Anna von Aabling

 

CHALLENGING THE SYSTEM

 

Anna von Aabling

 

Words by Tue Elkjær

I met up with designer and all-around-fashion-professional Anna von Aabling to talk hear about her non-liniar carriere, views on the fashion system and most of all, her unique sense of style. I’d been allured to Anna von Aabling since her show at Copenhagen Fashion Week SS16, where she gave a very inspired and personal speech, about fashion and style as personal expressions. Now we’d finally meet for an official interview. Aabling suggested we met at the iconic D’Angleterre, where we had tea and coffee at Marchal, which seemed an incredibly appropriate back drop, to her signature bourgeoise style and old-school aesthetics.

 

The first thing I want to talk about, is your Instagram page. It’s very clear, when perusing your Instagram profile, that you’re not happy with the status quo of the western fashion, but what exactly is it you want to change and why?

That’s a good observation, thank you for that one. Well, honestly I look at a system, that’s just build on stressing out all the people involved and I really don’t get why we, as humans, made this kind of system.
I get it in a historical sense, that it was to democratize clothes and all of that is so wonderful.
Otherwise, most of us would just have like one pair of pants and a shirt and that would be it.
So in many, many ways, it’s really, really wonderful.

But there are many things I don’t like.

I started working in clothing shops, when I was 15 and since then, I’ve worked as a designer and
worked in a factory in China. So I’ve been all the way around and seen all the links in this long
chain of fashion production and what I’ve seen is, that basically everyone is stressed out and
nobody is really enjoying it.
I’ve worked in many different types of shops, like H&M, in a high end womens wear store and I’ve worked in a shop with teenage fashion, when I was only 15.
What I saw, in all of these shops, was primarily women working, at very low wages and they didn’t necessarily enjoyed it too much and most of us were students or in school, so we didn’t really know too much about the clothes we were selling. We were just there to get our money, sell the things in stock and make people have a somewhat nice experience. So, there are so many misconceptions.

Later on, when I got to know more about materials, in school, I was just so shocked by all these
things we told consumers, that just wasn’t true, because we didn’t even knew the basics. We just didn’t know.
I’ve always been interested in clothes, so I could tell if something looked good on people or not, but I didn’t knew why, like I know now.
It has to do with proportions and scale.
So you have all of these people selling clothes, that aren’t necessarily too happy about what they do or know too much about it and then you have the people who produce it, who sit in factories, with a super high noise level.

When I was working in China, a factory worker would last no more than 10 years and then their
body would basically be destroyed.

So what these factory workers do is, they typically come when they’re 20 or 18 years old. They’ve had a baby, which they’ve given to the grandparents in the small village, they come from and then they go to the city, where they can work in a factory and they work there like 40, 60, 80 hours a week, for 10 years and come back with the money. They see their child like 1 time every year, go back home after the 10 years and then they have to survive on the money, that they’ve earned working in the factory, for the rest of their lives.

I just think that, it’s an insane system.

When you’re there, you notice that so much of the clothes, we produce today, is produced for sale and yet 50 % of the clothes being made today ends up being burned, which is also just crazy.
The leftovers are destroyed, because there is a problem in the tax laws, so that we can’t donate the clothes to charity, without paying tax on it.

Again, you’re just stressing people and giving people a life, that I personally wouldn’t want to create for myself or anyone I love.
So, to summarize, you have the salesclerks, who have a really hard and boring job and then you
have the factory workers, that also have a really hard and boring job.
Then you have the designers.

Most people become designers, because they love clothes, they love fabrics and they love to make women or men beautiful. But the reality is, that when you come out and work as a designer, you almost never touch fabric.
You may touch fabric like the one week, when you have your inspiration trip or sourcing trip, but mostly you just correspond via email. You are almost more of a buyer, than you’re a designer.
What you’ll do is, you’ll sit and write emails to the production facility about this many of that style and made to this size chart and bla bla bla.
When I was at TEKO (a Dansih Design school, now part of VIA University College), they said only
20 % of the people educated within design, will end up working in design.
It was the same, when I was working in the commercial fashion industry. You would barely see
people over 30, because the work load is so high and the salary is so low, that most people find
another job, when the start having children.
I remember thinking; this is not sustainable, it’s so stupid!

Then you have like the whole image, that you project on women, where there is just a very specific stereotype, that defines how she should look, how old she should be or how young she should be, how thin she should be and how white she should be.
We just have to acknowledge, that when we only send images like this out into the world, we are telling people, subconsciously; this is how you should look and if you don’t look like this, there is something wrong with you.
Obviously you can argue, that this is not the way women think, they’re mature and should be able to see through all of that and see it’s just advertising.

But fact is, I’ve worked in clothing stores for 10 years and I have not seen one woman, that doesn’t look really sad, when the clothes are too small and doesn’t fit her. She ends up, having the conclusion that she is wrong, that her body is wrong and she doesn’t see, that it’s because it’s made for a standardized size, that doesn’t really fit anybody.
The size is just an accumulative of how we think a woman might look like, if she was ‘perfect’.
It’s not even like there is a ‘perfect’ body, that would be the same as saying there is one perfect face or one perfect hair cut.
It’s all just so stupid.

We end up in a place, where we can see a rise in eating disorders, we can see womens self esteem going down and I’m just like: “orgh”.
Basically it’s like the whole chain, that I’m really frustrated with and I think we should do better
than this, because we can do better than this.

 

Do you think you can make adjustments to the current system or do you think there is a need for whole new system?

My solution or my way out if it is to go back in time, see what worked before.
I really like the idea of tailored clothes and bespoke clothing.
We really only use numbers to compare.
If I ask you how old are you or how much you weigh, I put that into a system and say; okay, so if
he’s 40 (I’m not btw) and he’s in this place in his career, then he’s doing well and if he’s 20 he’s
doing really well.
So it’s all the time and it’s the same with numbers in body sizes, but if we only use it as a
comparative tool, then I don’t like it.
 

Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 
With tailored clothes, the customer doesn’t even need to know what size she is, because there is no such thing as size, because it’s not standardized.
I would just take her measurements and make a dress that fits her body and she can’t be compared, because it’s made specifically for her body. That’s the system I’d like to see revived, because when you work in this way, as a designer, tailor and as a cutter, it’s much more fulfilling.
Today, when you work in a factory, you will sew the same seam, in like a sleeve, 10.000 times and that’s not rewarding for anyone.
If you really like to sew, like I do, then it’s so wonderful to see a two dimensional piece of fabric,
ending up as a dress and knowing it’s my hands and my brain, that did all of it – not just one seam, like a brainless robot.

The big challenge with this is, that todays consumers doesn’t know anything about quality, like
anything.
If you go back to your grandmothers time, they knew way more, than we know today.
First all, most of them could sew themselves, so they knew what a big task it was and second of all, they were brought up with quality objects around them, so it was normal for people to know how to weave, to know how to knit, even to know how to make yarn, dye yarn and it was more normative to live on a small farm, were you’d get the wool and make the yarn yourself.
We don’t have that knowledge today, so people in my generation don’t know anything about the products they consume.
If I say polyester or wool, most people can’t tell the practical difference between the two and if I say a coat is in polyester or viscose, then they don’t have a clue which one is made out of plastic and which is made out of cotton leftovers. So there is a huge task here and what I meet a lot is a really extreme focus on price and not so much on lies behind the pricing. So I have a big task in
explaining that, I think the whole business does, if we want to make this a better system.
 

Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 

It requires education?

Yes, it does, so much. We have to talk about what it is, that we’re actually doing to each other, with this system, which we’re all supporting right now. Because, I believe we are harming each other.

I don’t see a lot of people benefiting from this, honestly.
Yes, we can look nice, we can change clothes easily and often, but that is basically the only thing.
I don’t see a lot of happy people in the fashion industry and that’s too sad, because it should be a celebration of humanity and life. Fashion should be like art, that you can wear every day.

Fashion shouldn’t be making people miserable…..well, that’s what I think.

So, that’s the short answer (Big laugh).

 

Previously, you’ve done some projects, that has really gone against the established fashion system. I’m thinking of the speech you made at your show at Copenhagen Fashion Week SS16, where you explained that the show didn’t feature any standardized sizes, but was entirely made to measure and you also talked about a project you did, designing womens wear for Danish muslims.

 

Aabling at her SS16 show – Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 

From Aabling’s SS16 show – Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 

From Aabling’s SS16 show – Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 
Yeah, I did that prior to the show.
For 2 years I was working on a brand, where I would do high end Islamic clothing and I would do it in this style, where it was super tight, super shiny, lots of makeup and a scarf.
I think it’s so interesting to, again, give a voice to the ones who are shamed out.
They’re both shamed out in our culture and in their own culture.
In western society people will be like ‘ah, she’s wearing a veil, she must be suppressed’ and some areas of the religious community will look at her and say ‘oh, she’s not a true muslim, because she’s wearing makeup and she’s wearing tight clothes’.
I just find it so super fascinating; women who have the courage to navigate that and to kind of like say; ‘well, I’m both this and that and I insist on being that, even though I meet opposition from both sides’.

 

What are your thoughts on remix culture?

Like what?

 

Well, there’s a lot of talk about remix culture, especially in cultural industries and in the fashion industry right now, where instead of making something completely new, you take a little from all kinds of places and mix it into something new.

Oh, I hate it. I really hate it, because I tend to look like an old lady myself and I’m like ‘come on,
think of something innovative’.
I think it’s a sign that we’re just stuck and we’re not moving anywhere.
It’s down to whether you think clothes are art or not. I think it is.
If it is art, what is art then and what is arts purpose?

For me, I agree very much with Ayn Rand’s romantic manifesto, where she talk of art as a way to
express your metaphysical world.

So, you have this ideal world inside you and it might be very destructive.

She has this idea, that every artist is basically expressing their ideal world and I think a lot of artists aren’t aware of this, but if you are aware of it, I think you take a responsibility and you will produce something that is more original, because you have like your own world, that you’re creating from.
So it’s basically like you have a vision, for how an ideal world could be and how to materialize it for your fellow human beings.
It’s to create something tangible, that they can interact with, so they can better understand it, instead of you just having it in your mind.
So it’s a way of sharing your ideal vision for the world and I believe, that right now, we don’t have too many visionaries. I think that’s why we’re taking inspiration from other times. I
If you look at the 1930’s there was a vision for something, if you look at the 40’s there was a vision for something, if you look at the 50’s, in particular, there was definitely a vision for something.

Albeit, looking back, it there was a mix of looking back and going forward, so you’d have Dior,
who was missing the 1910’s, but then you also had Balenciaga, that pulled fashion another way and used these more modern silhouettes.
I think, right now, no one is talking about vision, no one is talking about where they want to go and what do they want to do and I think that may have to do with this lack of spirituality in our society, that we kind of forgot, that we can affect this. It’s us who created this (society).
You and I, him and her, we created this right now, like if everybody stopped and did something else, then the world would be something else. There’s not to much awareness about this, it just becomes like a machine, that just keeps going and no one is thinking ‘hey, are we even going in the right direction’ or ‘should we do something else’.

 

Do you think it will come, that there will come some innovators to create something truly new in fashion again or will we just be stuck, like a Kylie Minogue song, spinning around, just reusing, recycling and re-purposing old trends?

(Laughs) Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say Steve Jobs was a visionary, that definitely had a vision for the world and he went and created a whole world around himself and that really had a great impact. So I definitely think it’s possible.

 

But do you count him as a fashion icon?

No. So in fashion? Honestly, I don’t see it in fashion right now.

 

But do you think it will come?

I think, in the words of Winston Churcill: “The prize of greatness is responsibility” so somebody
needs to take responsibility and that’s a fucking big task. I’m up for it, I could definitely see myself do it, but I don’t meet so many people, who think in this way.

 

So, it’s tied to politics?

I would say it’s tied to values. To have values for yourself and also believing, that you can change something in the world. If you don’t think you can change something, then you’d might as well just replicate and do art for arts sake and all that other bullshit.
But it just doesn’t move anything, it doesn’t. It’s also a question of if you think you’re here just for own sake or do you think you’re here to change something.

I think it has a lot to do with that and I don’t see a lot of people in the fashion industry, who are
really here to change that many things. Not really. I mean, maybe sometimes they are, because of CSR and how the industry really likes plus size models at the moment.
For instance, if you look at Chanel, you just keep on hearing about her, because she just had a
vision. She was just: ‘oh, women should be able to move and they shouldn’t be moving around in flower decorations or in corsettery’.
She wasn’t the only one, who had this idea, but she was one of the people in the fashion industry, who was talking a lot about it.
So she had visions and she had an ideology.

I’ve been thinking a lot about, why we don’t have any ideologies today and I think it has a lot to do with, that we’re not brought up by our own parents anymore, we’re brought up by a thousand different people, that has a thousand different opinions and everything just kind of gets like ‘blargh’, at least here in Scandinavia.
It’s like, you don’t have these two role models, that says this right, this is wrong.
We don’t get this strong sensation of a certain set of morals, it’s like everything can be negotiated, anything can be right and you kind of end up with nothing, in a way. I think, if you look at the fashion industry now and see what itøs driven by, then it’s just money. It is!
Even if you look at the great couture shows and all these things, it’s also just about money, because they do it so they can sell perfumes and handbags.
I was really surprised to see, do you know Ralph & Russo, they’re relatively new?
They make wedding dresses and party dresses and they make really beautiful, easy-to-understand clothes and it’s purely couture. They now have hundreds of people employed and Chanel only have like 70 and Chanel was the biggest couture brand, before that. It says something about, what is creating value and this whole thing, which we call art, is also just a stunt to earn money.

There is no real juice in it, it doesn’t make a real impact for too many people.

 

But who is it, who’s profiting, who earns the many?

It’s basically groups like LVMH, Richemont and what’s the last one, Kering.

 

And the Prada Group!

Exactly!

 

It’s not the designers, but who do you see as the money makers?

That’s so interesting, because if you look at the fashion industry, you have these men at the top, who don’t give a shit about clothes, they just want to make money, so they make lots of money.

Then you have all the passionate ones, which is usually gay men and straight women, who are the designers.

Then you have the seamstresses, which are usually women.
I was so surprised, when I was working in the commercial design sphere and I had a boss, that was like: “I don’t give a shit if I sell pens or screwdrivers” and I was like; “WHAT! This is my heart and soul and you don’t care, as long as it makes money?”.

I think it’s the same for the bosses of these big fashion groups, they own all sorts of businesses and they can just see a good business model and then they’re like “Okay, this kind of marketing strategy works, we can share all of the administrative costs of running these fashion houses and we’ll use this model, that we put in the products, then we‘ll hire a designer and hype him and that will get the sales going. When people don’t like the designer anymore, then we hire a new one”.
That’s basically how it works. But I don’t understand why that works with people, I really don’t
understand. It’s a mystery to me, because I just don’t think that, that is luxury.

Luxury should be emotional surplus, it should be…You see right now, in the organic movement, in the food area, the essence is that everyone, that is part of the chain of production, feels good and is enriched by what they’re doing and I don’t see why people can’t see that it isn’t the case, when in luxury fashion.
I think that is weird, really weird.

 

You keep referencing fashion history, have you studied fashion history, is that an interest of yours?

Yes, I’ve studied it by myself, out of interest.

Whenever I don’t understand something, I always get super curious and I have to find out, so I just study everything I can.

Also, in fashion there’s a lot of myths and shitty things, that keeps being repeated even though it’s never been true.
That’s really what I’m so “ugrh” about, when it comes to fashion magazines, because they talk to
you like you’re a stupid five year old, that only cares about things like, if a product comes in a zebra pattern and hey, look at this Valentino bag.
I mean, come on, give us something more then a Karen Blixen special and something about Coco Chanel.
Right now it’s Frida Kahlo, it’s been Frida Kahlo for the last three years and I’m like, come on, give us some more, give us some depth.

But I think that’s because there aren’t to much research in fashion.
We have Else Skjold in Denmark and we have Ane Lynge-Jorlén, who I really like, but she’s in
Sweden. That’s like one researcher per country, in an industry that creates a lot…
If you look in Denmark, the richest men makes clothes, if you look in Spain, the richest men makes clothes, if you look in France, the richest men makes clothes.
So why aren’t we talking more about this, why aren’t we researching this more. It’s so weird. The money is there.

 

I get what you’re saying about accountability, but I think, as someone who is working in fashion media myself, there is no accountability. There’s no one who takes fashion seriously enough to sue over an untrue fact in a fashion magazine.

That’s so true, it’s exactly about taking it seriously.

Fashion isn’t being taken seriously, that’s exactly what it is. Not by anyone and it’s so stupid (we both laugh).

 

Exactly, you can say anything!

Yeah (laughs), I remember when I was doing this trend chart and at first I was taking it really
seriously, thinking about what I should write about each trend and then I realized, it didn’t matter.
I could just write some bullshit, like; “this will be flowy, the flowy-glowy, whatever season, bla
bla”.
Yeah, it’s so weird.

 

But on your website, you have a manifesto. Is that a tool, to create accountability for yourself?

Yes, it’s a way to ensure, that I really do, whatever I can. I want to set some standards and if I can’t follow them, then why even….

 

Yeah, then it’s kind of hollow.

Yeah, like: I cant., but you should! (Laughs).

 

Manifestos are mostly known from revolutionaries, like political parties or avantgarde artist collectives, like the Russian supremists. Do you feel like you’re a revolutionary figure or do you strive to become one?

It’s so wonderful to talk to you Tue, because you put words on so many things, it’s like hey, he sees me in a really nice way.
Mostly I just feel like a weirdo (we both laugh).
No, but really.
Imagine, there’s this big stinking shit, but nobody can smell it, they can’t see it and it’s just like, it
stinks and it’s right in front of our eyes, so why am I the only one, who can see it! So it’s so nice to hear your observations, because when you say it, the instant response is; yes, I would so much like, to be a revolutionary.

 

Okay (both laugh)…

I would like to change things.

 

In your manifesto, you say all women are beautiful and you renounce digital retouching, can you elaborate how you came to those opinions?

Yes, so again, it’s all really concerning to me. Actually, there’s been some really great
documentaries about it, there’s one called MissRepresentation and another
one, that’s called, oh I can’t remember, but it’s by these women, who’s studying what’s actually
happening and what the effect is from all the advertising, that we have, especially the effect on
womens self esteem, increasing eating disorders and all this.

It’s just crazy and I think, that this whole idea, about creating this perfect image and this fucked up idea in luxury, that you should make things unattainable, you should make it so perfect, that no one can obtain it, so they’ll keep on striving for that ideal and I think that it’s just idiotic and evil.
Digital retouching is a very big part of that, because you create an image, that can never be obtained and in this sense, you’re telling women; ‘you are not good enough, as you are, you should change yourself, you should change, change change and look, I have a product, that can change you’.

That provokes me a lot, because if you look at advertising for men, it’s not communicating the same thing at all. You have way more old men in advertisements, you don’t have them digitally retouched as much, you don’t see their bodies as much and all these things.
I just find it wonderful, that you do it this way with men and I think that we should do the same
thing with women, because then you’re treated with respect as a woman, you’re told that you’re
wonderful as you are, so wonderful, that you should have this 3 million dollar car.

That’s how we should communicate in advertising, we shouldn’t tell people, that they’re flawed, so flawed, that they should buy a product, so people won’t notice their flaws – which is basically how we’re communicating to women right now.

 

It’s funny that you should mention it, because I’ve noticed, that in recent years, there’s been a lot of focus about how women are objectified and men aren’t, especially in advertising, and what I see is, that instead of women being less objectified in advertising, there’s suddenly been an increase in how often men are objectified too.

I agree so much.

 

So instead of women getting the same privileges as men, it’s men being stripped of a privilege (the privilege of not being viewed as an object), so technically they’re more equal, but…

Yes and it’s insane. It must be something like; ‘well, it worked with women, they became a really
big consumer group, let’s do it with men also’. And it’s horrible, because the only thing you do is,
you’re just taking away people’s self esteem. That’s really sad, we shouldn’t be working for that.

 

How exactly do you define your own role, in the current fashion system, who are you in
fashion?

So right now, I’m a nobody (we both laugh).

 

Well then, I’m so glad to be interviewing you.

Yeah, but that’s a fact.
I’m not in with the right people, but I have a sensation, that I can become interesting really fast, if I start speaking my mind and show my clothes, obviously, which I’m doing. I walk and I talk.
I hope I will be a person, who revolutionizes all this and who makes fashion, what it’s meant to be; a loving celebration of humanity, not something that makes us feel bad.
Imagine how the world would be, if every time you put on clothes, you’d feel it was to honor you, your wonderful body and everything your body can do and also to express who you are.
I think those are very important components, that we don’t have.

Historically, you began having trends, because then you could show your social status, because if you could afford to change your clothes frequently, it meant that you were rich.
Then we had this whole thing, with the production apperatus, that democratized fashion, because it could be made cheaper.

Once, trends had a function, in the sense that it portrayed status, but that’s totally gone now.
Now we just do it (trends), because it keeps the factories running and it keeps the sales people
running and it keeps everybody running, but it doesn’t really do too much good for anyone.
In this system, we tell women particularly, and also men to some degree, that you should look like this, this season, you should look like that, that season, but there’s a problem with that.
I’m very in to the energy and all that. Colors, fabrics and textures will affect your energy.
If I put on red clothes, I will feel different, than if I put on blue clothes, so to tell women – and men – that they should change every season is just ludicrous.
We should ask them instead of who they are and help them to express that, I think.
Then it (fashion) would be much more interesting.

I went to see the queens (her majesty Queen Margrete II of Denmark) wardrobe at one time, it was really wonderful.
It was at the castle in Hillerød and she really has her own style.
You could see her clothes all the way from when she was a baby and up til now.
Among others, she had this really fun raincoat, that’s really colorful, she’s always very colorful, and there were these comments, on why she had this particular rain coat, where she explained that she bought that fabric, because she wanted to be a piece of happiness, shine and light on rainy days, when people had gathered some place to see her.
She wanted to give them some happiness, when it’s raining and I was like: yes, just imagine, if we had people thinking like that and going out into the world with that kind of attitude.
For her, it might be colors, for others it might be black, but whatever, just let the clothes be a
celebration of who you are and a gift to the people around you, that would just be wonderful.

 

How does those thoughts affect you, in your lifestyle outside of work?

 

Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 
That means that, I’m very good at surrounding myself with people who are truthful, like people who are true, not in the sense that they aren’t lying, but in the sense, that they know themselves and dare to be with the parts of themselves, that others may find ugly.
I also cut away people, who doesn’t manage this.
Then, love. I strive to always do my best and always make people feel loved or at least, not make them feel loved, because I cannot control that, but send love to them.
So in every encounter I have, I really focus on giving love.
It’s the same with my manifesto, that’s also very much about truth. It’s like, come on, lets cut the
bullshit, lets get to the core of this, lets find out what clothes are really about, what it should be
about and not all this crap.

 

You talk about truthfulness. In your manifesto you mention, that designers should have worn their own designs in public, at least once. Is that about truthfulness too?

Exactly.
It’s so easy to create something crazy, lets say, that I’ve made a see-through top, where you can see my breasts and it’s wonderful.
You can send that down the runway and everybody can see it as something provocative or
innovative or something. But what does any of that matter, if I can’t go in here (Marchal at
D’Angleterre), wearing a top like that and if I go in here, wearing that top, how would I feel?

That’s another thing, clothes are very communicative, so I can maybe make something, that looks fabulous on the runway, but if I wore something like that see-through top here, it would send some different signals. There is a big difference between seeing or wearing something on a catwalk and out in the real world.

So, that’s an energetic response I’d get and then you’re just confusing people, you’re just creating unnecessary confusion. Why not just make something, that you yourself think is wonderful, that you think is beautiful and pass that on, to someone else, who can get joy out of it, instead of this whole marketing-media-spin around something, to sell a completely different product, which is what usually happens, when designers makes something, they don’t wear themselves.
 

Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 

Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 

Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 

So design has to be personal in order to have value?

I think so, yes.
That’s a really good question though.

Yes, I think in general, people who aren’t ‘personal’ doesn’t interest me, that much. I don’t
understand them. I don’t understand how you can…I don’t understand this thing about being
‘professional’, that’s just like taking yourself out of the equation and being all in your brain.

Obviously, if you do that and you do well, that’s good, but most of the time, what I see when people are doing that is, it’s just to justify some horrific things, because then it’s not ‘me’, I’m just
professional, I’m not involved in this, it’s just something I have to do. I mostly see it in work with
people who talk about being professional, which I think is bullshit.

Either your there, with your heart, or you’re not there at all, because people can feel it.

 

I remember you once said, that you like to wear costumes and it made me wonder, whether you use fashion to show who you are or want to be or rather to conceal yourself, like a mask?

Hmm, you have some really good questions.

 

Well, I skip the bad ones (we both laugh).

I would say, that I probably dress in my dreams. So I’m always dressing as who I aspire to be or
maybe who I feel I am, but… It’s kind of like what I said before.
I like Ayn Rand’s philosophy.
You have this idea or ideal of how the world should be and what it should look like and I think I
dress for that world. That’s a farce in a way, because I have this sensation every morning, like I’m playing this game, like I’m playing dress up. So I definitely take on different roles, when I dress, but I feel like they’re all me. It’s very easy for me to switch between different versions of myself, but I feel there’s a true core in all of them.

No, it’s not like I’m trying to hide myself, definitely not. It’s just a way to express myself and all the different parts of myself. Quite on the contrary, when there is something I want to hide, I feel like it has to come out, because it provokes me, I need to just put it out there.

 

So you don’t have like one ultimate thing to wear, it depends on your current mood?

 

Aabling in her own design – Picture from Aabling’s Instagram

 
Oh, definitely. Every day it’s like; what perfume-mood am I in today? What color-mood am I in
today, which texture-mood? So it’s like today, I planned on wearing my lacquer pants, but then I
was like, no I don’t feel that vibe today, I need something more feminine and soft, so I changed.

 

Well, it looks great.

Thank you.

 

In a perfect world, what is the last thing, that you’d think right before you go to sleep?

This has been a good day.

I often think, if I died tonight or I died tomorrow: what kind day would this have been? Would this have been a day, where you’d say: it’s okay if I die tomorrow?

The days that are most wonderful is when I feel like I really touched people and I really made
people see, how wonderful they are. Those are wonderful days, when you can just enjoy the fullness of life and really enjoy all the textures and senses.
For instance, just sitting here (Marchal, D’Angleterre) and really appreciate it.
Someone really took the time to choose everything that’s in here and that’s really a love declaration for both of us, because they actually cared enough to choose this exact velvet, to choose this instead of just taking something random, because they needed some chairs. Those kind of days, where you can enjoy things like that.
Days, where I’ve given out a lot of love. That’s perfect!

 

And in this perfect world, what would you wear to bed?

Mmm, hm, hmmm (laughs).

Well, if I had to wear something, a lot of times it would probably just be nothing, but if I had to wear something, then definitely something in silk, no doubt about it and with a big robe, maybe in velvet or something like that.

Good fabrics, clean fabrics, definitely!

Hand made!

 

If you want to know more about Anna von Aabling and her work, see her webpage, Pinterest or Instagram