A KALTBLUT exclusive. Photography by Lexi Sun. Garment Design & Creative Direction by Johanna Braun. Models are Mathilda Switala signed with Merten + Tatsch, Angel Hafermaas signed with Wir Sind Uns*, Mengxuan Sun signed with Let It Go, Sadie Lune, Lexi Sun, Hêvîn Tekin, Liv LeMoyne. Set Design by Hilka Dirks. Sculpture by Dominik Cosentino. Hair and Make-Up by Una Ryu & Nina Isabella Luckat. Nail Design by Camilla Volbert.
“My name is Johanna Braun, I am a Berlin-based Designer and a recent master graduate of the fashion program at Universität der Künste Berlin. I have been studying fashion from the early age of 16; starting with internships at local tailors in my hometown in Saarland and continuing with my Bachelor in Fashion in 2017 while being based in Trier and Tel Aviv. After interning and freelancing for a year with different brands in London and Berlin, I decided to move to Berlin for good, starting my studies and meeting the great humans and future collaborators that contributed to this collective work.
The starting point of my master project I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOUR NAME was a reoccurring observation of a person during a bus ride that left me obsessed with the memory of her sight. To counter the double-bind that ties observation, figuration and representation to the hierarchical power structures embedded in the shared realities of our lives, I aimed to focus on an inward debate on my obsession instead of trying to define another through clothing and appearance. The process centres on the possibilities of writing and creating through or by, rather than about a first starting point to generate a purely subjective source of inspiration.”
“All objects, fashion products or collections need to be documented in the end, to prove their existence or market their desirability. They need to be placed in a setting, space, a background to be photographed, rendered or drawn. I wanted to draw from a historical, theoretical and artistic approach to the final result: the image. Within my practice as a fashion designer, I often find it hard to translate research from queer, intersectional-feminist and decolonial theories into an actual physical form or garment. Of course, apart from conscious studies, in the end, there somehow is a product that does not talk and, in its worst cases, at first, sight conveys a one-dimensional message. I am under the impression that ideas projected onto the dressed body often need the context of a university, an art gallery or intense marketing possibilities to shape a narrative. The “dress codes” applicable either reproduce and celebrate or deconstruct and reclaim implications of for example gendered history ( pattern making while creating a suit for instance). Ultimately, it means that designers communicate through the cultural construct of binary conceptions, as even their critique and anti-attitude are based on the visual understanding and acceptance of a binary legacy. At their best, the garments are tools for conscious performative acts.
In course of this project, I sent out an impulse story to 8 designer and artist friends inviting them to collaborate with me in the creation of (moving) images. Drawing from the possibilities of surrealists approaches, conscious and unconscious political images, and aesthetic attraction-based film making, I understand the concept as an experiment of creating images through a collage of research, fiction writing, and shared authorship.”
“Through the collaborative aspect, I aimed to start a dialogue with the co-image creators and their visual ideas. Subsequently, I fashioned protagonists (characters) and their dressed bodies through curation of collective contributions. The developed scripts were an attempt to give context to the garments and translate strategies of (re)production into a visual and audible scenario.
In addition to the awareness that telling stories with other stories is an inspirational source in itself, the intertwined structure entailed in the concept is also based on collaboration and cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange in the execution. In this work, I explored methods of thinking about and collaborating with other humans, as well as ways that enable me to motivate and contextualize a physical craft.”