The Art and Soul of Seelenkleid

by jennine on July 10, 2009

You always hear about people who work with technology to create new things… more than half the time it looks like old things… that is until I run into Seelenkleid (meaning “soul dress” in German) at the Projekt Gallerie Showroom. I had seen her collection last year, and was quite taken by her oil-like silicon drips on flowy silk pleated dresses, and this year, designer Ella Haberlach did fall into a sophomore slump by any means.  Taking inspiration from porcelain, she took paper plate forms with silicon and created these spiral sculptures sewn on to the most soft and sheer jersey dresses. She even took a marbled silicon and sewed it like a ruffle into leggings (see below). One of my favorite pieces, a shawl of laser burned printing on velvet creating a fabric that I’ve never seen before in all my days… then to top that off, the shawl includes silicon scale breast plates. Ella makes each piece by hand, truly merging fashion and art. Here she sits down and talks with us about her newest collection titled ‘blue code.’

You always hear about people who work with technology to create new things… more than half the time it looks like old things, and quite frankly jaded with the technology thing… that is until I run into Seleenkleid at the Projekt Gallerie Showroom. I had seen her collection last year, and was quite taken by her oil-like silicon drips on flowy silk pleated dresses, and this year, designer Ella Haberlach did fall into a sophomore slump by any means. Working with white and blue, she took paper plate forms with silicon and created these shell like sculptures sewn on to the most soft and sheer jersey dresses. She even took a marbled silicon and sewed it like a ruffle into leggings (this I couldn’t get a decent pic of… but trust me, you’d drool). One of my favorite pieces, a shawl of laser burned printing on velvet creating a fabric that I’ve never seen before in all my days… then to top that off, the shawl includes silicon scale breast plates. Ella makes each piece by hand, truly merging fashion and art.

Me: What was the inspiration behind the new collection, it really ties into your last one, but it’s gone in a new direction… can you tell us the story behind that?

Ella Haberlach: The fusing of two contrasted beings forms the inspiration for my latest collection entitled “blue code” (SS 2010). Masculine and feminine counterparts intertwine to form an unspoken dialogue; an indistinguishable shrift. Shades of porcelain reflect the lovers merged existence, their shards, indicative of the fragility of togetherness.

seleenkleid1

Me: So many of your pieces are sculptural, like works of art… how do materials play into how your pieces evolve?

At the moment I am using materials and patterns which are outside the realm of my control; in a way, I allow the work to create itself. The happy accidents often have innovative consequences.

Ella: Through my work, I like to blur the boundaries between art and fashion; I see fashion as a medium through which art becomes wearable and everyday.

I love to experiment and search for new materials, this is always the starting point for my creative process and a tool to give my clothes a soul.

At the moment I am using materials and patterns which are outside the realm of my control; in a way, I allow the work to create itself. The happy accidents often have innovative consequences. Silicone is a very viscous medium which is able be manipulated but never completely controlled. Porcelain fragments shatter how they will, and I use a brush freehand to apply the burn-out paste, all of which allows for unique imperfections in each piece.

The idea for blue code SS10 ties into broken aura AW09. It`s all about the same story. Blue code is the continuance in my visual personal diaries.

Coverings hold the ability to carry the invisible and immaterial aura on the surface, compensating for its shapelessness. Skin, in its essence, is always given an important role in this context. It is the last fine layer between the ego and the world, the “outer”. Silicone acts as another skin layer, a visible aura, able to extend beyond the body and impose on the immediate environment. Silicone is given a new meaning and purpose through this dynamic ability. Using multiple methods of application, I am able to concurrently display sharp splinters of porcelain matter, standing ajar from the body, with the delicate sensitivity of fluidic make-up, which mimics the body’s natural form. Heavily influenced by body modification, my collections also attempt to replicate various techniques, such as scarring and implantation, to undermine the cosmetic effect of fashion. The result appears as fleshy scar-jewelery, set into the surface of the textile forms.

Destruction is used as another form of compensation, that of the artificially created order, evoking chaos. The ‘glamour surface’, created and manipulated by man, is disturbed and destroyed. Burnt out fabrics relay the delicacy of humanness by exposing its figure. As an essential idea, my collections examine the female body and its function as a “living accessory”. - It is a projection screen for signs, images and statements. - The body must speak to connect itself to the mind and soul. Exposure facilitates these functions. At its crux, my collections define human interaction with the World, building infinite layers of protection, guardian architectures, that allow us to indemnify our exposed fragilities.

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Me: I noticed how you paired one of your blouses with jeans and a vintage blazer, how would you recommend someone to wear some of your more elaborate pieces?

Ella: When I design, it`s always an escape through the “backdoor” in order to be able to create new silhouettes, new shapes, new appearances of a woman, - to create a kind of “alienation”. To introduce these aliens into everyday life, the woman wearing my clothes has to mix up with “basic clothing” like old denim or business jackets. I quite like the contrast, the fusion of classic elements and the extraordinary.

You can find Seelenkleid on Not Just a Label and on Seelenkleid.com

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sweety P July 10, 2009 at 6:04 am

Wow, her designs are amazing! Love the photos! Thank you for sharing this interview!
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2 Sal July 10, 2009 at 8:11 am

Breathtaking work. Much of it evokes undersea life, I think, with those spirals and burnouts. Thanks for a fantastic interview!
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3 Meg July 10, 2009 at 8:24 am

Very interesting design techniques and a great interview.
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4 jennine July 10, 2009 at 8:28 am

❤sweety…oh i’m glad you liked it!
❤sal…hehe, i said the same thing, and she told me i was way off… sea shells! love them.
❤meg… thanks!

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5 Susiii July 10, 2009 at 11:37 am

hey jennine, her clothes are awesome! thank for writing about her! ❤

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6 Fashiongrail July 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Fabulous photos!
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7 jennine July 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm

❤susii…oh i’m glad you think so too… she’s one of my favorites.

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8 Butterfly July 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Such an innovative designer with some great ideas.
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9 SwanDiamondRose July 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm

very beautiful work and beautiful words too.
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10 Joy d. July 10, 2009 at 7:57 pm

These are quite amazing. so much attention to detail. The pieces seem so fraigle. I wonder if it would be an easy DIY.
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11 Alicia July 10, 2009 at 8:57 pm

That is amazingly beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it. Magnificent.
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12 I don't eat bread July 10, 2009 at 10:07 pm

This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!

x x x
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13 Rey July 11, 2009 at 6:08 am

My hearts yells to its perfectness! Great Pictures. Automatic Rose Gold Zenith Watch.

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14 Lily July 12, 2009 at 12:42 am

Woaaah what crazy designs..shes very talented!xx

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15 Make Do Style July 12, 2009 at 6:52 am

Great interview, lots of detail and lovely visuals to accompany. I felt very floaty after looking at the designed garments.
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16 derekpm July 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Rather interesting. Has few times re-read for this purpose to remember. Thanks for interesting article. Waiting for trackback

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17 C July 13, 2009 at 1:30 am

the designs are beautiful! and that blue jacket is dreamlike…i want it.lol

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18 Frankie - Swell Vintage July 13, 2009 at 2:53 am

Wow, her designs are truly epic! This is a great interview x
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19 Shay July 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

wow, never seen white pieces look so powerful! You know?
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20 RichardAlois October 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Seelenkleid? That sounds fanatastic!
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