Felipe Rojas Llanos

...I keep on wanting to make a Holden Caulfield collection but I am not ready for it yet.

Felipe Rojas Llanos is a London-based menswear designer, born in Chile and brought to Sweden at the age of four. At sixteen he studied Fine Arts for three years in Malmö, Sweden, where he developed his signature drawing style. He eventually moved to London to study fashion and graduated from Central Saint Martins with a Masters Degree in 2010. The minimal collection, described as luxurious yet highly wearable, evokes the idea of a frozen moment in time, with dramatically voluminous designs, an element of flow and effortless comfort, and couture-like attention to detail. After the completion of Felipe’s MA course he started the label under his name as the brand name. Chosen by Fashion East and Topman to show his SS10 collection titled 'Legion' at the prestigious MAN show in London Fashion Week September 2010, Felipe was thrilled to have been picked once again to showcase his AW11 collection titled 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' at the prestigious MAN show for the second time in February 2011. In September 2011 Felipe was picked to be one of the NEWGEN menswear designers to participate in the Installations to showcase his SS12 collection titled 'Butterfield 88'. His S/S13 collection was shown as part of the NEWGEN menswear installations during London Collections: Men. The concept of the collection is if you are leaving your house and not coming back for your clothes, which piece would you chose to exit with, the collection has the lightness of a Spring/Summer collection but should protect from rain or cold as well.

Nothing inspires me like...
I get my best work done when listening to music. Right now I am obsessively listening to Lana Del Rey and this one amazing song from The Irrepressible. My best ideas come when I am on a bike or in a cab just observing my surroundings but graphic novels are still my favourite form of escape, I always go back to my comics from the 80's and 90's while working.

I think I am trying to find what it was that was so impressive and refreshing that got me hooked on this world, right now I am going through an uncanny X-Men storyline written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Marc Silvestri (Fall of the Mutants). What I like about comics and graphic novels is that no matter how much time goes by, whenever you revisit them they're just as exciting as the first time you read them.

I hope...
That time travel will finally be invented. That will screw up a lot of theories. Or that we finally get extra-terrestrial visits to mess up the church’s beliefs. Or that we have flying cars within 5 years time or at least flying skateboards. I mean, hats of to you, Richard Branson, for letting us take a joyride to the outer stratosphere soon but I was watching Terminator 2 last night and doomsday is just around the corner so we better get a move on, my hopes are pretty high as you can see.

Cultural influences...
I keep getting told that you can see a Scandinavian style in my work. I guess it rubbed of while growing up in Sweden and the vibrant use of colours come from my Latin side, the trick is to keep your mind open. This is something harder to do in this society.

Pedro Almodovar is one of the best filmmakers that I always find inspiring. You have people like Frida Khalo and Jackson Pollock that always leave me in awe and I am always rereading Catcher In the Rye, I keep on wanting to make a Holden Caulfield collection but I am not ready for it yet, he is a hard character to capture. I guess that’s why I always go back to him.

I got where I am...
By being nice to people and working hard and doing things without over thinking about them because that is when you kill your creativity, by turning it into logic. There is a fine line that gets crossed too often when creating, we all have a gut instinct that we forget to listen to. I always try, creation is more about making than thinking. That’s why some people are better at it then others.

Fashion can sometimes...
This is a question I dislike because depending on the day I will answer you differently. It can be wonderful and poisonous at the same time. It’s brutal and exciting and at the end, a business, so I can romanticise it or talk bad about it, for me as a designer it is an output of expressing myself in an artistic way and I love that, but it is also a business to sell your ideas, which is hard and a big responsibility. You set your own aims. I could also tell you how hard it is business-wise and how much talent there is out there, which is great because it’s important to push the boundaries.

I sense...
Menswear will continue to evolve and become more open minded, something I am very pleased with. The contemporary man dares to be more feminine and adventurous in how he presents himself. why should girls have all the fun? We boys like to dress up too and there is nothing wrong with that.

Have faith in...
Yourself, sometimes things take longer than you expect and they get really dark but it really does get better and you never get thrown more than you can handle. Never listen to anyone who makes you doubt in yourself because they have issues or are just jealous.

If I could...
And had the time I would do a feature film. I already know who would write it with me and who would star in it, one of my favourite things about doing what I do is that you get to meet so many interesting people along the way that inspire you to be better at what you do. Right now I am developing a short film, with a director, that is based on one of my collections that I dedicated to Dame Elizabeth Taylor when she passed away. In a way it’s a short film based on a character based on the collection based on the movie she starred in.

I once thought...
I would be a dancer but I didn’t have enough ballet training, dancing is still my favourite way of expression. I have not been on a stage since I was 20. I use to perform in Sweden and it was the most amazing feeling, like being backstage when your collection is walking out on the catwalk.

My dreams are...
To get one of those time controlling necklaces that allows you to have more hours in the day. Everyone who knows me, knows that my main nemesis is time and I wish I wasn’t deprived of it. I would need at least 5 hours more a day so that I could finish all the things I want to. That would be a dream come true. I wish I could be stuck in a twilight zone episode where there is more time everyday.

My future is…
Unclear and that is how I want it. I am not one of those people who need their life planned and follow some norm that is expected, all I know is that I am making a big AW13 collection, that I am going to someplace exotic with my closest friends for my birthday in August and that in the near future I am getting a sausage dog (I had one growing up and am getting my own little puppy named Clark in the honour of Kal-El)

My vice is…
Coffee. Sometimes I am stuck in coffee comas and can’t go to sleep until 6 in the morning, I thought once I was developing some sort of insomnia but it turned out I was just one of those people that doesn’t need much sleep…and Daria, it’s the best animated show ever.

My goal…
Is to be happy in any possible way. Designing makes me happy right now and I aspire to be better at it every season. My goal is, when I am 60, to look back and think, 'fuck I had a good time and look at all this crazy stuff I had the honour to do and all the inspiring people I have met'.

I'm an emotional retard...
This is true, I still cry when I see almost any Studio Ghibli film. It just really reaches me. That studio really knows how to capture the kid within you, it always makes me want to leave fashion to make beautiful animation. If you have never seen a Ghibli film, I would recommend Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro and Arietty in that order and if you don’t get it, well, I feel sorry for you.

I wouldn't want...
To do anything else than making clothes, sketching Illustrations, making comic scripts ideas or now making a short film. I feel very happy on where my life is going right now and as I said, the future looks blurred but very exciting and full of new adventures to grab onto.