Ida Klamborn is one to watch. The Stockholm based designer is currently serving up slice after slice of fresh new fashion with an addictive dose of integrity. A graduate of The Swedish School of Textiles, she has several awards to her name – including the Elle Award for Best Newcomer 2014 – and her designs have already been picked up by pop stars like Zara Larsson thanks to their confident, rebellious and ultra colourful aesthetic.
One of the most appealing aspects of Ida’s work is her intriguing take on colour, shape and fabrics. Bright candy striped origami skirts, sheer tops with cheekily positioned stars – her work is playful but in a grown-up way; a sophisticated sexuality injected with a full-on dose of fun. We are all about new designers who are not afraid to make a statement or two and so we decided to interview Ida – we discovered a designer who creates sincerely from her heart and whose “shock” tactics have a seriously positive message.
“I always liked clothes, or more what you could do and express through them. I was quite a shy kid, and got interested in clothes to express myself in a way other than words.” Ida remembers being a creative child as “all kids are” – she made her first piece of clothing at the age of 10 – a neon green jumpsuit – and felt like “the coolest kid in the world.” That childlike exploration of discovering and developing a new form lends a unique language to her designs, a modernity and rawness which makes her aesthetic feel exciting and fresh.
Designer creative processes are often the most fascinating part of fashion – sometimes even more so than the final product. For Ida, it’s not about rushed production. “I often start with the fabrics and colours, then I do sketching and slowly develop the collection through mock-ups,” she says. Colour selection takes time and she will often “take away and add new ones until I’m satisfied.”Why the dedication to colours? “They are so important, colours can change the attitude of the whole silhouette.” Somehow Ida’s work has achieved a balance of bold and yet subtle, giving a wearer the opportunity to express equal pluck and poise; “I love the feeling of when you own that confident sexiness, and I wish to recreate that in clothes. You can create so many emotions with clothes, that is the best part of designing.”
A perfect balance of simplicity and surprise, Ida’s work is both loud and quiet, attention seeking and subdued – all in one piece. Striking details are designed to capture curiosity. “I really like details, and can be such a nerd about them. But in the end, they create the whole picture.” For creative people, there is a constant fear that the next idea might just not come. But not for Ida, “Fear is a real inspiration killer so I try to avoid it, I just go do something else. See a movie, an exhibition, meet a friend. Ideas often come when you’re having fun!”
Of course, when your work is tied tightly into your beliefs and integrity it has the kind of authenticity that tends to be self generating when it comes to the next round of creativity. Ida is part of the new generation of designers who – like us – don’t see that fashion has to come at a cruel price. She believes the working conditions of those who produce her pieces are a priority, for example, and she often uses her platform to voice the important issues of sexual and racial equality.
She says “I will keep on talking about issues which I think are most important, I hope one day we don’t need to.” Fashion is one of those industries where speaking up about uncomfortable issues isn’t really “cool” and some would see it as a brand damaging step. Designers like Ida are slowly changing this outdated view and making it ‘normal’ to wear your ethos on your chest and be fierce about your fashion choices – and the ethics behind them too.
Interview by Shona Daly and The Glass Pineapple.