According to a statement on her website, Minna Palmqvist, a Finnish-born designer who moved to Stockholm in 2005 to do her master at Konstfack College of Arts, Crafts and Design, states that “it is a battle between what we wish for, and what we are trying to hide” and says that she draws inspiration from the exploitation of the female body within fashion and western society.
What does the “MINNAPALMQVIST” brand stand for?
My brand stands for a form-based discussion around the female body in western society in general, and the world of fashion in particular. In my design concept Intimately Social I deform and deconstruct the features of the female body that we feel forced to hide, since they are not socially accepted. I take these features of our intimate, physical bodies and let them clash with the perfect world of fashion.
For example, my basic leggings have a padded embroidery on the back of the thighs to give an illusion of cellulites and the basic t-shirt has got a saggy, draped bra at the front. The whole design concept is a mix of atelier made on-request-only pieces, ready-to-wear garments and art projects, such as installations and art films. I need all these three platforms, and they all need each other.
My last collection Intimately Social 8.12 is inspired by an installation I did of a female torso made from 23 kg of butter, meticulously photographed for ten hours as it slowly melted and deformed. I wanted to capture and somewhat celebrate the constant change of the female body that we just cannot accept, and added this feeling into the garments of the collection.
Beyond the design concept, MINNAPALMQVIST stands for high ethical standards and environmental consciousness, and the brand will always keep the production chain transparent and available for the customers to follow.
How would you describe the brand’s spirit?
A great deal of frustration turned into a playful concept.
How long have you been working with the brand?
I have been working on Intimately Social since I graduated from Konstfack back in 2007, but it is only in the last year that I have been working full-time with the brand. It’s been a slow development that has suited me well, and which has given me the opportunity to work with and for other brands alongside my own designs, which has been the best school business-wise.
What is the future for you as a designer then?
My wish is to build a strong brand image and design concept, which would allow me to work simultaneously in different fields of the fashion business, and to be free to work in my own rhythm rather than the crazy pace of today’s fashion cycle.
Do you think that you and your ideas are part of a movement?
There are definitely thoughts, ideas and frustrations amongst a lot of my colleagues, wanting a change to the tight and restricting definition of the word “fashion”. Why do we need to force ourselves into the frames of the fashion seasons and to present new work at least every six months to be counted as “real” fashion designers?
And also, when are clothes going to stop being so cheap? When will people start asking them selves why it’s so cheap? Who’s paying so we don’t have to? A lot of us are asking for change, and this is a movement that is growing stronger and stronger.
How would you describe Stockholm 2012?
Highs and lows, segregation and solidarity, originals and followers.
What’s your personal hopes for this year?
To establish my brand in people’s minds and in a thought-through market, and to hopefully find some new collaboration projects to keep me on my toes as a designer.