LAST WEEK I MET: ACHTLAND
We met the guys behind Achtland and had a chat about…
THE NEW COLLECTION
For the S/S 15 collection we thought we like to revisit one of the things we‘ve done before which is a very classic hand embroidery. They‘re supposed to look like flowers that have been picked off the meadow and put in a vase. We work a lot with one of our favourite fabrics which is organdy (a type of cotton). We always start with the fabric and then we take it from there. So all of this is selected before we even start designing. First we go for a tactile experience and then whether it is an interesting weave. Some for example have been done on a mill, apparently the only one that is left in Europe. Everything is produced in London.
What we don‘t do in Europe is embroidery because that kind of craftsmanship hasn‘t survived here.
We brought the idea a little bit further, we thought it would be more interesting to contrast the classic embroidery with something that is slightly more graphic. We chose the british sculptor Anthony Gormley as a reference, we translated the flower into a more graphic one. It‘s literary taken from a hand drawing we made. We bought a bunch of flowers and picked the ones we thought would look nice to have as an embroidery and painted them. So we got a sketch, a graphical sculpture and a painting in a sense that is supposed to look traditional. We also got a more toned down part of the collection in terms of shape and structure and what we think is the Achtland DNA – a very clean cut, elegance.
THE COLOUR PALETTE
We thought it would be interesting to sort of explore a palette that is slightly more earthy. Very dark shades of raspberry, with the bright green, white and black. And with contrast colours as brick and bright blue. It‘s a bit of an earthly summer.
MOVING TO LONDON
We decided on it very spontaneously. For us it‘s actually a homecoming. Even during the time we lived in Berlin we have always missed London. We always wanted to go back for private reasons. And business was 50% of the story as well of course.
For establishing internationally we need other options for Achtland. This is a product that has a certain price range.
There weren‘t really other cities in consideration. Not this time. When we came to Berlin there was a brief moment where we thought now we can go anywhere. We consciously made the decision to go to Berlin. This time it was clear. We had to go back to London because we missed it.
MORTIMER (MINI COOPER)
It‘s home with my parents, I‘m heartbroken. The reason I didn‘t take it with me is because it needs a garage. If it‘s not in a garage it‘s going to rust away. It was my daily car. I went to work with it every day. And I do miss it very much, it was my first car. I had it for 13 years. It‘s called Mortimer. You don‘t see them that often in London.
WORKING AS A DUO
It sounds scary doesn‘t it? We‘re together 24/7. I guess there are relationships where that would be daunting but in our relationship we thought of it as a natural evolution of that and we work very symbiotically. We always thought of it as a privilege, to share this experience together. You only know what it‘s like when you actually get to do it.
Technically we do everything together but actually we wear different hats, when we do it.
One of us is more on the design side, the other more on the managing side. We do decide everything together. That‘s were we come together. So that helps in everyday business but it also helps, as you said knowing that you can trust each other.
It is important though that both people understand that you leave work at work. You have to be disciplined about it. You can’t go on talking about work forever. Especially now that we are in-between two collections we don‘t talk about fashion at home.
It‘s fashion. When we disagree, we just make another garment. And sometimes we do have a veto if one of us feels very uncomfortable with one particular decision, a fabric for example. We just cancel it. But that rarely ever happens because we almost share the exact same taste, which helps. Sometimes we just say ok lets just try and mostly these pieces turn out to be the ones we like the most cause it‘s something that the other person didn‘t expect to work and then it actually does. Sometimes it‘s the other way around,
when we both agree we‘ve done very well it‘s actually horrible
they‘re boring and we have to edit them if it comes too easy. There has to be some sort of pain in it.
THE ACHTLAND WOMAN
Achtland is worn by someone who has already found her style. She is looking for something new. less a trend slave, but looking for something that fits with her style. She‘s just looking for something that has a value because of the craftsmanship or the fabric, something she can pass on to her daughter. Thats the idea behind it. It‘s someone who knows what they want.
THE SIGNATURE OF ACHTLAND
Experimentation with fabrics is something that we always try to incorporate and try to push. It‘s something you can never do too much. You can never do too much in the sense of trying to pursue the most interesting surface. There is a lot that already has been done. You‘re not going to reinvent the trousers but you might actually come up with an interesting fabric concept or embroidery or something.
WHAT IS NEXT
As the very next thing we‘re actually gonna take it to New York next week for our press days. It‘s the first time to go overseas. We‘ve been to Milan, now it‘s time to continue where we left. In fact, from early on when there was international interest it usually came from New York. I think this idea, which is also part of our DNA, the sporty elegance, fits with the american consumer and market.
Thank you Achtland!