If you can keep up with her city-hopping, Anne Sofie Madsen‘s Scandinavian style is something to be admired with a wanton eye.
A survey of the few intricately designed couture-inspired collections by the Danish born designer, shows off the influence of John Galliano and the late Alexander McQueen, of whom were two design houses she worked for before stepping out into her own limelight.
With this bark to add to her bite, Madsen debuted her first works at London Fashion Week in 2010, and stepped forth as a new rising talent, guided to the forefront by the Vauxhall Fashion Scout. Her eponymous label was then launched following the debut of her SS12 capsule collection during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
This season, she crosses the ocean to grasp her next break: a spot at New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week via GenArts‘s Fresh Faces in Fashion program. The largest showcase for emerging fashion designers in the United States, it is dedicated to hand selecting the best of emerging fashion designers with labels no older than 5 years.
While preparing for her Spring 2013 Collection debut at New York Fashion Week, Anne Sofie Madsen took a break to answer a few questions that have been stirring in the minds of our editors, while we collectively — and eagerly — watch her star rise.
We were given the opportunity to showcase our work from GenArt, “Fresh Faces in Fashion” along side other new up and coming designers.
How do you think the US market differs from Europe?
Clothing is very personal, and you will get people who like your designs or who do not, I do not think the markets differ in that respect.
Does your homeland of Denmark inspire the spirit of your design?
To some extent. My teachers from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, were of course inspirational. However, I also learned a lot through working at Alexander McQueen in London, and John Galliano in Paris.
How has your illustration background affected your designs?
I always use illustrations in some of my pieces. For example on my silk pieces, we digitally print my illustrations on them. Our show invitations include my drawings as well.
Do you find design to be a very different creative outlet then illustration, or are you drawing inspiration from the same place?
Illustration is usually just me drawing, while designing I may use interns to work with me on some aspect. Inspiration can come from the same place, however the process is different.
What is the hardest project you’ve had to tackle design-wise to date, in terms of both time and complexity?
Some of my really delicate dresses, with the intricate layers of string and fringes take really long to produce.
Who or what have been your longtime design inspirations?
Most of my inspirations come from studying ancient national costumes, the details in the symbols as well as the methods that were used.
Who would you love to see wearing your designs outside of the fashion world?
People who are both strong and vulnerable, they are not afraid to mix feminine with masculine, and play with contrasts.
You are known for your signature attention to detail, how does that make its way into your current collection?
The current collection, like the past seasons, uses very fine sewing methods, and the cuts are fitted. Half of my collection is made-to-measure, so it is all done on a mannequin. I like working with fringes and layers. Some of the dresses also include some leather or crystal applique as well.
What is the mood/idea behind your upcoming collection, and what can people expect from you going forward?
Some words that I use to describe my SS13 collection are candy-crystals, melting ice cream, “ethno glitz”, faded posters, and fish skeletons. I wanted to represent an abandoned beach amusement park, remembering a world of the past in the present. This freedom one has in an abandoned amusement park, a tribute to the troubled soul and the vivid imagination.
What is a design technique you haven’t tried yet that you are interested in incorporating into a collection?
I am always looking for new techniques, usually I will find this before researching for a new collection. I research ancient costume design, so maybe I will find something new and inspirational for my next collection.
What are you plans after fashion week? Do you have any downtime planned?
I am traveling with my collection all of September 2012, and then I will start working on my new collection.
Based on your experience what would you say to young designers thinking about getting into fashion in today’s market?
Get as much experience as you can, hard work pays off. I have interns helping me, and I always make sure to guide them and help them out in any way I can with their future careers.