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Style, innovation & equality

”We continue driving on this concept until we feel we are ready to let it go”

We sit down with designer duo Emma Hedlund and Saif Bakir after their Autumn/Winter 2019 show in the heart of Marais, Paris to hear more about the International Woolmark Prize finalist’s new collection.

Words Robin Douglas Westling

In the heart of Marais, CMMN SWDN presented their Autumn/Winter 19 collection Rushing. Standing Still – a term coined by French philosopher Paul Virilio to describe our accelerated present day. For Autumn Winter 2019, Emma and Saif Bakir examine our world of increasing digital complexity. In a postmodern society focusing on services and purchases, we don’t make with our hands anymore, and as a result, goods have lost their real value and are easily replaced. With this in their minds, CMMN SWDN take a slower approach to the design process and sees the AW19 collection as an extension of SS19’s dialogue of promoting conscious design.

– It is a continuation of the last season. Why should a concept end or start over because it’s a new season? says Creative Director and Co-Founder Saif Bakir. Once we had done the display of SS19 and got so far with the collection we just wanted to dig even deeper into the concept itself. So then we felt we were just doing it, and continuing. This is just a comma, not a point. SS19 became like the ”comma” and then we continue driving on this concept until we feel we are ready to let it go.

The silhouette is, as SS19, still boxy and the collection felt as their DNA but updated with new materials and DIY-technique. We loved the new latex garments that they had hand-dyed in the bathtub, and according to the designer, this is an interpretation of an extra layer of skin. The collection serves as a celebration of imperfections by highlighting the landscape of damage to a garment. Treasured hand me downs are reimagined through tailoring in knowingly awkward proportions and elongated lengths. This collision of unexpected pairings provides CMMN SWDN’s signature aesthetic for AW19. As finalists for the International Woolmark Prize 2019, knitwear has become a natural focal point as unravelled knits are mapped out over tailoring and monofilament knitted vests float over shirting. Tactility is key to the collection, evoking the feel of a lived-in wardrobe played out through crumpled viscose, creased effect wool denim, cracked leather, raw edge seams, and frayed knits.

Coming up next for CMMN SWDN is the upcoming International Woolmark Prize finals in February.