Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Diana Orving:The Drape Expert

(1) When did you decide to pursue fashion design?
Actually, I never did. It just happened. My ambition was to become a dancer or choreographer . The fashion design was only an interest. I started to sell handmade one-offs to small boutiques in Stockholm, when I was 15 years old. Then I hurt my knees and I realised I wouldn’t be able to work with dance. I created more and more clothes and got really good responses from stylists and media. I guess I got more and more interested in what I created and also found ways of integrating my influences from literature, dance and art into my work. Two years ago I decided to take it more serious and started with production. I started to work with agents in Japan, USA and Canada, so it feels really exciting that my clothes are now being sold outside Sweden. Swedes have a great sense for fashion, but the market is too small for good quality avant- garde brands.

(2) How does living in Sweden effect your work?
I think Sweden is quite calm and sometimes a boring place. Being bored is sometimes really good for your creativity. At the moment I really love Stockholm and I am not bored at all. I work in a wonderful studio in central Stockholm, which I share with 40 other artists, writers, photographers and designers. I get really inspired by all those creative and talented people. There are vernissage parties, book launches and clubbing almost every night, so you need to be really disciplined to keep focused on your work!…But I work constantly and love it.

(3) Draping appears to be a recurrent theme throughout your SS 08 collection, where does this design technique originate?
I have no formal education, so I didn’t learn any of the rules when I started creating clothes, I developed my own techniques. The method of creating directly on living bodies rather than on paper is essential for me. I always get inspired by bodies and their movements. I think that in some kind of a way that I make clothes that encourage movement, every piece should ask for altering. Often when using the draping technique the result can never be directly cut out or even closely foreseen. Instead it’s a paradoxical process of constantly improvising and following the fabrics own characteristics.

(4) Is there a story behind the beautiful print that you used in the SS/08 collection?
The print visualise my process that I explained in the previous question. When I start a new shape I work with fabric and drape it on a mannequin, on a friend, or on myself. The prints are photos of some of my draping experiments. I like the way people first think the print is a big flower, then, they look closer and realise it is something else…..

(5) Mannequin Neutral and The Seven Person Costume are your two previous art installations, do you plan to create more in the future?
Yes, definitely. During the process of my AW/08 collection I worked with actresses from the Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre. I organised workshops where we talked, wrote, and improvised. Instead of having an ordinary fashion show they showed the collection on stage. I draw inspiration from personal stories, expressed in the way that all people stage their personal persona whether they have formulated an interest in fashion or not. Fashion is interesting because everyone can relate to it. Fashion is about dreams and shortcomings.

(6) Who is your favorite designer/artist?
My favorite artists are Sophie Calle and Louise Bourgeouise. I love their work!

Interview by Ciara O Donovan (Style-Sphere)

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