“Opposite properties attract my curiosity”

Damien is a Nordic fashion designer, lived in Antwerp  for years to graduate as a Master in Fashion at the Royal Academy, being the first Norwegian ever. Since his Master degree, he kept on growing with international awards, collaborations and exhibitions. Important turning point in his young career, was the nomination of Best Scandinavian Fashion Designer curated by ELLE magazine in 2014.

After losing two dear family members, he needed a break. With a deep inner force, in March 2017, he presented his work for the first time in Paris. Studio Corkinho offered him room as an artist residence during 2 years. By doing this, Damien could work on his personal projects. One of them is a unisex collection featuring Berto’s unique wool denim. This collaboration with Studio Corkinho was presented at the Amsterdam Denim Days.

Today Damien moved to Malta to follow his heart and work on several artistic projects. Let’s enter into Damien’s minimalistic maximalist universe. 

Value chosen by Damien : IMPERFECT PERFECTION

1/ The last time you used / heard / experienced this word?

I experience this feeling every day. I don’t think that anything should claim perfection. Anything that is made, no matter how good it is, has the right to have something imperfect, to make it strong and real. Perfection in itself, is an imperfection. Because it’s striving for something that is not real, unnecessary. I have the feeling that everyone should be aware of this every day.
Craftsmanship starts from the imperfection of a material to shape it in a precise artwork. I love to combine super nice finishing of handwork, while leaving some raw, unfinished details. I need imperfection to create balance in the visual force of the whole. The mix of old techniques applied on hi-tech fabrics is very fascinating, to illustrate how the “old” can become a contemporary vocabulary.

2/ What is the inherent emotion you feel in this word?

Imperfect perfection is very intriguing. This expression evokes more intrigue than just an explanation. It’s about a dialogue, a contrast, something in between. Like a complementary duality. A philosophy that will be interpreted in a very individual manner. It’s an abstraction of an emotion that can be related to anything. Something which will never be defined.

3/ Which object / shape do you see in this word?

Difficult to see an object. I see it more in a relationship, like my lover for example… ;)
But thinking about an object. It’s hard to tell, because this could be applied to anything. Everything that remains unfinished. Where you can look at the idea behind the object, to understand the energy or statement of the designer. But then to consider time. Where time has an impact. Where object becomes an emotion or a story.
A good example is the Cathedral of Antwerp. Not many people know that it’s missing a tower. Even if it remains beautiful and elegant in its actual state, the Cathedral has never been finished. So I consider imperfect perfection more related to a feeling or a process than rather a shape.

4/ How is this word related to you / your work?

Bringing technological fabrics in relationship to old techniques. Leaving the hemlines raw, mixed with perfectly finished seems. Seeking for perfect proportions, cut raw to balance with rough details. To leave space for interpretation, freedom of expression.

5/ Which material would you associate with this word?

I used to work a lot with silk velvet, made in Lyon. It’s so perfect in its appearance, but so fragile in its touch that by only touching it you could destroy it. It looks like liquid metal. Extremely beautiful.  Adding strength by bounding this fabric with a 3D spacer, a hi-tech neo-print, to compensate the weakness of the silk velvet with a stronger “allure”. Still very fragile, but manipulated to make it more wearable. Fragility is very imperfect, but it’s what it makes the fabric so perfect. Opposite properties attract my curiosity.
Also the Wool denim I am working on actually. Denim can be manipulated in so many ways to get aged, washed, bleached. But now, combined with wool, it just feels more rich, and subtle. The very durable working man fabric becomes something fragile and precious. For some, the fragility will give an extra dimension of elegance, for others it will lose perfection as the fabric has less ageing potential.

6/ Thinking about cork, can you imagine an object linked to this word?

Cork came as first in my mind, if I would associate a texture to imperfect perfection. When I look at composite cork, born from leftover / waste, which was previously garbage. And then turned into puristic objects, furniture and homeware how only Studio Corkinho can do. This is the definition of imperfect perfection. Turning trash into contemporary functional objects.
This is what I like about the Corkinho hanger. The way it’s made, how it hangs in the space. And when you break it down, it can return in the production process as raw material. A never-ending cycle , repeating itself from cradle to cradle. 20 years ago it was trash. And now cork waste can create beautiful objects.

7/ Which word / value / quote is omnipresent in your life ... to pass on.

Minimalistic Maximalism