David Longshaw Presents Irlam & Chloe : The OHNE TITEL Interview
‘Selnec, Selnec, we need to get on to Couture Gardening…where’s Selnec?’
‘Erm… she’s gone ‘away for a bit’, she’s having a ‘creative break’ to find herself… she’s … well you know..’
‘Irlam, what Penketh is trying to cack handedly say is that Selnec’s put herself in the Priory or some other such place. Christ knows if she actually needs it or if she just thinks it’s fashionable! I think it’s a bloody liberty- the last thing the poor buggers in there need is some self- indulgent fashionista!’
‘Yes thank you Genghis for putting that so delicately! Well as she’s away we’re just going to have to get on without her and Harriet for a while.
‘She’s taken Harriet with her! Jesus, if she does have a problem it’s probably from all the abuse Harriet gives her.’
‘So anyway, what’s all this about Couture Gardeners or gardening then?’
‘If we’re couture gardening we could have a picnic, a couture picnic, with all sorts of couture foods and drinks. I like foods and drinks. We could have chicken. I like chicken!’
‘Yes thankyou for that Chloe! Does that dog ever think of anything but food? I think we need to get on to the clothes- then we can faff around with the other stuff like worrying about picnicking. We need to think out of the box. We can’t do a horrible clic héd look at Dior because they have references to flowers and gardens or some floaty flowery collection. We can be in a garden- but we need something edgier, something unexpected but so beautiful that it works.’
‘We should get a label with a New York edge’
‘You know New York has some great food, we should go there to research and try some of their great food! I bet they do some good stuff with chicken!’
‘Jesus, give me strength, thanks for that Chloe.’
‘OHNE TITEL would be perfect, it’s a New York based womenswear label designed by Flora Gill and Alexa Adams. The two met in 1999 whilst attending Parson's School of Design.
After graduating they went on to work for fashion heavy weights such as Helmut Lang and Karl Lagerfeld. ‘
‘Wow the Kaizer and Helmut Lang. I can’t wait to see what that combo comes up with! That’s a great suggestion Zebra.’
‘Well, they say their own label (they founded it in September 2006) ‘pairs architectural shapes and soft draping with a keen attention to detail in fit and finish… for an intelligent modern woman. ‘
‘I like the sound of that.’
‘It’s not just you that like’s the sound of it, the fashion industry not only loves the idea but the reality. In January 2009 OHNE TITEL won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award for womenswear. OHNE TITEL was nominated into the top 10 for the 2009 CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Award. The label was also nominated for the 2009 Swiss Textiles Award.
Their collections are sold in stores from Barney's - New York, Saks Fifth Avenue - New York, Printemps – Paris, LN-CC – London, Joyce - Hong Kong and Maria Luisa - Hong Kong.’
‘They sound perfect. Can you imagine gardening in something so edgy chic, so New York! I love it. It will be such a juxtaposition to the surroundings.’
‘Let’s get talking to them then!’
Irlam & Chloe: You both studied at the prestigious fashion school Parsons in NY- what was it like? In England we know about leading Fashion schools abroad such as Antwerp and we know a lot about St Martins and the RCA as they’re on our door step but we know less about the Parsons.
OHNE TITEL: Parsons introduces you to a very rigorous curriculum which prepares you for the reality of the design industry. The emphasis is on technical learning but there is a very creative energy overall that feeds and drives you as a designer.
Irlam & Chloe: Where do you see yourself in the future (5-10 years+)?
OHNE TITEL: We are currently working on the development of our own shoes and bags, which are scheduled to launch in the Spring 2012 season. In the next 3 years we would like to offer a menswear collection, and develop our own fragrance. In five years, we would like to open a freestanding store in New York City.
Irlam & Chloe: what advice would you give aspiring designer?
Flora - Focus on an aspect of design that you love and that sets you apart.
Alexa - To deal with the long hours and pressure to create consistently strong collections you have to have a passion for the work.
Irlam & Chloe: You both worked for major fashion houses, such as Karl Lagerfeld and Helmut Lang- what do you feel you learnt from this and what made you decide to strike out together with your own label?
OHNE TITEL: We talked about launching our own collection all through design school but only really found ourselves in the position to attempt it after working for a label that folded. We decided to launch Ohne Titel instead of pursuing positions at established houses. It was scary and exciting but felt like the right step in that moment.
Irlam & Chloe: If you were to pursue any other career what would it be and would it be together?
Alexa - I have a life-long interest in archaeology.
Flora - I love to work with my hands. When I can, I design furniture.
To find out more about OHNE TITEL visit: www.ohnetitel.com
To see more of David Longshaw’s work visit: www.davidlongshaw.co.uk