Having graduated with an MA in menswear from the Royal College of Art in 2010, Lindegaard launched her eponymous label in 2011, showing at London Fashion Week in the same year. 5 years on, the designer may have relocated to Copenhagen, but the buzz around her designs hasn’t ceased – she won the Dansk Design Talent award in 2014. With Copenhagen Fashion Week kick-starting the Spring / Summer 2017 schedule, Culture Trip talked craftsmanship and gender with Trine Lindegaard.
- Trine Lindegaard SS17
How did you begin as a designer?
I have always been sewing and drawing, so it seamed like the natural thing to do. I applied for a design school in Milan and moved there when I was 18. I quickly realised that the school wasn’t for me, so I moved on after one year to continue my studies in London. Here I did my BA and later on my MA in menswear from the RCA.
What was the first piece of clothing you remember making?
I had my appendix removed when I was 17 and ended up being sick for a couple of months. My dad got me an overlocker and I started sewing a lot out of boredom. The first few pieces where these long skirts with exposed stitches. I made tons of those. Haha.
What the biggest challenges of launching your own label after you graduated?
It all happened quite randomly, after graduating and working on different design project for established companies for a while I entered a competition and suddenly I was to show on London Fashion Week, so it all went from there. The biggest challenge has definitely been the production, suddenly I had orders from stores and had to find a way to get the production made. This has been the hardest part throughout.
After studying in London, was it an obvious choice to go back to Copenhagen?
I stayed in London a few years after graduating and also started the label there. Going back to Copenhagen wasn’t an obvious choice at all. I had been living in London almost all my adult live, and thats where all my network had been established, so moving back to Denmark was a bit like starting from scratch. But that in itself was quite refreshing.
Did you have a clear idea about the aesthetic for your brand when you began, or did it evolve organically?
The aesthetic yes, but the main focus has evolved over time.
Trine Lindegaard SS17
Who and what are your main influences?
The overall vision of the brand is the following main focuses: social design processes and ethical production methods, sustainability and traditional craft. We aim to work innovatively through all three principles, which are incorporated into each collection. This has previously been done through collaborations with different minority groups, e.g. UK-based prisoners, asylum seekers in Denmark, and West African weavers among others. We try to communicate and put a focus on the individual’s story through communal design workshops, generating financial support to the people involved through the production.
Trine Lindegaard SS17
What is it about creating unisex wear that you are interested in?
I like the challenge of creating clothes that works with both the female and the male body.
Do you think that gender in fashion is becoming irrelevant?
No, not at all. But there is definitely less rules and norms today. The male and female body is of course still very different, and that’s worth celebrating through the design and fit of the garment. However it’s becoming almost normal for girls to wear garments made for the opposite sex and the other way around. A lot has happened since the first female trousers
appeared around a hundred years ago, which is a very good thing.
Craft is central to the brand’s ethos, why is it important to you?
Craft is something thats been made more or less as long as us humans have been around. Its also something thats disappearing from the industry because it is simply too time-consuming and expensive to produce. I don’t only work with Danish craft, but craftsmen and techniques from around the world. There are still people who have dedicated their lives to their craft, but find it difficult to succeed commercially. It’s important that these skills and traditions don’t get lost; it is hugely beneficially for both parts to be working together.
Trine Lindegaard SS17
For this forthcoming collection, what was your inspiration?
We have been looking a lot on waste materials, and how you can push the way the industry currently work. We have teamed up with a number of different companies and are using huge amounts of their wastage materials. It’s been a very restricted way of working as the collection is 100% made out of this stuff, so we have had to be creative with what ever we have, and at the same time make sure there is enough material for production, etc.
Fashion is often labelled as indulgent and frivolous, what has your experience been of using it as the mediums for your projects?
It’s been a fantastic journey, but also difficult at times. People (especially from the fashion world) seem to either get it or they don’t. I have gotten so much out of it on a personal level, a lot of the people I have met through the projects are still my friends today. And to me this mutual relationship is thats all that really matters.
What are you looking forward to at Copenhagen Fashion Week?
Copenhagen Fashion Week is always nice. The industry is so small here, so its a little village-like. A lot of the shows are very very commercial though, and I never end up going to any of those – they’re all the same. There is a new and younger generation doing interesting stuff. Some of the mens and streetwear brands always make some really strong shows.
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
We have been invited to take part of a new fashion event initiative in Oslo (Jarga Art and Fashion Weekend), which focuses on diversity and sustainability within fashion, so we are going to do a show there in September. And then we have got a few larger scale craft/art projects coming up. I really enjoy doing these kind of projects where you don’t have to think commercially in terms of sales and production, so we are trying to do more and more of those.
Find out more about Trine Lindegaard here