Fashionclash#11 – May I introduce you to one of my favorite collection this year at Fashionclash?! All photos by Pasarella Photography! Designer Dana Lipka graduated at Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design. Her streetwear collection is on point!
With her performance at Fashionclash the ZZX – The Mixed Team collection addresses the question of how we deal with national belonging and appreciating culture in a collaboration with a group of urban dancers. I had a chat with the young designer about her work.
instagram.com/danalipkadesignName: Dana Lipka Age: 22 years old Hometown: Aachen, Germany Menswear or Womenswear: Both Follow: @danalipkadesign
KALTBLUT: Fashion – Makes Sense ?? What does this mean to you?
Fashion surely always stimulates our senses in one or the other way. We like the way a garments looks in movement, we like to touch a certain textile, we might even get emotional when smelling on a garment reminding us of a specific person.
KALTBLUT: Hello. Welcome to KALTBLUT. Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
After graduation it has become a tradition to show the final collections during the FASHIONCLASH festival. But first and foremost I think FASHIONCLASH is the right platform to showcase what I do. Working interdisciplinary is always quite a risk in order to get accepted as a Designer in the world of fashion and Fashionclash has been opening up those stigmas and boundaries for many years and therefore a performance instead of a classic catwalk is appreciated instead of just being tolerated.
KALTBLUT: Can you tell us something about the collection you presented at the FASHIONCLASH Festival 2019? What was your inspiration?
My graduation collection ZZX – The Mixed Team has been inspired by the early modern Olympic games, where athletes from different nations participated in one team and their results were grouped under the ‘mixed team’ designation with ZZX as a shortcut, such as GER for Germany or NED for the Netherlands. Coming from a family of athletes myself sportswear has always been a natural direction for me and I researched how national identity is celebrated in the world of sports. Espacially in times of globalization it triggers me if we still feel the need to identify within our nationality. The athletes coming together in the Olympic Games is something I’ve got to experience in the urban dance community. My entire drive formulates in my curiosity of different cultures coming together and when exchange happens. Espacially now, where hip-hop is used as a trend in fashion, I think it is most important to show that it is a culture and we do need to appreciate that before we take something.
Therefore I showed a street-/sportswear collection in a collaboration with a group of dancers presenting my designs. Next to the retro look, the comfort and movement of the garments during dancing are key to me.
KALTBLUT: What kind of material did you used for the collection?
I started collecting old practice clothing from my family, coach jackets, sportswear tricots, everything I could find! Some garments have details which refer to those vintage pieces and one double-layered jacket reveals the sleeves of my grandfathers coach jacket. Apart from that I worked with coated cotton, modal, as well as Air-Mesh and Polyester as sportive textiles are mostly synthetic. I also collaborated with Knitwearlab and they produced knitted textiles from Merino wool for me, embodying a graphical print I created. I turned the textile into a sweatshirt, which refers to the lines on track fields.
KALTBLUT: What challenges did you face during the design process?
Innovative sportive textiles are not as easy to source as I thought they would be –haha-jokes aside, the hardest part was to manage accepting my position as a Designer. When you work with a group of dancers and suddenly you’re on the other side of the table you have to make compromises and manage two projects at the same time. The creation of a collection, which is visually not restricted in order to be suitable for a dancer, and the execution of the dance not being restricted by design.
Interdisciplinary working has always been my thing but it does mean you need to push all parts of the project to the same level.
KALTBLUT: How would you describe your self and your work?
I’d probably describe myself as driven, loyal, caring and ambitious. I am a very open person and I try to raise awareness for a lack of tolerance with my work. If I cannot make a change I can at least be heard and seen by enough people to try and understand Fashion more as a platform to express and speak up. A lot of people have told me no, told me I need to let go of dance if I want to be a designer and it feels good to keep on showing people how beautiful exchange can be. In my work it is important to listen and to broaden my perspective.
KALTBLUT: What would you say that is the biggest influence to your design process?
Good research, a lot of documentaries, the work of Jahnkoy, ‘Raised by Krump’, observing daily streetlife and actual Interviews and conversations with people from the subculture I am researching in, my family and Depper Dan. (Some feedback talks weren’t too bad either!)
KALTBLUT: If you had not become a fashion designer, what would you do instead?
Probably would have pushed dancing more, or become a motivational speaker. Does queen of drama count as a serious job choice?
I have a few people I look up to in different genres who I’d love to welcome as my client but a few names on the list are definitely: Mahalia, Lewis Hamilton, Parris Goebel, Kendrick Lamar.
KALTBLUT: What was the first item you have ever designed? And who was the lucky one to get it?
The first item I can think of was in my first year in uni and it was a bubble wrap-plastic bathrobe-it was as horrible as it sounds.
KALTBLUT: What can we expect from you in near future?
I am actually starting to work as a Junior Designer and am planning to have my own studio/label in the future. I want to continue working with dancers and other creative people to build a platform of people pushing the borders of fashion and exploring.