Alexander Krantz graduated from Beckmans College of Design in 2011 and received a master’s degree in womenswear from Central Saint Martins in 2016. While operating in the context of womenswear, his design is ultimately about expressing individuality. He believes in the transformative power of getting dressed (something he explored in his MA collection) and sees his design very much as an extension of himself; it is about performing identity, a kind of self-staging or self-representation. This comes through also in his private wardrobe, where identity markers are open and fluid. To him, fashion has to be based on lived, subjective experience, which is something else than mimicking identity for commercial reasons. As he puts it: “Fashion used as a canvas for individual variation can be an expression of discomfort to ready-made identities, like those of gender and class.” In this project he is participating with a self-styled portrait taken in London during the research phase of his MA collection.
Fashion today thrives on a vacuous capital, the concept of staged authenticity. Individual expressions are being mimicked, commercialized and sold as clothes.
Garments and how they are put together, styled, are to me a way of manifesting identity as a subjective experience. Fashion used as a canvas for individual variation can be an expression of discomfort to ready-made identities, like those of gender and class. “Queer fashion” or “critical fashion” should in my opinion express a plastic, procedural and nuanced approach to identity.
Fashion is the translucent film onto which I project my experienced identity on one side and where my surrounding and the collective mind are being projected on the other. In the featureless blur between the two, my self is in constant recreation and the process manifests itself through embodied, plastic form.
The picture, taken in London Autumn 2015, illustrates the subject of research for my MA at Central Saint Martins. I was at the time challenging the concept of the prince, a figure both androgynous and ethereal despite its powerful and virile premises, which I intended to apply on womenswear. In the picture I am wearing my own designs: my “Renaissance T-shirt” with a triptych of medallions, a “Green Stone” necklace and a “Ring of Gold” earring.
The jewellery comes from “It’s Magic by Alexander Krantz”, a small collection of jewellery handmade in Bali, whereas the top belongs to my MA project. The top combines a mundane cotton jersey T-shirt with brocade puffy sleeves, and, associated to the preciosity of the jewellery, attempts to present a contemporary vision of a prince while updating a well-known imagery and portraiture.
- MA collection, Vogue.com (pictures 125–133): https://www.vogue.com/[…]