5 Minutes with Ostwald Helgason, London.
Interview by Alexandra Rhodes for LURVE magazine.
How did you come to work together?
We met in 2013 working for Marjan Pejoski who designed Bjork’s swan dress and both Ingvar and me had the same magazine with the same Pejoski shoot sometime in 2002 and wanted to work for this guy. We met there and we obvsiouly had a similar taste and we got together and then I went back to Germany and finished my studies and then I finally moved to London and ever since we’ve worked together 24/7.
What are the benefits of working with your partner in life and in business? Are there any downsides?
It’s great and intense at the same time! But we compliment each other. I’m more the creative part and he’s more the business part and I know when he is finally happy with something it’s good! That’s the aim! He really keeps me on my toes, otherwise I’d be all over the place!
What were the inspirations for the SS14 show?
The inspiration for this season is a celebration and happiness. It’s a personal thing for Ingvar and me as we just had our 10 year anniversary. We went through a bit of tough patch this year and it turned out well in the end so we basically made a collection full of flowers and balloon animals so it’s super happy!
Describe some of the design elements in the collection.
We did a collaboration with Aldo this season and that started really early and so we had to sort our design processes really early so that gave us chance to develop all our fabrics. We have a mill in France that is doing the Dior couture fabrics where we basically gave them the designs for the balloon animals and they made this beautiful jacquard out of it. We have another fantastic factory in Italy that we’ve been working with a few years and they made this fabric for us. It’s a frayed organza wool. We’ve been working on it for two years and we can finally use it. We’re super excited about it and we’re going to take it to the next season.
Do you have a muse for the collection?
Our girl is young, adventurous and free spirited. She’s someone who likes to stand out without feeling uncomfortable.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Sporty silhouettes in crazy materials.
You have gained a lot of exposure through street style and count Mira Duma, Natalie Joos and Anya Ziourova as fans. Do you have a favourite girl?
I love seeing them all, each one of them has their own personal styles. It’s always great to see how they take our looks and accessories them and mix them up. They make them their own.
What is your opinion on the street style phenomenon?
I think it’s amazing. If they hadn’t discovered our collection I don’t know where we would be nowadays and taking fashion to the street is so exciting. It has been happening over the years but now with the internet it’s so much more public and accessible to everybody. Even if you weren’t at the Chanel show you can check it out online. These people have always existed, there have always been cool girls dressing in amazing garments but now everybody can see them!
How did you first get recognition?
Natalie Joos’ sister Evelien did our first casting so Natalie came to the show, saw the pieces, picked out a crazy striped look and she went to the Chanel show with it. At that show Mira saw it and ran up to her and asked her where it was from. She contacted us and asked us if she could wear it for couture week. At the same time Anya was wearing a very similar outfit to the same Chanel show. We thought it would be a fashion disaster because it wasn’t planned but it turned out amazingly and suddenly there were all these twin looks going on!