INTERVIEW BY CARLOTTA BUOSI
When Paula Knorr started her research for Spring/Summer 2019, she had this idea of a wet body stepping into a sheet of fabric and the fabric clinging to the body and draping across. This perfectly resonates with her designs, considering they are made for real women and aimed at enhancing their movements and their beauty, which - according to Paula - should be the centre of attention. Her ideal woman is someone relaxed, balanced in her strength and vulnerability, passionate. Basically, the very shell of a woman’s true nature. Youth does not appeal to Paula very much, as she rather create pieces for the women she looks up to. Ultimately, she designs for the woman she herself would like to become, one day. Putting the woman in the foreground, rather than the clothes, is at the core of her design, which makes the interaction between body and garments essential, but also the need for a real muse. A real, dynamic being who holds in her multi-faceted nature the essence of us all.
1. Paula, you are definitely not afraid of experimenting with colours and fabrics. Which are your preferred ones to work with?
I am working with a lot of couture fabrics from Italy and France. Lamé, Silk velvets and heavy sequins. I love to concentrate on super tactile fabrics like foiled silks that really enhance the beauty of my fluid drapes. For colours, I love to work with a bold but pleasant mix of warm rich tones, like bright red or soft blues.
2. Your collections feature quite a few different elements which somehow melt together beautifully. Where does a collection start for you and how do you develop from there?
My main intention in my design is to put the woman in the foreground, not the clothes. The interaction and balance between the body and the garments is essential. Details, prints, etc. come second. That´s why I never start by drawing my ideas. I have to drape and preferably create them directly on a real body to explore how they interact.
3. For your last collection, you interviewed a series of inspiring women. Tell us more.
I wanted to showcase the diversity and complexity of the female psyche and appearance. Like in a collage, those emotions and characteristics don´t belong together, they come from all sorts of places. Fashion tends to showcase this one-dimensional, fictional girl as a muse. This makes the collection easy to understand, but also not relevant as an inspiration to reality
4. Is it possible, in your opinion, to create fashion that every woman out there, despite their differences of personality and culture, could embrace and empathise with?
Definitely. I think the most important is to not lose the connection with reality and different wearers. For me,to influence my design with many realistic female identities is the most importantpart of my process.
5. For AW18 you collaborated with Rathel&Wolf at the creation of complementary jewellery for your collection. Should we expect a new collaboration for SS19?
Yes, Sari and Ricarda, the founders of Rathel&Wolf, are friends of mine and know my collection
very well. Like mine, their designs always works with the female body as a muse. Every season we plan the jewellery as an exciting contrast or as details that mimic the shape of my dresses. This season it will be a bold contrast.
6. How do you feel about this London Fashion Week?
Every season I feel more prepared about the obstacles that could come up. I actually feel the most confident this season than I ever have.
7. What is your main goal as a woman and as a designer?
As a womenswear designer it’s absolutely necessary for me to challenge myaslf and what femininity means to me.
My sole field of work is to dress women, which means I have the responsibility for being progressive, powerful and a fighter for their wishes. In our small area of reach, us designers have the chance to contribute and absolutely change something for women.
Special thanks to Charlotte Berghman and the British Fashion Council.