Interview with Albert Kriemler designer Creative Director at the Swiss fashion company Akris …
Mr Kriemler did your family give any particular advice when you took over the creative heritage of Akris?
AK: I grew up amidst patterns and seamstresses in the fashion house my grandmother had founded, during a time when my parents were transforming it into an international brand. I started to draw clothes at a very young age; I always loved fabrics. It was the most natural thing; fashion is rooted deeply in my family. As a child, I was already intrigued by the modern and sporty elegance of my mother, Ute Kriemler. She was one of the best-dressed women in this country.
Where do you experience inspiration? Do you have a routine or ritual for the beginning of a new season or creation of a new collection?
AK: Every collection begins with a fabric. Inspiration is constant, wherever you go, whatever you see and perceive, you can discover new things or come up with new ideas, which we then develop with my great teams – Newness is expected from a collection as well. I always travel with fabrics and sketches. I am interested in the life of today’s active and modern woman and it somehow influences almost every creative process. It is often art or architecture or photography or a movie and discussing it that forms the source for my inspiration or theme for a collection.
In what way does this inspiration accompany you in your work in progress? (Did you have some small pebble stones in your office last season?)
AK: As soon as I have decided on the inspiration, the work starts and it is only really done when the collection is shown on the runway. It is always a journey and differs in procedure every time until the day of the Défilé… And then it’s starting over again with the next collection.
The current collection “It´s all about the jacket!” is a mix of state-of-the-art materials and textile finishing processes, elegant, noble and of course still practical. The collection creates a quite concrete picture of an “Akris-woman” – has she changed over the last years? Or can she still remain true to her social position?
AK: Every woman should remain true to her role, that’s important! Each collection should represent a concrete idea of an Akris woman of today, that’s the most fascinating part of my work. Fabrics and colors are the beginning of each collection – this time my goal was to develop ecru and light grey in most different ways. I wanted it to be monochrome, generating attention through the silhouette and the fabrics and not through an image or print. I do like the fact that you are talking about practical and natural – this is a must for me und it’s the basis of modernity of my collections. Today’s fashion has to be what I call “selbstverständlich” in German, a term that is not easily translated, it means effortless, self-evident in its appearance and use. You just want to throw a coat or jacket over or just put on a dress and zip it up. If it’s complicated due to stiff and heavy fabrics or you can’t combine it many ways, then it is not contemporary.
What does the noncolour black mean in fashion? Is there any other that you like as much? Do you have a favourite color?
AK: The collection I presented for fall/winter 2013/14 in honor of my mother was a black collection. You are talking about a non-color – that was not the case – there was a lot of light in the collection – given by the fabrics and their treatments. It was a fascinating in the way it was monochromatic, yet sensual collection thanks to the materials. This collection writes history for Akris, because it transports all Akris values. Lots of colors fascinate me – but a color needs a particular fabric that is just right for it to shine. The combination and use of colors can either make the fabric stronger and even more beautiful, or fail do to so. Color can be surprising when appearing alone or unexpected. That one favorite color does not exist. But there is a favorite color for a collection. To work with color itself is one of my favorite topics at the beginning of each collection.
Do you think black will always remain modern /en-vogue?
AK: Black is modern and will always be. But it can just as much be dusty and not well executed when it comes to fashion.
What is good style to you?
AK: Great style is always about a person. Clothes get style through the wearer – through her appearance that is eventually accentuated by my clothes.
Interview by Annica Thoms.