Bling, hoodies and lace♥✕
Astrid Andersen’s Androgynous Blend of Bling Bling, Hoodies and Lace
Astrid Andersen AW12
When the revered and legendary maestro in vogue Simon Foxton styles your graduation collection, it might just be a hunch you’re onto something big. For Astrid Andersen this became a real life fact, when she was about to graduate from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. Since then, things moved fast for the bright menswear designer. In one and the same year, Andersen won the Brioni Creativity and Innovation Award, was an announced finalist in the International Talent Support (ITS) and was nominated as Talent 2010 by Italian Vogue. Shortly after, she was granted her first independent show in Copenhagen, displaying her refined yet extravagant, mega-lavish athletic aesthetic for the first time to an international audience. She wowed the crowd with her muscle-bound, audacious mixtures of leopard print, pink sheepskin and intricate beadwork. It gave her huge acclaim from the industry and ever since, she has been leading the charge in upping the anti on the luxe performance wear movement.
Andersen originally hails from Vejle, a small, inconspicuous town in Denmark. At the age of 19, she moved to London, but returned to Denmark to complete her BA in Fashion. Still, London’s intrinsic creative vibrations kept luring and soon after finishing her tailpiece, she decided to switch her residence back to her former habitat. Using the best of both worlds, she now shuttles back and forth between Copenhagen and London, the latter being her “inspiration haven”, while Copenhagen functions as her refuge to craft. It is here that she ultimately spends most of her time to work and manufacture from her studio, a former tailor’s shop. Yet, specifically in London more than in any other city, her collections have garnered a rattling success.
For Andersen it is all about creating fashion that is surrealistically masculine. In so doing, she makes overwhelming use of street attitude and hip-hop references, whilst playing on more feminine, delicate materials and colours, throwing in sugary sweet pink nylon, lace and organza. On a similar note, she crafts sexy and powerful looks with neon athletics that collide with full-on furs and scattering chromium hardware. As such, she mixes her technical precision with sweltering silhouettes dramatising volume, while acidic tones are intermixed with paisley prints and snakeskin patterns to create a maverick layering. Beyond compare, she has identified the unfathomable psyche of aparticular twenty-something male and given it her own singular, unrivalled twist.
Her ability to transform during runway shows is similarly unconventional, if not bordering on the eccentric, allowing the viewer to traverse to otherworldly, imaginary macrocosms. Whether it is thug-like models lifting weights in an actual gym, clutching basketballs in chains embodying gang mentality, or “Golden Lightning Minx” with a chip of gothic romance as head theme for the show, the quaint but fashion-forward aesthetic of her collections always permeates through. In juxtaposing the masculinity of her loosely cut and muscle emphasizing contours with her extensive use of womanly fabrics, Andersen can be considered the infamous queen of “gender-bending”, converging in a tongue and cheek way, the outdated high-low brow ethos like no other.
Written by Claire van der Berg
ASTRID ANDERSEN AUTUMN/WINTER 2012
ASTRID ANDERSEN SPRING/SUMMER 2013