Tag Archives: 3d print

Interview: Ariane Ernst 3D Printed Jewelry Designer Designer from Dusseldorf, Germany

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Interview by Rebecca Acar

Brussels, Vienna, New York, Stockholm and last but not least Düsseldorf – Ariane Ernst not only travelled the world, but also collected her experience and expertise as a designer at all these places. This year in 2014, her eponymous labelccelebrates its first anniversary.

In our interview, Ariane tells us what she loves about design, which designers she likes the most and which time zone she is currently living in.

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CAN YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU FIRST REALIZED THAT YOU WANT TO BECOME A DESIGNER?

Quite early already – when I was about 13.

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DEVELOPMENT AND YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND.

After my school leaving examination, I did some internships at jewelry designers and goldsmiths in Germany and Belgium. After this  I was sure that I wanted to create jewelry. So, I moved from Brussels to Vienna to complete my apprenticeship as a goldsmith. Afterwards, I went to New York to work as  a goldsmith over there.

While in NYC, I enjoyed my time working in a design jewelry store in Soho  a lot. It felt really inspiring! I knew that I wanted to be more than a goldsmith and so I went back to Germany to study Applied Art and Design. With my Bachelor degree under my belt I then went to Stockholm, Sweden to work at H&M’s head office and to try my hand in costume jewelry.

After a short time I knew that I want to create and sell my own designs. I then returned to Düsseldorf, studied Applied Art and Design until the Master degree and finally founded my own label.

 

WHAT DO YOU SPECIFICALLY LOVE ABOUT DESIGN AND WHERE DO YOU FIND THE MOST CHALLENGES?

I love design because it simply makes life more beautiful in every way – not only when it comes to jewelry. Good design also improves your everyday life and makes it easier and more esthetical. The challenge for good design: It has to make sense at first sight.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE COLLECTION YOU PRESENT HERE ON RUNWAY PASSPORT?

I love minimalism and colors. There lies a concept in each of my pieces of jewelry. I don’t only create a shape because it is beautiful –  I deduce it. For this collection the inspiration mainly was the work of an already deceased artist named GEGO (Gertrud Goldschmidt).  Inspired by Gego, the collection was about the transparency of space depicted with grate structures created with bars and strings.

 

FOR WHOM DO YOU DESIGN YOUR PIECES?

Actually, for everyone. But in truth: For the new modern woman who is into fashion and who isn’t too keen on classical status symbols – which often is jewelry.

 

ON WHICH PERSON YOU’D LIKE TO SEE ONE OF YOUR PIECES OF JEWELRY?

Hm…  Maybe on fashion designer Phoebe Philo or fashion blogger Leandra Medine from The Man Repeller. Or maybe Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue USA.

 

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM IN GENERAL?

Fashion, architecture, people, environment…

 

IS THERE A DESIGNER WHICH REALLY IMPRESSES YOU OR SOMEONE WHO YOU ADMIRE?

I like fashion by Céline, Phoebe Philo is the head of design here. I like Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan, Iris van Herpen or artists such as Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol.

 

WHAT WAS THE FIRST PIECE OF JEWELRY YOU EVER DESIGNED?

This also was the first piece of jewelry I made by hand: A silver pendant shaped like a tiger’s head. Actually, it looked more like a hybrid from a puma and a bear.

 

IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR PATH AS DESIGNER: HOW DID YOU DEVELOP?

It really is a long process until you find your own signature. I think, it is only been 1,5 years ago since I found my own vision  as a designer – and of course it is still maturing. Also in retrospect, lots of things I designed make sense again.

 

WHICH OF YOUR PIECES OF JEWELRY ARE YOU THE MOST PROUD OF?

My Brillant Ring Series

 

IS THERE ANYTHING A DESIGN MUST FULFILL FOR YOU? WHEN ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH A PIECE?

I am happy with a design when there is nothing missing and when the shape is perfected to the point that it can exist on its own.

 

ART AND DESIGN – TWO THINGS THAT BELONG TOGETHER OR THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF EACH OTHER?

Design belongs to art but art doesn’t belong to design. Art is the origin.

 

IS THERE A COUNTRY OR A CITY THAT FASCINATES YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE DESIGN SCENE?

There are lots of cities and countries which fascinate me, but it’s hard to decide based on the design scene. I’m inspired by Portugal or New York. But there are still lots of other cities and countries on my list which I want to visit.

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MATERIAL?

Gold. But unfortunately it is too expensive to work with often.

 

AT WHICH TIME OF DAY YOU LIKE TO WORK THE MOST?

Starting at 12 pm and then until late at night. It has always has been like this for me including during my schooldays. 13 years it was a real torture to get up early day by day and stay attentive. I simply live in another time zone.

 

IN WHICH SITUATIONS YOU FEEL THE MOST CREATIVE?

Under pressure.

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Visit Ariane Ernst Boutique here

The Early Days of Iris Van Herpen

Back in 2011 Runway Passport interviewed Iris Van Herpen for our blog. She is still one of our number one inspirations, had the foresight to use 3D printed materials in 2011, create dresses made of “water”-esque materials and is on her way to becoming a fashion icon of our generation.

Interviewer: Maddie Raedts
Photographer: Giusy de Ceglia – http://www.giusydeceglia.com/

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CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES AND INTERNSHIPS?

I studied for four years at the Artez Art Academy for Fashion in the Netherlands. That was partly interesting and partly boring as well. I really needed a second life next to academy life, the city and the people.

I created an evening and weekend life of crazy distraction to find inspiration, because it was not the environment and people for me to find inspiration at all. It all felt boring and too goody goody for me at that time. So physically I was there but I wasn’t fully present in my mind. However, I learned a lot there both technically and about myself. During my studies I did an internship at Alexander McQueen which was a good experience as well.
I learned a lot about working with special materials, craftmanship, researching a concept,etc. After that I did an internship at Claudy Jongstra. There I also learned a lot about how to work with other materials than usually used in fashion and about to think bigger than fashion because she mainly works within architecture now. She started in fashion, then she did a lot for films and now she is primarily in the field of art, architecture and interior.

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DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE DREAM TO BECOME A DESIGNER?

No, not consciously at least. When I was little I wanted to become a dancer for a long time.

 

YOU DID AN INTERNSHIP AT ALEXANDER MCQUEEN. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT THERE? WHAT DID YOU LEARN THE MOST FROM IT?

The moment of the show, I was so lucky that I could watch the show in Paris.To see the pieces down the runway after I worked so hard on them was magical. Like they became real…came to life. I learned a lot about materials, about research and about craftmanship. And I learned that it is really hard work to create something unique.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WAY OF DESIGNING?

Within my design process the normal rules don´t apply. My way of designing changes from time to time. I started moulaging (Moulage is a fashion design technique where the designer fits or molds the fabric directly on the model or dressmaker dummy.) a lot after experimenting, then i drew my designs sometimes as well. Sometimes I draw a part of it, and part of it i moulage. Sometimes I draw 3D around the mannequins, sometimes I design on the computer, sometimes it is just in my head and I make a pattern of it. But in the end all different ways of designing lead to the same essence:  my reciprocity between craftsmanship and innovation in technique and materials to express the character of a unique woman. And I design to extend the shape of the feminine body in detail. So my way of designing changes from time to time, but my core or essence stays the same.

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DO YOU THINK YOU CREATE MORE FASHION OR MORE ART? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE COMBINATION AND TRANSITION OF FASHION AND ART? IN WHICH WAY(S) IS IT THE SAME AND IN WHICH WAY OTHERWISE?

I see my work as much fashion as I see it as art. Part of the fashion world is a form of art. The biggest part of fashion is the commercial side, it is about mass production which makes fashion became part of our throw away civilization. But the essence of fashion is much, much more and the meaning of it is different for everybody (same as art). For me fashion is about channeling the philosophical debate through my creative process itself – as if expressing the journey and the search for answers with conceptual pieces of fashion which are constantly chasing conclusions that will never be  caught. To me that is the whole point. And the notion of art is as wide and vague as the notion of fashion in the broadest sense of the word. Art and fashion are both a personal related expression of the time, mind and experience.

I think between the creation process of art and fashion there is not that big of a difference for the creators. Most fashion designers are really related to art in many ways. But the difference is bigger in the experience of the product. When somebody wears a jacket, they will hardly ever realize the creation process, inspiration and concept behind it. That is subservient to its purpose. With art the purpose is more about the creation and the concept. So the biggest difference lies in the purpose and therefore the experience of it as being art or not.

The biggest parallel between fashion and art is the creation part of it; the creator´s inspiration translated into a concept and re-evaluating the way we look at things.

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DO YOU THINK YOU’LL EVER MAKE TRULY COMMERCIAL PIECES?

That depends on what you think is truly commercial. In my eyes yes, but definitely within my own way and with my own personality.

 

YOUR CONCEPTS ALWAYS SEEM TO GO ABOUT AN UNTOUCHABLE SUBJECT MADE VISIBLE. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?

I find my inspiration everywhere and anywhere. It is never that I see something around me and that suddenly there is a new dress in my head. My inspiration is my life and the lives around me, it’s about worlds in my head. They are untouchable because it is mostly about another way of experiencing and seeing things. I can amaze myself about really anything.

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THE MATERIALS IN YOUR DESIGNS ARE VERY INNOVATIVE AND INSPIRING. I’M GUESSING YOUR NOT GOING TO THE TEXTILE FAIR. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR MATERIALS TO WORK WITH? AND HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF ABLE TO WORK WITH NEW AND STRANGE MATERIALS WHICH ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE FOR CLOTHING?

I find the right material through a good research. Going through the internet, through my contacts, through the library etc. Nowadays there are no limitations in physical borders, so I get my materials from all over the world. Working with new materials is a matter of doing. If I think too much about it, I get stuck. I just have to do, experiment and not be afraid. And then I find out what works and what does not.
If it is really difficult or when it seems impossible I ask artists or other professionals for advice or help.
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YOU HAVE WORKED WITH SOME 3D PRINTED MATERIALS. ARE YOU PLANNING TO GO ON WITH THIS INNOVATIVE MANNERS OF WORK?

Yes, I am amazed and even more inspired now about the possibilities of this technique after working with it . The best thing about the future are all the parts that we don’t know and I definitely want to explore as much as possible.

 

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR THE FUTURE?

To keep on doing what i do now, on a higher level.\

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DUTCH FASHION VS FASHION IN THE REST OF THE WORLD? WHAT MAKES IT STAND OUT – NEGATIVES AND POSITIVES?

Conceptually it is very strong and unique, technically it is a bit old fashioned, safe.

 

SO FAR NY, LONDON, PARIS AND MILAN HAVE BEEN SO DOMINANT AS FAR AS FASHION WEEKS GO- DO YOU THINK THAT IS CHANGING?

Not in the short term, but the economic centers of the world are shifting so it is possible that in the long term, for example the Asian Fashion Weeks end up taking over in the end.

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