Josefin Arnell


Josefin Arnell, 25. Beckmans College of Design, Second year knitting project 2009.

– specialism: Fashion Design.




Design Background: 

Before I started at Beckmans I went to different preparing schools where I did art, textile and fashion. One in England and 2 in Sweden. I can recommend Steneby located in the Swedish woods, best school ever!


What was the most valuable you learned before starting at your education?

At Steneby I took one year called “clothes”. We focused most on concepts, how to develop your ideas and had a lot of art classes. We didnt have any rules how you do certain things, I learned that you dont need to do things in a special order. If we wanted to sew something we had to figured out how to do it ourself, I like that way of thinking, even if is takes more time.




Project title:

mirror mirror on the wall



In the last couple of years I have been working with my fear from darkness. This is my first collection I have ever made so I thought I needed to do something out of my “old subject” for once. In this project I tried to deal with certain situations both more emotional feelings to more concrete things like when Im sitting in my sofa and someone is trying to grab my feet. I always feel that Im never alone, that Im always watch over, that someone or something always can see me through the mirror.




Where do you get your inspiration from?

From everywhere. But I love all kind of mystic things and situations that can’t be explained. The supernatural things about life scares me very much but it also gives me inspiration to investigate more. I love surrealism and Im very into our perception and how people look at reality.

But I get a lot of inspiration from movies, people around me, my own experiences and feelings about things..


How is your process when you design?

Every process is different. I always try to find new ways to work. But I always draw and write stories which are more like fairytales, built on my own experiences. Im always the main character but in other shapes.

I often put my self into different situation and document it with photos.  I also like to find my information on Wikipedia or on blogs – its feels free that I dont know if it’s totally real fact or not, I always change the information the way I want it anyway.




What do you find most difficult about the design process?

When I get stuck and realizing Im doing the same things in circles over and over again. To understand what Im doing and to reduce my information so I dont end up being to confused.

I always find it hard to translate my work into clothes and always think that my investigation probably would suit better in an other shape, I have realized thought it’s just a monster in my head trying to trick me off the road … even if Im also interested to work with other media…but after making the clothes Im surprized that Im satisfied. Lately I try to start do things with my hands as early as possible otherwise I will go on for ever n ever to make fairytales


What are your strengths?

 That i dont understand fashion.


What are your weaknesses? 





What techniques did you use:

I made all my materials and prints by myself except a thin shiny glitter fabric piece and a withe goat fur I got from my neighbour. The fabrics are from industrial machines, hand knitting machines, I also knitted and sewed by hand, coloured and did embroidery.


Which garment was most difficult to make? 

The big withe fluffy cocoon thing, mostly cos I thought it was going to be easy. I thought I could just drape it around a doll, but it was a bit more than that. I think I used about 6-8 meter of dubbed side knitted Mohair. Which I did in a hand knitting machine and then used it as meterware. I wanted it to look like a fluffy cloud, but with all the material it just wanted to look heavy and felt in too pieces all the time.


Which garment is your favorite?

The apricot knitted sweater with all the eyes on, mostly cos it’s so sweet but in the same time a bit scary, I sometimes wear it when Im out walking and people always have to come up and touch it..


What technique is your favorite?

I love knitting machines, I really want to explore them more.




How long did you work on this project?

About 3,5 months.


Is there something you regret not doing in your collection?

There is always so much more you want to do, but I dont like to regret things so No.


What made you pursue knitwear? 

Beckmans is such a small school we dont choose specialism. In year 2 all fashion students is doing a knitwear collection. But so far I think knitwear suits me very good.




What designers inspire you?

Bernhard Wilhelm, Noki, Jeremy Scott….but most artists like Matthew Barney, Pipilotti Rist, Anette Messager, Francine Spiegel, Shoplifter, Nagi Noda, Terence Koh and loads of upcoming designers and not yet famous students


Why did you choose Beckmans? 

I decided I wanted to do my BA in Sweden, we only have 2 fashion colleges in Sweden, I thought Beckmans suited me most.


What did you think of the education? 

Im not finish yet and I have actually taken a year off from school before I do my last year. I did it because of many reasons, some of them is that I felt confined and needed to see the world and I needed a break from my studies, Im also confused about the whole fashion thing and I dont want to continue to do collections right now. In year 3 you do two collections.


How were the school? Facilities? Teachers

Beckmans is a small school. About 150 students and It’s only about 14 students in every year at the fashion department which makes a high quality of students and a great chance for everyone to have a good contact with the teachers.

All fashion students need to have knowledge in both sewing and pattern cutting before they are accepted. Also they want you to take art classes and maybe do internships before starting the school. The school dont have any equipment except some few sewing machines.




What advice would you give new students?

Dont let the school eat your life!


Which fellow students would you like to highlight? 

Erik Annerborn and Heidi Nilausen.


Why do you want to be a designer?

I didnt think the real life was enough so sometime back when I dont remember I realized I needed to get my imagination out from my head, in fashion and art you can make up what ever you want and live in it 24 hour a day.


What was your childhood dream job?

My parents always worked, even on the weekends. I didnt want to have a work ever I just wanted to live on a small Iceland together with a pony and make cookies every day.


Have you ever been nominated or won a design competition? 

I got the culture prize from my home village last year, that was I great honour.




What are your plans for the future? 

As I mentioned Im taking a year of from school. I just came home from New York where I interned for an icelandic artist named Shoplifter.

I will probably be in London the rest of the year. And Im working on a project called “The infernal laugh of a furious pony” together with my friend Hedda, its gonna be super. Its 5 or 6 short films based on my collection story but in a more developed form since we are two now, we are planning an exhibition after christmas. It’s a perfect example who I want to continue to work in the future; to share and built your ideas with your friends and to mix different media into all kinds of fields.


Will you be selling your collection? 

Since it’s just one piece of everything it would be strange to sell it, Im that kind of person that probably will regret If Im selling it and want to use it again in an other project in the future…but yeah Im very broke now so maybe for a very high price…


Were can we find more information on you? 




Contact info:

One Response to “Josefin Arnell”
  1. Marta says:

    Oh wow I’ve loved this interview! Thanks for sharing this.
    Amazing blog by the way.


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