Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Lifestyle

Fashion designer Harpa Einarsdóttir cried when she attended an Alexander McQueen show in Paris

By Sara McMahon

  • Harpa Einarsdóttir graduated as a fashion designer from the Iceland Academy of Arts in 2005. Photo/Valli

Iceland Mag met up with Harpa Einarsdóttir, one of the eight designers who take part in Reykjavík Fashion Festival this year, wanting to know more about her designs and inspiration among other things.

Brand: Ziska
Designer: Harpa Einarsdóttir
Zodiac: Taurus

The brand: “I graduated as a fashion designer from the Iceland Academy of Arts in 2005 and first showed my work under the name Ziska in 2011. I tend to look to different groups of aboriginal people for inspiration—for example, my 2012 collection was influenced by the Tuareg women in North Africa, who adorn themselves with beautiful facial tattoos and wear amazing textiles. Mystery envelops my design and I use only the highest quality fabrics. I’m especially fond of leather, wool, and silk.”

"I want the clothes to bring out a modest yet determined lioness in the wearer."

The AW 14 collection: ““My collection is named Just Ride and was inspired by Mongolian eagle hunters. I grew up with horses and I find that the experience of riding through the magnificent Icelandic landscape comes out in my artwork. The feeling of freedom and the bond with nature—I try to capture that spark in this collection. I guess the best way to describe it is simple but mature. I want the clothes to bring out a modest yet determined lioness in the wearer. I design a new pattern for each new collection, which is digitally printed on the fabric. This print was inspired by a painting I did earlier this year.”

Catwalk styling: “The styling will be extremely clear-cut and a little strange. The clothes are the star of the show, so I’ll keep the hair and make-up simple.”

What will you do after the show? “A champagne toast with some good friends in Gamla Bíó.”

People who have influenced you as a designer: ““Vivienne Westwood. Her view of life has influenced me greatly. And I literally cried when I attended an Alexander McQueen show in Paris in 2005. He was a master of this craft and I have great respect for him.”

"I literally cried when I attended an Alexander McQueen show in Paris in 2005."

Where do you find inspiration: “Everywhere, really. There is a constant stream of inspiration that flows through us that we don’t always notice. It’s become a hobby of mine to try and tap into that stream when I need to and interpret it the most efficient way. However, it is necessary to detach yourself from work every now and then to maintain the ability to distinguish between good and bad ideas.”

Who’s your favourite Icelandic artist? “There are so many! If I have to name just one, it’ll have to be my boyfriend, actor Snorri Engilbertsson. No-one can make me laugh as hard as he – that in itself is a form of art. There are so many types of artists: Musicians, painters, stage artists and designers. I’d get myself into trouble trying to name more than the one.”

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