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Kings never die... Interview with sleek magazine He might have started out as a dancer, but Berlin-based Mads Dinesen is now making moves in fashion. Three years after his graduation from Berlin’s University of the Arts, Sleek talks to the Danish menswear designer about rituals, Moondog and getting inside the collective subconscious. What were your cultural inspirations for this collection? The music that’s playing is from an American composer called Moondog, who lived on the streets in New York in the 1950s onwards. He was blinded at 16 but was still doing all this weird music even though he had a classical education. He even built his own instruments. He had a particularly avant-garde, eccentric look about him, even though he didn’t know what he looked like – all these big horns and capes. He was the main starting point for the collection. I also use film a lot – Jodorowsky especially and the film Holy Mountain. It’s a very spiritual movie, very colourful (although you don’t see that in the clothes!) about a spiritual quest to find truth. There are some ritualistic and occult references in this collection and in your previous presentations like the one at the XXX Berlin store. What is it that fascinates you about these processes? When I was a dancer, I was very much into physical theatre and performance. I am very inspired by Japanese Butoh dance, where there are some elements of folkloristic tradition. It’s kind of a ritual, how we dress ourselves, anyway, how we unconsciously fit into a different group, and choose what we want to say. I just can’t give up on the idea of performance; it’s a part of my DNA. It never disappears. What made you decide to move from dance to fashion? I was a dancer for ten years, but had so many injuries I had to stop. That’s when I started designing. One particular reason I started was because I wasn’t happy with the menswear that was already on offer. Right now, I haven’t cast off womenswear completely — I did a womenswear collection for the Mango Fashion Awards before this – but I think there’s enough designers doing womenswear really well, whereas menswear is still limited. For me, it’s a way of telling stories and I can do that in different ways. So, how do you go about translating stories into clothes? It’s about what clothes mean to us as a way of communicating with our surroundings but also how we communicate our inner images to other people. Most people don’t even have a clear image of how they really want to look, so I’m trying to make something subconscious into reality. I would just like people to start thinking when they see fashion. That’s what I want to do with my designs at least. This is your first collection that is going on the market. How do you feel about your clothes coming out of the installation arena and on sale? I tried to stay true to what I do with this collection. It’s me doing my basics, but a bit more wearable and approachable for the customers. Then, at an event like this, I can do what I want and dramatise it up or down depending on the styling. It’s interesting for someone with such an investment in movement, that you decided to present your clothes in a static presentation. I don’t like the stress of shows much, although that’s where you get that goose-bump moment in fashion. Also, as a young designer it’s almost impossible to finance a show. Here, it’s more like an exhibition, people can walk around. The space is normally a gallery anyway, so it works. I really just wanted people to have an opportunity to see it properly, and give it a bit of peace. By Josie Thaddeus-Johns
About the Designer
Mads is based in Berlin, Germany. He studied at University of the arts - Berlin and graduated in 2010.
Mads Dinesen is a Menswearlabel situated in Berlin. Founded by the young Danish designer Mads Dinesen.
Mads Dinesen graduated from the Uiversity of the Arts - Berlin in 2010, and has since then been nominated for several international Designawards with his graduationcollection "Pain is felt by all..."
Before his studies in Berlin, Mads Dinesen worked for several years as a dancer and performer, and now uses this experience in his work with fashion.
DFor more than 10 years Mads Dinesen is active in various cooperations with musicians, photographers, performanceartist and coreographers, and trough these cooperations researching on Fashion as a way of communication, and a carrier of stories and history.
The fashion of Mads Dinesen is situated in the boarder between clothing, art, performance and storytelling and is drawing it's inspiration of the creative scene, not only in Berlin, but all over the world.