Interview With Freak Factory

Freak Factory A/W 2012

From reading the press release for your A/W 2012-2013 collection you take inspiration from a 2008 novel titled “The Yearning of Atoms” by Linus Reichlin, why this novel?

It’s simply what I’ve been reading at the time. Had I been reading something else, the collection would probably look entirely different. What resonated with me within the novel was the tension between two basic physical laws – order versus chaos.
When designing the collection how did you develop your ideas?
Thoughts and ideas that preoccupy me during the initial stage of designing are mainly poured into illustrations: silhouettes, mock-ups, storyboards etc. After this, the exciting team working-phase starts. I love how this process shapes and changes the initial ideas. We tend to experiment a lot during the production and silk-print processes to create new silhouettes and printing techniques. Sometimes we leave behind ideas that can’t withstand testing or are too complex technically. Sometimes, during these experiments, we come up with brilliant, unexpected ideas that we test and incorporate into the garment design. These are the moments that make me truly happy, when I start seeing the face and style of the upcoming collection.

Freak Factory A/W 2012

I love the use of print throughout the collection mixed in with bold colours and oversized silhouette, how would you describe your target customer?
My garments are for me and my girls, who are grown-up women that, whilst being adult and responsible with jobs and kids, still have colourful personalities and wild lifestyles.
I love how you hand print some of the pattern fabric yourself, why did you decide to do this?
My background was initially in illustration and textile design. I develop unique patterns and prints for each and every collection.
Freak Factory A/W 2012

The reference to uniform throughout the collection is great. Was inspiration taken from the novel for this as well?
Parts of the military-style references undoubtedly stem from the novel: the tension between rigid order versus chaos and love is, within the collection, expressed by juxtapositioning military-style cuts with playful, organic-shaped prints and patterns. But I’ve always been fond of uniforms with rigid silhouettes and sophisticated gothic details. I guess it stems from growing up in the Soviet Union, where uniforms were everywhere: one for school, one for sports, for leisure, for festivities, for winter, for summer. So my aesthetic sense was definitely shaped by the aesthetics of „war“.

Freak Factory A/W 2012

What do you predict to be the next big trend for S/S 2013?

To be honest, I do not want to predict anything. There are trend scouts for these questions. I can only talk about myself and about Freak Factory, which does not want to be “trendy” in a mass-market, mainstream kind of way. I see myself more as an advocate for developing independent taste. But I can say that our next collection is inspired by sailors, love and pop culture.
How long have you been designing for? Have you always worked in the fashion industry?
I started my career in 2001 with the first label Laundryclub. I had ten amazing years for experiments and discoveries. And it wasn’t only fashion. I also worked with my colleagues on various print, short film and illustration projects. It was a time when I tried to find myself in art and was not interested in the commercial side of things. A realization how I can turn my biggest passion and hobby into a source of living came with an offer to create a collection with the team I am currently working with. This was the start of Freak Factory as we know it. The period of experiments ended with Laundryclub and Freak Factory signalled the beginning of the new stage of my life – as a grown-up, experienced designer with a signature style.
Freak Factory A/W 2012

‘Rusty Heart’ is a unique name. How did it come about?
“Rusty Heart” is a reference to the main character in the book, the introvert Inspector Jensen. We had a heart to heart whilst I was designing the collection, and, after many deep conversations, came up with the name in a mutual agreement.
Apart from your own label, what is your favourite brand and why?
Well, the fact that everything changes is the only constant thing in life. So I can only refer to my current flavour of the day: the very colourful, anarchic garments of the German duo “Anntian” comes to my mind, as well as the Australian label “Chronicles of never” with their sleek, androgynous style. With Freak Factory, I strive for a mixture of their aesthetics: colourful, playful prints “clash” with architectural, gothic, vertical, clean and almost rigid cuts.
Freak Factory A/W 2012