Sissel is not the fuel to engine, she is here to redesign the engine itself. She describes her work as “thirty + gender nonconforming humanwear” and doesn’t want to be put in a box. Working with creations that are not defined by gender nor body she pushes the meaning of fashion. Believing in the power of collaborations and turning moments into movements, Sissel is here to synergise change.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and what you do. Who is Sissel?
30+ gender nonconforming humanwear designer from the north of Sweden. I am a child, a sibling, a friend, a lover, a virgo, a creator, a thinker, a believer, a supporter, a perfectionist, a trickster and more.
How is your approach to fashion different to others in the scene at the moment? How do you want to contribute?
I do find that the fashion industry is moving towards a very interesting era, fashion is no longer what it once was. And it will never be. Fashion works as a network with a vast number of branches. My aim in this network is to work with creations that are not defined by gender nor body. My work challenges fixed contexts and pushes the boundaries of trends that exist in "the now". I'm not solely working on this topic but i find it important. We, who are working on this goal, are turning a moment into a movement. My part comes to life through my hands. My heart.
How important is it to you to leave your comfort zone during your creative process? What do you do?
In order to challenge myself and others with my practice and me as person, it is very important to test my comfort zone with every task and project I take on. How would I be able to evolve if I don't move outside of the context that I know? I believe that in order to understand the fundamental values of who I am and my work, I need to explore in order to evolve. My main inspiration and purpose for what I do is inspired by human and created for human.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Find a security and trust in my practice, and find the right place for me and what i do. I have always lived with a view on life to trust the path I'm on, and not try to control it. I make choices for me and I believe that I made them for a purpose. So, time will tell. Since I choose to keep on with my studies that is my ambition for now. To work hard and use this valuable time for me and believe that something amazing will come out of this part of my life.
If you could work with anyone in the industry who would it be?
I believe in a future of collaboration. The role of a designer is undergoing an evolution that moves us towards a time that we need to work together. There are many that I find especially interesting at the moment but for me the most important thing is to involve myself with creators or people that believe in change and have a way of work when they can put a pice of their ego aside and are willing to collaborate with others. To not just have a goal of creating something meaningful together but also to create new and meaningful relationships with each other. Relationships that can stand the tests of time.
On your Instagram you criticise modern society and it's habit to put everything in a box. If you could design your own world what would it look like?
We exist in a world controlled by the idea that we need to evolve into the immortal, the etherial. And yes, we do need to evolve. But I believe that there is a big difference between letting nature take its course, be inspired by it or the forced artificial human need for effective actions. This is a world controlled by constructions, norms, politics and capital. These superficial rules control and divide us, they create prejudiced behaviour in societies and leads to negative actions towards those who are not included in the construction that rule. Instead of seeing "who" people are, they are designed to decide "what" you are. This creates a society which is without equality and rewards capitalism and patriarchy. These "rulers of the world" do not se human as an organism with values, emotion or their own unique experiences, we are placed in boxes, as a fraction of a calculation.
This urge for "the new, new" comes with consequences, and our choices has already shown results. So now, humankind is trying to clean up the damage that is already done. But we are still on the constant search for "the new, new". And takes its form in technology, social structures and results in trends, and trends represents moments not movements. This is not a system to create opportunities to evolve the future of our society, this is a part of a process that exists within the social system that rules today.
My world would be a world that respects human and works together towards equality with a humble collaboration with all of humankind. It's important to remind ourselves that time is precious and take advantage of all fragments of time and see that we do not only exist today but realize that we need to see tomorrow, our mutual future.
What's ahead for you in 2019?
After finishing my studies at Beckmans College of Design this spring I moved to London to keep on working on my practice by starting a masters degree at London Royal College of Art. So that is mainly what 2019 has in store for me. But also being in a new context and world of fashion is very intriguing and inspiring. Besides my work that a have at RCA, I have the existing time of living in a new country and so much to explore in space and the new relationships I can build within them.
courtesy SISSEL KARNESKOG
interview ANIEK STROEKEN
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