Hi Diana Orving, creator of the dress photographed on this season’s invitation and cover of the Brand Guide! Your creations are often floating and look beautiful in motion with fantastic cuts and choices of materials. The garments often make you think of dancing and you often collaborate with dancers and dance performances in various forms in the presentation of your collections.
Tell us about this, what does dance mean to you and how does movement affect your collections?
“I always have dance in the back of my mind through the process. I think of a body in motion and relate to it when I create directly on the body or on a mannequin. There are many similarities between the work of the choreographer and the dancers and my own process when I improvise a shape and go back to it to find the right balance, weight, resistance and tempo. Like clothes, dance is a kind of wordless communication, it is language that explains itself and must be experienced. When I have worked with dance in different forms at my shows, it has been to give the body a different meaning than what it usually has in fashion shows. I want the body to convey power, activity, artistic expression and that the garments I create should be an experience both visually and tactile. ”
You were early with presenting your clothes on all types of people, and using women from your circle of acquaintances and in your network, rather than models to runway shows and lookbooks. Has it always been a conscious choice and is it an important part of your creation – that the clothes fit all kinds of bodies?
“My entry to clothing, or fashion, was similar to a child on a journey of discovery in Vår Teaters costume storage. Here, clothes became opportunities, keys into new characters, experiences and roles. Clothes were a play with identities, form and expression. This has been the lure towards clothes for me, rather than the perfection of the fashion world, its exclusivity and unreachable models. I think this has been the reason to why the process of casting models differ from a normal fashion show for me. I want my clothes to celebrate the body and bring out the best in a variety of body types and that is what I strive for in all stages of the process, from pattern design and material choices to presentation. I get inspired by women in my vicinity and they are often involved in my process when I test prototypes for garments in my studio or through artistic collaborations. They are the ones I relate to and who are the most relevant for me when I convey my vision through a show or presentation. My clothes should be favorite garments that lift and inspire their wearer. ”
You work on the border of art and fashion, where each garment is created with an artist’s viewpoint and you also create fantastic art works of textiles and fabrics. How does the relationship between art and fashion look to you? Is there a distinct difference?
“When working with my textile artworks, I feel much freer than in my work with clothes. I work expansively, spatially, with large installations or with paintings where sculptural collages are united with painting. In my studio, you can find half-finished works of art I have worked with over several months. This care and time is rarely allowed in the work with the collections, although I always try to find time for the craftsmanship in my studio collection. I hope and believe that the fashion industry’s fixation on seasons is about to dissolve. We must consume less and more carefully, choose better qualities and get better at taking care of what we already have.”
The dress, photographed on the front of the Brand Guide, is in mesh – how important is the material to you and how do you plan a new collection regarding the relationship between materials, fashion, movement and art?
“I am very intuitive and instinctive when it comes to my choice of materials. A material’s tactile properties speak directly to me and awaken my imagination. I fell in love with the material, a dry thin cotton tulle that made me associate to classic ballet’s tutus and mosquito nets where the sunlight shines through on a late summer afternoon. Both sensual and restrained. I have draped the fabric and sewn by hand, wrinkled it into sculptural applications.”