Christian Blanken Shows Cool Lines and Hot Colors

By Rana Good

Christian Blanken’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection shown at London Fashion Week merged two often seperate aesthetics in fashion – clean, linear silhouettes alternating with fluid dresses and shirts. The palette was mostly neutral, but the colors Blanken did use were so high wattage, it was hard to keep your eyes off them. Blanken also threw in some glossy jackets giving the overall collection a luxurious and fluid feel. We caught up with the Dutch designer to find out how the collection came to fruition and included a gallery of images to showcase the eye-catching looks.

How did you get inspiration for your current collection?
Christian Blanken: I don’t usually work with a theme as such, as I’m not a narrative, storyteller type designer. However there was a ’20s undercurrent in the collection which tied in with a Russian Constructivist theme so colors were based on propaganda type poster colors like coral, chartreuse, mustard, along with really graphic black, optic white and cold grey. There were also ’60s references and everything was based on straight lines and linearity rather than curves.

What music do you listen to while you’re designing?
I listen to a wide range of music but in the last week before the show I listen mostly to the show music, which is always done by a music collective/band called The Home Office. We meet a month in advance and talk themes, I show sketches, we set a mood — they always get what I’m trying to do.

What materials did you use and why?
I work a lot with leather, mainly because it’s luxurious and beautiful, but also because it’s niche and not everyone knows how to work with leather well. In the current climate it’s important to have an identity, particularly for stores to stock you.

Aside from your presentation, what is your favorite part of fashion week?
My favorite part apart from the presentation is seeing the clothes on girls for the first time, to have a virtual thought in your head translate to reality is a very powerful emotion.