradise of colours. The human beings have been vanished from earth. Finally the vegetation has its territory back.
It focuses on the very positive power of life and the symboisis of every organism living next to each other.

All in all, I worked 6 months in total from the initial concept development, first drapes and sketches to the final manufactured collection pieces.
It became always a starting point in my design process to create a textile idea in a certain technique, knitwear or embroidery. That means first, I am always developing my own textile surface or rework one. In a second step, I am collaging it around the body to play with different shapes. I really do like to experiment. It is a easy, playful, and intuitive way of designing. Afterwards, I try to define it more within my concept and develop graphic, clean patterns.

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I think London and the London College of Fashion have been a good place to deepen my sensitivity for my individual aesthetic. Honestly, all my experiences and studies in different countries and different colleges equipped me with the tools. But of course, you have to be additionally a hard-working person with passion, ambitions and the drive.

What photographer would be your dream to have your collection photographed by, and with what model?

Certainly Viviane Sassen. To me, she is one of the greatest fashion photographer/artists I dream to collaborate with. She always has been an inspiration source for previous campaigns. I like her graphic, clean aesthetic, her play with shadows, her abstractions of bodies and the intensity of colours in her compositions.
There is no specific model I would like to use for the next campaign. I like special faces and unknown models.

My style is always a symbiosis of graphic and organic elements. It is an easy, playful, and intuitive way of designing.
The story within my collection development is very important. This ‘universe’ defines everything: the mood, colours and silhouettes.
My signature is based on the literal idea of working with hands. It is a lot about materials, the experience of tactility and the time-consuming craftsmanship in using traditional techniques in an innovative way. I really appreciate a slow fashion approach because you develop a strong connection with your piece and create something unique.

Fashion Design is a way to visualise stories and bring them to life.

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