“Opposite properties attract my curiosity.”

Value chosen by Damien : IMPERFECT PERFECTION

Damien is a Nordic fashion designer, living in Antwerp since he graduated from his Master in Fashion at the Royal Academy as first Norwegian ever. Since then, he kept on growing with international awards, collaborations and exhibitions. An important turning point in his young career was being awarded the New Nordic Talent of the Year prize at the ELLE Style Awards 2014 in Copenhagen.

Damien is working hard on his own collection. After a private black period, he challenged himself to find, in a very short time, the right professional environment. Having the honour of being selected bye Veerle Windels to receive funds by Steven De Wilde for his work, he enjoyed the support to present his first collection for the first time in Paris in March 2017.

Besides his personal collection, Damien designed for Berto, an Italian mill manufacturing wool-denim. For this project, Damien worked with Studio Corkinho to launch a cork hanger. 

Since then, Damien's life took a drastic turn, as he followed his heart to move to Malta.

Let’s enter Damien’s minimalistic maximalist universe. 


The last time you use / hear / experienced this word or expression?

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 complete visual force. The mix of old techniques applied on hi tech fabrics is very fascinating, to illustrate how the “old” can become contemporary.

What is the inherent emotion you feel in this word or expression?

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. It will never be defined.

Which object / shape do you see in this word or expression?

I don’t necessarily see an object. I see it more in a relationship, like my boyfriend for example... ;)

Thinking about an object, it’s hard to tell, because this could be applied to anything. Everything that remains unfinished. A good example is the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp. Not many people know that it’s missing a tower. Even if it remains beautiful and elegant in its actual state, the Cathedral was never finished. So I consider imperfect perfection more related to a feeling or a process than rather a shape.

How is this word or expression related to you or 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.

Which material would you associate with this word or expression?

I used to work a lot with silk velvet from Lyon. It’s so perfect in its appearance, but so fragile, that by touching it you could destroy it. It looks like liquid metal, extremely beautiful. By bonding it with a 3D spacer, a hi-tech breathable neoprene, it becomes rigid and gains strength to compensate the weak ‘beauty' of the silk velvet. Fragility is very imperfect, but it’s what makes the fabric so perfect. Opposite properties attract my attantion.

I could say the same about Berto’s wool denim I am working on at the moment. Normal cotton denim can be manipulated in so many ways to get aged, washed, bleached, etc. Wool denim however, it feels more rich and subtle, and the durable 'working man fabric' becomes something fragile and precious. For some, the fragility will be an beautiful added value, but for others it will lose its perfection, as their perception of the fabric has changed.

Thinking about cork, can you imagine an object linked to this word or expression?

Cork came as first in my mind, if I would associate a texture to imperfect perfection. When I look at composite cork, which previously was considered waste, and I see how this can be turned into puristic objects. This is the very definition of imperfect perfection and I love how Studio Corkinho turn ‘trash' into beautiful furniture and homeware.

This is what I like about the Corkinho hanger and why I found the collaboration so interesting. When you break it down, it can return in the production process as raw material. It’s a never-ending cycle, repeating itself from cradle to cradle. 20 years ago it was trash and now cork waste can create beautiful contemporary objects.

Which word / expression / value / quote is omnipresent in your life... To pass on.