Intro by Ksenia Rundin
BARBARA I GONGINI is a Nordic luxury Avant-Garde fashion design brand founded by designer Barbara í Gongini, who introduces a conceptual aesthetics, consisting of powerful geometric cuts and soft elliptical silhouettes. While beholding the garments, you imagine a strong fashion cocktail, mixed of Rick Owens’ gothic-grunge of essentiality and Maison Margiela’s androgynous architecture of tailoring, flavoured with vigorous artistic identity, genuine craftsmanship and raw authenticity of BARBARA I GONGINI. It is an intellectual celebration of cuts and shapes, encouraging a broad fashion discourse.
What is the inspiration behind this season’s collection?
I think we all have that little place somewhere in our inner core that emanates very much of where we come from. I originate from the Faroe Islands. By living not just on the islands, but also outside - we have our Headquarters in Copenhagen - you get another perspective on that place. You start romanticizing, as it becomes very dear to your heart, making you longing for this peculiar place. I have been looking very much into that feeling and just compressed it in a visual way. I believe that it comes from this place within. The inspiration itself has never been questioned. We have selected the monochromatic shades, which mirror the natural elements such as sawing grass, mud and rough basalt cliffs. The choice of colors remains as a silent canvas, where on the contrary the cuts and shapes of the garments are set in the limelight.
While keeping your signature moody Nordic avant-garde construction, this season you bring in some lighter colors that haven’t been so prominent in recent collections.
Even though, the Avant-Garde is not influenced by trends, you sometime slightly have to bend to adapt to market needs. Therefore we decided to implement a selection of styles in a variety of color. We are touching a new terrain with earthy shades, depending on which season; we either go in the darker or lighter realms of color. It broadens our selection but it still lies in symbiosis with our monochromatic designs.
Have you always incorporated used leather into your collections and production?
The process of reusing leftover fabrics as well as leather has always been incorporated into our design DNA. We get the leather scraps from the manufacturer and sew smaller items from those. Another approach is to create Showpieces from leftover material. Our Modular Human Showpieces were created from a carpet, which we found on the streets and are now traveling around the world for being displayed at well-known design museums.
Your collections have always captivated a broad audience in regards to gender and age. Do you see this becoming more prevalent in the fashion arena?
We at Barbara I Gongini, celebrate the male, the female and everything what lies within. We don’t think exclusively in terms of gender. A lot of our female customers buy our Menswear and the other way round. We celebrate this fluidity!
Besides your current clients, what person would make you happy to see dressed in your SS18 collection?
I am personally not very impressed by the mechanism of fame. Don`t get me wrong, I really appreciate when people succeed with something that they really burn for! Personally, I love to see the different types of people on the street, the ones who made an effort and considered what to wear. This can be a form of pure art. Therefore what really inspires me is the people, not a particular person. Of course, I was happy when I got the opportunity to dress Lenny Kravitz’s band, for instance, it filled my heart with joy. That was really cool, because I dig his art, too.