“Hail Hyperborea” was the title given to the Creatures of the Wind S/S14 show, referencing Greek Mythology and the spiritual inhabitants of a utopian world of eternal life and sunshine. “The land of sunshine and plenty” runs as a playful note through their patchwork jackets, bright red and mustard hues.
A photograph of his wife Marie by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein acted as the main reference point for the collection, inspiring a look that harks back to 1950s America recognised within paneled cowboy shirts, neck-scarves and embroidered motifs. The Bruenchenhein pin-up girl is re-invited with the COTW indie-cool touch, with lame shirts, sports tops and geometric paneling. Printed panels designed for COTW by Klaus Schmidt are reminiscent of Bruenchenhein’s apocalyptic photographs and floral studies.
Here AnOther speaks to textile designer Schmidt about his recent work, alongside his working process images and photographer David Urbanke's highlights from the runway show, featuring embroidery by Stephanie Schneider.
Can you talk through your work for the S/S14 collection?
Looking at Eugene's work and life made such visual sense to me that the entire process became really fluid – from the creation of the pieces to the developing relationship with the designers. The results are these wayward clusters of mirage like flowers, a combination of watercolour, pencil sketches, combinations of flower and leaf that could never exist in nature. We wanted the florals to be impossible and new and odd while maintaining a level of honesty as textiles.
"We wanted the florals to be impossible and new and odd while maintaining a level of honesty as textiles"
Where do you look for inspiration? Are you inspired by any particular cities or places?
Inspiration can only go as far as capability. I have ongoing relationships with some clients where I understand their aesthetics and can drop in and out of them with some exhalation. With Shane and Chris it felt very natural and seamless. I come from hot weather, I am a bit of a fan of an epic landscape skewed by mirage, big sky country and out-of-town eccentricity, I think they are too.
Has there been any particular artist/playlist you have been listening to this season to accompany your work process?
I make these monthly Spotify playlists that get added to by myself and friends that they're shared with. The current playlist contains real timeless tracks like 'Milele' by Miriam Makeba, 'I thought it was you' by Herbie Hancock, 'Ventura Highway' by America, 'My eyes adore you' by Betty Padgett.
How would you sum up the Creature of the Wind collection? Is there a stand out piece for you?
I feel like its going to be an exercise in maintaining that modern outsider charm of theirs whilst pushing details, honesty and ease in the clothes and textiles. I like Shane and Chris, I like their pace, I like what they are building from collection to collection. It has been really great working with them.
Text by Mhairi Graham