Celebrating the woman’s body with sleek layering and construction, expressing femininity contrasting raw edges and soft materials and communicating an inner universe are key elements of Heidi Paula’s work. The result are beautiful and elegant pieces that at the same time convey melancholy and joy.
Winner of last year’s Young Vision Award, Heidi also puts great emphasis on craftsmanship, using mainly locally sourced natural materials.
The Danish designer now presents her capsule collection, Music When the Lights Go Out, with MUUSE, a series of pieces that represents her unique style very well. Trendy items like the leather collar or the signature dress called Disappear are good examples.
In order to submerge yourself into the universe of Heidi Paula here’s a little interview:
Your women’s collection appears to me as being intrinsically feminine. I like the way you refer to qualities such as classic elegance, fragility and softness using slender shapes and ruffles. But at the same time there is a rawness and unpolished effect. What do you want to express with these kinds of contrasts?
For me, this is a proverbial expression of the fact that nothing is perfect. Even the attempt at approaching perfection is one of turmoil and reflection. I attempt to envelop beauty, through sleek layering and construction, noting that beauty to me also means imperfection. This is what I love about design, the contrast between rawness and an effeminate silhouette. At times, my designs are rather emotive or sensory if you will, which allows me to deconstruct and rework them.
You present a very seductive woman wrapped in luxurious materials such as wool, cashmere, leather or silk. Do you think women today should embrace their inner femme fatale’s more extensively?
Obviously, this is something I would endorse. In design, there is nothing more seductive and attractive, than a beautiful confident woman. As women, we should use our strongest weapon, our empowered femininity.
I seem to detect a certain melancholic mood in your work. Where do you think it comes from?
At times, I am aware of this in my work, as it comes from deep down inside of me. There always is this continuous struggle between emotions and rationality, which clearly shows in my designs. Every garment I develop, aims to shed a little more light on my thought process and philosophy. For me it is important to communicate a message with my garment, it is a way to giving the world something personal, meaningful and wearable. As an example, I always tend to include a black evening dress with black embroidery, clean, minimalistic, fitted and extremely feminine. This dress tends to become the turning point for each collection; therefore, it should represent my thought process. In any case, parts of it. My latest collection, aptly named PLACES, further delineates my urge to tell stories with my designs. The garments illustrate 3 phases in a woman’s life, revealing a glimpse of untold stories, hidden beauty and charming secrets.
What do you think about the emergent fashion design-scene in Scandinavia? What makes it different and unique?
Scandinavian Design is known for its minimalism, clean lines and understated elegance. According to me, it is fascinating to experience this powerful movement in time. Nonetheless, it is also a challenge, to suggest a different more sensual silhouette, where I aim to incorporate well executed details, textures and contrasts, in order to develop a more meaningful garment.
How did it feel to create a capsule collection for MUUSE? Could you tell us more about the experience and the collaboration?
This has been a very interesting collaboration, one I am very satisfied with. MUUSE has enabled me to display a clean capsule collection, where sourcing and production, was elegantly organized, and I could be free in my designs and ideology. At this moment, we have just finished by RTW collection for them. Henceforth, the VOGUE ITALY x MUUSE x HEIDI PAULA collection was presented recently during a special evening at Galleri Christoffer Egelund, for press and buyers in Denmark. Overall, the collaboration and connection between Heidi Paula and MUUSE has been very smooth and elegant; I never felt any restraints on neither designs nor a push towards compromise. It is thanks to this freedom, this capsule collection turned out very close to my brands aesthetic.
What do you want to express with the Ready-to-Wear garments for MUUSE? Why did you choose to do them?
The collection is inspired by a song by Pete Doherty ‘’Music when the lights go out’’, however I chose to use the title in a different context. For me it serves as an allegory for finding something soothing and beautiful, even though all has stopped or left us. It is about hope and inspiration, even in our bleakest days. The conceptual approach to translating this into a capsule collection was one of meticulous drawing, reflection and focus. For me it was important to focus on fit, tailoring and silhouettes that enable women to defy all pivotal restraints.
Tell us your plans for the future.
Life takes us on many turns, journeys and encounters. For me it is important to focus on the here and now, without gazing too much ahead. To stay calm, composed, work on my designs and to be surrounded by my loved ones, is what I wish, fight and hope for.