Interview with House of the Very Island’s
House of the Very Island’s Fall 2015 collection takes inspiration from dark romanticism, exploring what’s both beautiful and intense and adding unusual elements of surprise to the ordinary and simple. The collection feels moody in a temperamental way. The subtle details are magnified, button-down shirts have side pocket seams extending all the way to the bottom of the shirt. The collection embodies the identity of the high school rebel/outsider when he's all grownup. Designers Karin and Markus want their clothing to represent an open-ended question for fashion; think of being where you are aesthetically and then conceive where will you be a decade from now. The collection carries a dark and grey hued buffet of styles that can be dressed up and down easily. The brand also prides itself on having eco-friendly, sustainable practices using fair trade fabrics and fair modes of production.
What inspired you to start this brand?
The lack of all-sexes collections. Combining classical tailoring with international streetwear gives us the possibility to create looks that fit all genders.
Tell us the story behind the name of the collection.
For the a/w 2015 collection Minimal.Romantixx , House of the Very Island’s is indulging in one of its favorite atmospheres: Dark Romanticism. Writers like Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley or E.T.A. Hoffmann and artists from Johann Heinrich Füssli and Francisco Goya to Monika Baer in her Vampire series have depicted this gloomy world filled with nightmarish visions, magic rites and uncanny passions. Here, the romantic illusion of absolute beauty is challenged by the horrific, the miraculous and thegrotesque. Merged with the labels signature approach of reducing and slightly disfiguring classic menswear pieces, this dark side of romanticism generates the Minimal.Romantixx style, an ironic mix of goth and Britpop, tailoring and sportswear.
What is your design process?
We usually start by discussing about artists we like right now and the mood they put us in. Then we combine this mood with how we want the label´s style to evolve. We do a lot of sketches and go straight into patternmaking. As we do all our patterns ourselves this is an important step where a lot of things can happen.
How important are the fabrics during the design process?
High quality fabrics are a crucial part of our designs. We work mostly with organic or locally sourced fabrics.
What is the most important tool you use?
Books and libraries for research; a pencil for patternmaking.
What is the most enjoyable part about working for yourself & what are the downsides?
Researching new materials and discussing new styles are the fun part; a tight schedule of dead lines can be down-sides.
You are a collaboration of two designers which started out as four; what makes having more cooks in the kitchen exciting?
The possibility to discuss things with people that are basically on the same page but still have a different approach.
House of the Very Island’s is an all-sexes based collection. Who are the people you'd like to see in your designs?
Zebra Katz, Mykki Blanco, Judith Butler, Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, LP. And as always the artists we currently work with like Hans Scheirl, Jakob Lena Knebl--the list goes on.
Do you think about the future or try to stay present for each collection?
Each collection is a step in an ongoing constant development.
The piece of inspirational advice you have gotten?
Know the mainstream but don’t take it too serious.