Ragne Kikas for body conscious and independent woman

 Ragne Kikas

- Introduce yourself shortly.
- My name is Ragne Kikas. I am a knitwear designer from Estonia, but I live and work in Hamburg, Germany. I graduated a month ago from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (aka. HAW Hamburg; Master’s degree in fashion design).

- You and you as a designer – what is connected and what is different?
- There is no difference; I am as I am…

- Have you been surrounded by creative people at your childhood? Maybe someone inspired you to start arts/design? (Also you can name the first steps to get into industry.)
- I have been surrounded by hardworking and tradition-conscious people at my childhood.
In my home country (Estonia) handcraft has always been an important part of life. I learned my first knitting techniques at the age of five. We even had regular handcraft lessons at school.
It was a natural consequence to become a (knitwear) designer.

- What was the first knitted item that you were proud of? When did you realized that you want to design using only knitting technique?
- A lilac mohair scarf. It was the first time I used the cable-knit technique and realized, that I can knit as well as my mother does.
During my fashion studies at HAW Hamburg and after several sewing/draping projects I just wanted to meet the challenge to hand knit my next collection.
It was the ‘love at first sight’. I paired my knitting skills I had learned in Estonia with my creativity I formed in Hamburg while studying at HAW.

- What is the main inspirational source for creating sculptural shapes? Where do you seek for inspiration? Your aesthetics.
- The source of inspiration is always different: it could be an interesting book, an artist, a museum… For my last collection called ‘Dress Code Defensive’ I took my inspirations from the 15th and 16th Century suits of armour. However, it is only the starting point to narrow down the possible tonal palette and material range.
The next and more essential step is technical research. I flick through my handcraft books and experiment on my domestic knitting machines. I love to transform traditional techniques and translate them into my knitted silhouettes.
It is like doing a jigsaw puzzle: I am permanently searching for the perfect combination of shapes, materials and knitted details. My garments just ‘happen’ while experimenting/knitting. I have learned to be flexible and do not plan too much beforehand.

- Do you have any special rituals before you start to create?
- I must be bored for couple of weeks. I must miss my knitting needles and my handcraft books. 

- You are creating for women. Do you have concrete ideals? Femininity nowadays from your perspective.
- I design my collections for a body conscious, smart and independent woman. My clothes should underline her strong personality.
I can't define 'femininity', I can only feel it. For example my current collection feels feminine.

- What was the best advice you ever had?
- ‘It doesn’t matter, how long it takes.’
I have realized, that it is not always possible to get immediate results. Sometimes we have to wait or work over a long term on a good project.

- Knitwear and fashion trends – can you name any? Your recommendations for perfect knitted item?
- I think there is a difference between industrial fashion trends and the art of garment making. I don’t care about the fashion trends.
The perfect knitted garment should become a favoured item in somebody’s wardrobe.

- You had presentation at Hyeres 2012 festival; also you won the Premiere Vision and festival‘s public prize. Tell more about this experience and what changed after all/hope to change.
- It was a great honour to be one of the ten finalists of Festival Hyères 2012 and present my newest collection called ‘Dress Code Defensive’ to such a wonderful audience and jury. It makes me happy and proud.
To win the Fashion Public Award of the City of Hyères and the Première Vision Award feels like a dream come true. I think I am on the right way and I will just continue with my work.

- Do you feel that you need to march and fight to get everyone’s attention? Biggest achievement so far?
- It is more a march (in terms of diligence and purposefulness) as a fight - I just try to present my work in the best possible way. My biggest achievement so far was the nomination for Hyères 2012 and the two awards I won there.

- What are your values/ future dreams and hopes?
- To stay true to myself.

Credits: Catwalk pictures by Etienne Tordoir

No comments:

Post a Comment