ALEX MATTSSON INTERVIEW (LOGO.EC 14.12.12)
Swedish-born designer Alex Mattsson moved to the UK in 2004, graduated from RCA in 2009 and has since been making a name for himself on the fashion scene with his futuristic ‘Alien Minimalist’ apparel. Poised to showcase his new A/W13 line at January’s London’s Collections: Men season in collaboration with Red Bull Catwalk Studios and rising hip-hop star Zebra Katz, we caught up with Alex for a chat about sci-fi, the coming apocalypse and what he thinks about the concept of extraterrestrial life…
LOGO: The London Collections: Men season isn’t far away now… how do you feel about your upcoming show? Any nerves?
ALEX: Plenty. Stress, anxiety and excitement is quite an emotional cocktail, but that’s the life I’ve chosen to live. It makes me happy. Most of the time.
LOGO: You’ll be collaborating with Zebra Katz during the show – how does his particular brand of music relate to your designs?
ALEX: Zebra Katz’s work has a lot of attitude, and so does mine. His music is mostly stripped-down, dark and bass-driven. This works really well with my aesthetic and vision. Red Bull Catwalk studios is an amazing project that combines fashion and music, and I’m really excited to see the result!
LOGO: Your A/W13 collection is inspired by ‘40s Americana and the Latino-California migration – what is it about these themes that you found so influential, and how have you realized them in your designs?
ALEX: I don’t know why I feel so drawn to this culture. When I was growing up I used to watch a lot of gangster films like ‘Blood in Blood Out’, ‘Boyz n’ the Hood’, and ‘Menace to Society’. I suppose West Coast street culture feels quite exotic to me. A/W13 was influenced by Latino culture in California from the pachucos of the ’40s and ’50s to modern day biker-cholos like the Mongols. Workwear, denim. Black and white. And more black.
LOGO: You’ve said before that you find sci-fi inspiring in your work – you’ve even described your designs work as ‘Alien Minimalist’. Is that more about the aesthetic culture surrounding the concept alien life, or do you think they really are out there?
ALEX: Yeah, I think I have described it like that once. I don’t really like the description, but I can’t think of a better way of describing it. Sci-fi has created some interpretations of alien life, future design and technology that is really inspiring and beautiful. My logic and many others seems to suggest that advanced technologies (human or alien) would have a sleek and pragmatic design. And yeah, I do believe we have been visited by extraterrestrial life. I’d be really disappointed if we haven’t.
LOGO: If you could redesign the wardrobe for any sci-fi film, what would it be (and what would it look like)?
ALEX: Thats a difficult question. Most of the sci-fi films I like have amazing costumes so I wouldn’t really want to change anything. Would have loved to work on ‘Tron 2010’ though.
LOGO: Leading on from that – so much of fashion now is about revisiting the past (drawing on influences from the ‘60s, ‘90s etc) – what do you think about that? Looking at your designs, I get the sense that you’re much more concerned with designing apparel for the future.
ALEX: I think most designers get at least some of their inspiration from the past. I certainly do. I would say my preferred sub-genre of sci-fi is retro-futurism. The idea of old aesthetics combined with advanced technologies. My work always has a modern flair to it, but I always take inspiration from the past.
LOGO: Do you ever see yourself branching out into womenswear?
ALEX: Yeah why not. There will be some womenswear pieces in this coming collection. Women look great in menswear too 🙂
LOGO: Having moved from Oslo to the UK, what are your opinions on the Scandinavian fashion scene, compared the British one? How has living in London left its mark on your work?
ALEX: I feel like I found my vision in London. I was always creative, but that was hugely focused when I moved here in 2004. I never really experienced the Scandinavian fashion scene, but London definitely holds more opportunity and infrastructure. It also has all the subculture you will ever need.
LOGO: What was the best thing about 2012 fashion – and what was your personal 2012 highlight?
A$AP Rocky and Anna Dello Russo x H&M are my 2012 fashion highlights. Personal highlight would probably be getting involved with Red Bull Catwalk Studios and working in the studio with Zebra Katz.
LOGO: The world’s set to end next week. What are your pre-apocalypse plans?
ALEX: Make a collection.
LOGO: (Assuming we survive), what should guys be wearing in 2013?
ALEX: Whatever they feel comfortable in.
LOGO: … and what should they definitely NOT be wearing?
ALEX: What everybody else is wearing.
LOGO: And finally… What can we expect from you in 2013?
ALEX: Another collaboration with Red Bull Catwalk Studios would be amazing. Possibly a couple of side projects. I don’t know, I have tunnel vision this close to the fashion days.
Interview: Charlotte McManus
Posted on 24/05/2013, in Fashion and tagged Alex Mattsson, aliens, aw13, charlotte mcmanus, designer, designer interview, fashion, logo branded culture, London collections men, red bull catwalk, style, zebra katz. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.