Trine Elmkvist, 29. The Danish Design School, Textile Graduate 2010.
-specialism: Knitwear Textiles.
I have been sewing and making clothes for many years, entering different kinds of fashion schools and I have an education as a teacher in handcrafts from Odense Håndarbejdsseminarie.
I also spent my first three years at The Danish Designschool in the fashion department.
At my MA I moved to the textile department, and I discovered that I do my best work when I combine working with the body with a strong focus on colors and textures. Hand knitting and other techniques like crochet and tatting has always been a passion of mine. I love that I can keep developing my work through these things.
What was the most valuable you learned before starting at your education?
It was a great advantage to be able to cut patterns and sew before entering the design school. In that way I had more time to focus on all of the other challenges.
Piece By Piece
This project is based on the search of an experimental work method.
I used the idea of collages as the main theme of the project.
Based on that idea, I worked with combining pieces knitted in different materials, textures and colors. My focus was on the interactions between the shape of the pieces and the shape of the body, and the interaction between de different textures and nuances of colors.
Where do you get inspiration from in general?
Mainly from nature. Things like birds, plants and clouds. It is a never ending source of inspiration for me. I also look at art, both new and old.
And sometimes, like in my last project, the main inspiration is the material and the work method.
How is your process when you design?
It is very linear. I collect inspiration like pictures and materials, and work with the concept until I have enough for experimenting in 1:1 with the real materials. Then, I keep on experimenting until I have enough ideas for making a collection.
What do you find most difficult about the design process?
The finishing part. Like pictures, styling and figuring out how to explain it to everybody else.
What are your strenghts?
I am always very sure of my technical skills. And I think I have a very good sense of colors.
What are your weaknesses?
The same as the most difficult parts of the proces.
Describe your collection with three words?
Experimental, heavy, feminine
What techniques did you use:
The collection is made from pieces that are knitted or croched by hand. Some of the yarn I used I made myself on a knitting machine with motor, to make it thick enough.
I also made my own yarn from felt that I dyed and cut. The same material is used for the fringes on the jacket.
Which technique was the most difficult?
The knitting and crochet techniques are actually very basic. The biggest challenge was how to gather the different techniques in a nice way.
Do you have a technical or conceptual approach to designing?
Which garment was most difficult to make?
The blue one. It took a lot of testing to get the pieces and the negative space in between them to work.
Which garment took the longest to make?
The first one. It was the light pink one with the big shoulders. Not because it was more difficult than the others, but it took a lot of time to figure out how to work with the pieces on the dummy and how to gather the pieces.
Which garment is your favorite?
It changes from day to day. Right now it´s the blue one, because of the level of complexity.
How long did you work on this project?
What made you pursue knitwear?
I kind of defined it myself, by combining my education. So now I am somewhere between a fashion and a textile designer. And that fits me very well.
I think I pursued this because I kept searching for the “place” where I could make my best work.
During your education, which project has been your favorite?
Definitely this one. This is the project where I have really found my way to work with knitwear.
I also loved one of the first projects we did, I think it was as a 1. year students.
We worked with the concept of time, and I made posters. Something I have never done before or after. It was a time where everything was possible, and we were learning the many opportunities of the design world.
How were the school?
I loved my school. There are always things that can be better, but most of all it is a great gift to be surrounded by people that have the same passion as you.
What advice would you give new students?
Listen to yourself, and make sure that you are doing what fits you best.
Which fellow students would you like to highlight?
My friend, Ulrik Martin Larsen, who was my photographer for this project.
We started the education together, but he finished a bit before me, now doing a PhD at Borås.
He is always a great inspiration.