Top image: Julia Seemann SS18. Photography by Piczo, Styling Erik Raynal.
“Workwear, diva-culture, different subcultures, creative scenes and movements, the current social and political conditions, everyday life.” Zurich-based designer Julia Seemann says below, explaining the influences behind her eponymous womenswear brand.
Having debuted via VFILES in 2015, Seeman’s creations stem from influences spanning goth aesthetic, music and youth, particularly the subcultures of the 90s. Finding tensions and contrasts between potentially disparate reference points, Seemann combines kitsch with workwear, crystals with denim, underground with mainstream. Take her FW17, for example, which featuring a series of screen printed tees and dresses paying tribute to her favourite all-female Eighties gothic rock band Xmal Deutschland. Mega.
We traded emails with Julia to find out more about the formation of her label, from interning at Vivienne Westwood to the subcultures that have shaped her work, enabling you to get acquainted with one of the most promising womenswear designers on the circuit.
Undine Markus: How and when did you get into fashion design?
Julia Seemann: I first got in contact with fashion when I browsed Vogue magazines at my grandmother’s place when I was about nine. After feeling my interest in fashion, my parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas when I was ten. That was the time when I started sewing my own clothes.
Undine: What was the first garment you ever made?
Julia: At the age of nine, I sewed a top with glittery stars by hand and wore it to school.
Gallery: Julia Seemann SS18. Photography by Piczo, Styling Erik Raynal.
Undine: How has interning for Vivienne Westwood informed your creative output?
Julia: I could say that interning for Vivienne Westwood has influenced the way I work and also how I don’t work. Aesthetically, it had an influence on my work but it came naturally. It emphasised my vision and interest in music and subcultures, the direction in which I want my own work to go.
Undine: The forms, cuts and materials in your work communicate a sense of rawness and directness. What are some of your main sources of inspiration?
Julia: Workwear, diva-culture, different subcultures, creative scenes and movements, the current social and political conditions, everyday life.
Undine: What are some of the opposing forces found in your work?
Julia: Creating and playing with contrasts is one of the most important aspects of my work. For example, combining kitsch with workwear elements, using contrasting materials such as silk or crystals with denim or canvas.
Undine: Your current body of work spans block colours, clean shapes and logos, concurrently incorporating patchwork and references to the 90s and goth aesthetic. How did you achieve a cohesive style across all the different elements that have shaped your output?
Julia: I have many different personal interests such as music, art, politics, and subcultures from the past and present. I guess, when researching and designing a collection these various elements come together naturally.
Undine: Could you tell us more about your recent series of screen prints, particularly Incubus Succubus, Xmal Deutschland and Fetisch pieces?
Julia: All the mentioned screen prints are elements from record designs by German goth and post-punk band Xmal Deutschland. We were invited to Berlin to show our FW17 collection and thought it would be the perfect moment to create a tribute collection for them, one of my favourite bands from Germany. Incubus Succubus and Fetisch are the names of songs and a record by the band. We thought that this whole topic would fit perfectly with the mood of the collection. Most of their record sleeves were designed by English graphic designer Vaughan Oliver and it was a big honour to work with this great and influential artist. At the moment, there is a Kickstarter campaign running to realise a book. I hope this project will be realised!
Undine: Are there any major labels that you would like to collaborate with in 2018?
Julia: We are working on some projects, stay tuned.
Follow Julia Seemann here.