RCA's MA graduate show is undoubtedly one of the most exciting places to discover the fashion stars of the future. The press show took place at the College in the Henry Moore Gallery on 10 June 2010 and I was able to admire a gathering of some of the newest and freshest menswear and womenswear talent to be be unleashed this year. The subsequent weeks saw me interview a few of my favourite graduates but there was one collection that impressed me immensely but for whatever reason, I failed to secure an interview with the student behind it. Weeks rolled past and then fashion month was upon us and the collection was pushed back to the deepest, darkest cavern of my memory. Thankfully, the story doesn't end there. The current issue of Fashion156, The Urban Country Issue, pushed Trine Jensen's collection to the forefront of my imagination once more. Guy Hipwell's latest editorial celebrates Trine's colourful and eccentric final collection and reminds me that she is one of the mouth watering prospects of this year's crop. The young talent drew inspiration from her childhood memories of being surrounded by weird and wonderful eccentrics and collectors when she grew up in Denmark. Her fabric choices of corduroy and waxed cottons along with the silhouettes recall these rather geeky people, whilst the embellishments echo their collections. Having been reminded of her collection, I couldn't miss out on interviewing her twice so here we learn about her recently launched brand Trine Lindegaard, discuss her experiences at the RCA and acquire her advice for future menswear design students...
SS: What were your inspirations, your dreams and the driving catalyst for launching Trine Lindegaard?
Trine Lindegaard: Starting my own label has always been the plan; the initial idea was to work in the industry for a couple of years before hand. After graduating I decided to do it straight away. Why waste any time?
SS: Aside from it being your name, what does Trine Lindegaard mean to you?
Trine Lindegaard: It means a place I can experiment in my own time and do as I wish. I don’t have anyone to answer too and can play with ideas that I perhaps wouldn’t be able to in an established fashion house.
SS: Describe the moment when you realized you wanted to be a menswear designer...
Trine Lindegaard: I started making clothes from a young age, mainly from the lack of interesting clothing available in the Danish town where I grew up. From there I started studying fashion but never really felt passionate about it, also I always felt like I was designing for myself and found it difficult to really push my designs. I quickly realised that menswear was where my interest was, the challenge of making wearable yet interesting clothes for men appealed much more to me.
SS: What were the first and last items you remember designing?
Trine Lindegaard: In Denmark, it is compulsory for everyone to do sewing as a subject in school in fact you spend half a year taking the drivers licence for the sewing machine. That was at the age of ten and I quickly started to design and make simple garments for myself. The last is a coat. I have been working on a small range of coats for Spring/Summer 2011.
SS: RCA's MA graduate show is undoubtedly one of the most exciting places to discover the fashion stars of the future but what attracted you to the RCA MA course in particular? What was the best thing about your course?
Trine Lindegaard: The best thing is the size and diversity of the students. We were only eight students doing menswear design in my year and everyone had really different views on fashion. RCA is an old art college with great traditions, and amazing people that have been involved in the college for years. It is a very inspirering place with so many different subjects all under one roof. Everyone is up for helping each other and there is such a friendly atmosphere. It is truly amazing.
SS: Now, your graduate collection itself was wildly colourful and rich in texture. Inspiration came from an assortment of passionate people with unusual hobbies and obsessive collectors. Who were they and how did these obsessive collectors influence the collection?
Trine Lindegaard: I drew inspiration from my childhood by visiting these geeky people I remember being surrounded by when I grew up in Denmark. People who already fascinated me back then. One, my friend’s dad, who has always been super weird but who I always had a great relationship with, was the first person I went to see. He is a book collector and has a whole warehouse full of them. His face changes totally when discussing his books.
My favourite people I went to see, was at a train fair in Enfield, there were hundreds of people here showing of there model train tracks. All so proud and happy to talk. I really wanted to bring a part of their work into my collections. That is how the little men and cars came about as embellishment on shirts. My overall fabric choice and silhouettes were also inspired by these rather geeky people, which resulted in use of lots of corduroy and waxed cottons.
SS: A few pieces incorporated found items on your journeys to provide a playful take on embellishment. Could you talk us through some of these found items and describe how they were integrated in to the finished garments?
Trine Lindegaard: I have never been a knitter but I have always had quite a textile-ish approach to fashion. After visiting all these collector-types, I decided to start a collection of my own, and I wanted to carefully incorporate it into my collection with a similar obsessive manner as these passionate people. I started collecting gold, I went around weird little shops and markets and purchased funny buttons, screws and other items. I then hand knitted it all into jumpers with thousands of little shiny objects.
SS: The collection showcases colourful and light hearted yet functional and highly wearable clothes for men but is the a particular type of man you see wearing your designs?
Trine Lindegaard: I would like to think I design for fairly normal men, with an interest in what he wears and who doesn't take himself too seriously. I am trying to keep my costs down as it is very important for me that an ordinary man would be able to afford my clothes.
SS: Having graduated with first class BA honours from Middlesex University, completed the RCA MA with critical acclaim before launching your label, what advice would you give a prospective menswear fashion student?
Trine Lindegaard: I think doing an MA really helps. There are so many people graduating with a BA in fashion and it is extremely difficult to get a job afterwards.
Make use of the internet and all the other young people out there who are also trying to get noticed, there are so many great stylists, models and photographers who are in a similar position. I have not yet turned anyone down, and I have had so many people contacting me and borrowing clothes after I graduated. It’s great to meet people and build your own network of people you enjoy working with.
SS: If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
Trine Lindegaard: New York in the 1980’s. I would love to have watched some of the shows happening in the documentary Paris Is Burning. A truly fantastic time. Then you had that whole downtown thing going on – the art, the clubs, the DIY fashion - all mixing together. Seemed like a fun time over there then.
SS: What excites you about the future of menswear?
Trine Lindegaard: I think there have been amazing interesting menswear available for decades, but what is really changing is the way more and more men are becoming open to fashion. Now, I live in East London and I think men are just as concerned about what they wear as most of the girls in the area. But even people like my dad, living in a small town in Denmark is into his clothes, and looking much more interesting now he is in his sixties.
SS: What can we expect from Trine Lindegaard?
Trine Lindegaard:: Time will show. But I hope that exciting times are coming....
Look Book Credits...Photographer: Barbara Anastacio. Model: Andreas Sjoqvist at M&P Models. Hair by Angela Hertel