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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Anja Hynynen: an interview with this fabulous Swedish ethical fashion designer

In an excerpt from Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration the Swedish ethical designer describes why working with organic fabrics is so important to her.

Written by Amelia Gregory


Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Oh God, viagra 60mg cost is it really that time again? Do I really have to stay up, night after night, sending all those emails? Worrying about outfits? Processing 12,000 photographs? Yep, London Fashion Week is just around the corner, and yesterday Vauxhall Fashion Scout announced their line up for their extra special Ones to Watch show.

Previous winners of the accolade include Ada Zanditon and Lu Flux (both in Amelia’s new book) as well as Eudon Choi and David Longshaw. Last season’s outing was an ecclectic mix of ‘dandyish’ menswear, cream pleats and yellow ruffles. The line up this time around looks certain to impress, though – Central Saint Martins’ graduates Anja Mlakar and Kirsty Ward, along with Sara Bro-Jorgensen and Tze Goh.

While we all get excited about London’s most fashionable five days, here’s a little round up of the new design talent.

Tze Goh

Illustration by Lana Hughes

Tze Goh graduated with a BA from Parsons in New York before completing an MA at Central Saint Martins. Tze’s collections to date have had that strong, minimal aesthetic with emphasis on shape and sculpture.

They’re definitely futuristic, and each garment appears to have been moulded from an unknown material rather than sewn from jersey. Pieces emphasise the shapes of his models – exaggerated shoulders and discrete twists in fabric make for modern, appealing clothes. Hopefully he’ll stick to his minimalist principles during his outing this coming season.

Kirsty Ward

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Kirsty Ward is brilliant. She’s one of the most unique designers I’ve seen in ages, and it’s no surprise that she’s, yep – you guessed it – Central Saint Martin’s alumni and went on to work with Alberta Ferretti in Italy. Amelia reviewed her collection last season , a vertiable wonder of sculptural jewellery and clothing that echoes the contours of the body.

I loved her work with David Longshaw (creating jewellery that he teamed with his collection) during his debut on the very same Ones to Watch stage a year ago This season promises another fashion-forward outing.

Anja Mlakar

Illustration by Willa Gebbie

Anja Mlakar is – you guessed it – another Central Saint Martins graduate. I’m feeling fatigued typing those three words already and the shows haven’t even started. Anyway, Her debut collection harboured much interest and having only graduated last year, Anja is set to cement herself in fashion this coming season.

Her S/S 2011 collection was a welcome ray of sunshine, with bursts of pastel yellows and pinks. Her aesthetic features structural forms and body-concious frocks, and her style straddles the fine line between flattering and futuristic. The most diverse collection, it will be intereting to see if Anja develops a particular element or mixes it up again.

Sara Bro-Jorgensen

Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Sara, a Royal College of Art graduate (at last!) takes a different approach to fashion and is heavily influenced by 2D forms like black and white photographs. She’s been nominated for awards here and there.

Her previous collections contain a mix of knits and deconstructed pieces, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this girl digs black. As it’s the A/W 2011 we’re looking forward to, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of fashion’s favourite colour on Sara’s outing, but then what do I know?


Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Oh God, story is it really that time again? Do I really have to stay up, night after night, sending all those emails? Worrying about outfits? Processing 12,000 photographs? Yep, London Fashion Week is just around the corner, and yesterday Vauxhall Fashion Scout announced their line up for their extra special Ones to Watch show.

Previous winners of the accolade include Ada Zanditon and Lu Flux (both in Amelia’s new book) as well as Eudon Choi and David Longshaw. Last season’s outing was an ecclectic mix of ‘dandyish’ menswear, cream pleats and yellow ruffles. The line up this time around looks certain to impress, though – Central Saint Martins’ graduates Anja Mlakar and Kirsty Ward, along with Sara Bro-Jorgensen and Tze Goh.

While we all get excited about London’s most fashionable five days, here’s a little round up of the new design talent.

Tze Goh

Illustration by Lana Hughes

Tze Goh graduated with a BA from Parsons in New York before completing an MA at Central Saint Martins. Tze’s collections to date have had that strong, minimal aesthetic with emphasis on shape and sculpture.

They’re definitely futuristic, and each garment appears to have been moulded from an unknown material rather than sewn from jersey. Pieces emphasise the shapes of his models – exaggerated shoulders and discrete twists in fabric make for modern, appealing clothes. Hopefully he’ll stick to his minimalist principles during his outing this coming season.

Kirsty Ward

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

Kirsty Ward is brilliant. She’s one of the most unique designers I’ve seen in ages, and it’s no surprise that she’s, yep – you guessed it – Central Saint Martin’s alumni and went on to work with Alberta Ferretti in Italy. Amelia reviewed her collection last season , a vertiable wonder of sculptural jewellery and clothing that echoes the contours of the body.

I loved her work with David Longshaw (creating jewellery that he teamed with his collection) during his debut on the very same Ones to Watch stage a year ago This season promises another fashion-forward outing.

Anja Mlakar

Illustration by Willa Gebbie

Anja Mlakar is – you guessed it – another Central Saint Martins graduate. I’m feeling fatigued typing those three words already and the shows haven’t even started. Anyway, Her debut collection harboured much interest and having only graduated last year, Anja is set to cement herself in fashion this coming season.

Her S/S 2011 collection was a welcome ray of sunshine, with bursts of pastel yellows and pinks. Her aesthetic features structural forms and body-concious frocks, and her style straddles the fine line between flattering and futuristic. The most diverse collection, it will be intereting to see if Anja develops a particular element or mixes it up again.

Sara Bro-Jorgensen

Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Sara, a Royal College of Art graduate (at last!) takes a different approach to fashion and is heavily influenced by 2D forms like black and white photographs. She’s been nominated for awards here and there.

Her previous collections contain a mix of knits and deconstructed pieces, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this girl digs black. As it’s the A/W 2011 we’re looking forward to, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of fashion’s favourite colour on Sara’s outing, but then what do I know?

Anja Hynynen by Andrea Peterson
Anja Hynynen by Andrea Peterson.

How has a love of arts and handicrafts been passed down to you?
Amongst my ancestors there is a menswear tailor, diagnosis  a well-known Swedish painter, for sale  and my three aunts who worked with textiles. My father keeps a family tradition alive as a blacksmith and my mother is an artisan working with leather and photography. Since finding my passion within drawing, website like this textile and environment it feels natural to follow my heart. I wish more people were able to work with what they feel is important.

Anja Hynynen by Andrea Peterson Ardalanish Collection
Anja Hynynen Ardalanish Collection by Andrea Peterson.

What prompted you to start working with organic fabrics? 
I became allergic to some fabrics when I begun to sew full-time, and getting sick made me wonder about the health of the people and the soil in the places where those fabrics were being grown, woven and dyed, as well as what happens to the water in which we wash these toxic clothes at home. I grew up close to nature, and experiencing first hand the fallout from poisonous chemicals made me want to search for pure materials to create ethical clothing.

Where do you source your organic materials from?
I find the background of materials fascinating. It’s so important to understand where fabrics come from; to be able to tell a customer the story, from seed to finished garment. I work with organic wool, linen, cotton, hemp and peace silk. The linen is grown and woven in Germany and Austria, where it is certified the whole way through production. For detailed artistic work such as felting I like to work with local materials such as handspun angora rabbit yarn and native sheep wool; materials where I have the opportunity to know the source personally. One of my dreams would be to ensure the local production of materials that we can produce in this part of the world, such as wool, hemp and linen fabrics…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Anja Hynynen’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here. The illustrator Andrea Peterson also designed the front cover of ACOFI

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2 Responses to “Anja Hynynen: an interview with this fabulous Swedish ethical fashion designer”

  1. Sandi says:

    I just love this interview. You do a nice job of getting to the essence of what’s important to Anja. Her work is quite handsome! It’s so refreshing to come upon a designer like this who is so orginal, talented and not yet public relations obsessed.

  2. [...] Anja Hynynen: an talk with this fanciful Swedish reliable conform designer [...]

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