MELITTA BAUMEISTER AW14
February 2014, New York City – Melitta Baumeister, having just sent her second collection since graduating with a fashion MA from Parsons down the NYFW runway, describes her collection in relation to her appraisal of pop culture’s obsession with the digital sphere to the VFiles gang. Baumeister is no stranger to the gravity that ‘the new’ has on modern culture. Working with silicone in her collections and a palette of clinical monochrome, Baumeister as a brand boasts the virtual-cool and modernised sophistication that designers of the past have tried to execute but have stopped short with the fear of pushing the envelope further than the era is aesthetically prepared for. In this second collection, photographed by PITCH favourite and fellow New Yorker Paul Jung, Baumeister explains the gradual refinement of her designs via her familiar yet wholly unique designs.
“This collection was more a continuation from my graduate collection,” explains Baumeister. “My graduation collection was more an artistic expression of less wearable pieces. I was not fully expecting to be able to show at NYFW, but I knew that I would always continue to create, no matter what.
“I do think fashion is a reflection on what is happening in our current culture,” she says. “I think you have a tremendous responsibility as a designer. You are basically the voice of a culture in a certain era, of a certain time.”
It’s this depth of feeling, thinking and then, as a result, wearing that has Baumeister considering the future as an intrinsic detail of her conceptual process. “The digital world is one that we all travel through together, which coexists in parallel with reality,” she says.
“The casted garments become a three dimensional photograph, a moment that is held in place or a still life with an appearance of what we know. Fashion is a medium that today can be experienced not only in reality, but virtually, as a dual layer experience. The digital world imitates and provides visual experiences of reality, while my work provides a reflection of those processes.”
Focusing on the balance between real and fake in contemporary culture, Baumeister generates wearable pieces that hint at the hyper-reality she has become intoxicated by as a designer. “I find advanced technology that is able to replace or simulate reality extremely interesting. As Arthur C. Clark formulates it so well, ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ It was important for me to give away a feeling of purity, something that has a character of what could be in store in tomorrow’s world.”
Here’s to tomorrow.
Melitta Baumeister’s AW14 collection will be available in select locations across New York, London and Tokyo from July 2014.