11-05-2020 | By

FW20/21 Virtual Show

Christina Seewald

Knitwear Designer Christina Seewald began her fashion education in her hometown of Graz, Austria. At 19, she relocated to London to complete her BA in Textile-Design at Central Saint Martins (CSM). Staying on for a Master’s, she ended up spending a total of 7 years in England’s capital. Christina is now living in Vienna. 

The brand Christina Seewald aims to provoke thought as much as it stands for finesse and quality produce. Through the combination of fine fibres and perfected tailoring, Christina Seewald addresses contemporary “knitwear” in a new, radical light. Typically, the interplay between female fragility and self-determined feminism is the main focus for the label. Besides having her SS20 collection featured at London Fashion Week in 2019, Christina’s designs were also exhibited at DACH Showroom this February.

Refusing to let the recent pandemic rain on her parade, Christina decided to collaborate with Berlin-based videographer Paul Herrmann to create an online fashion show for her latest collection: Virtual Show. With the help of other creatives and 8 models, the team were able to successfully bring this vision to life last Monday. Œ caught up with Christina following its launch to chat about the collection, the planning behind it, and what advice she would give to other creatives considering doing the same. 

 

For Christina, the ideal woman is in control of her life. For the Virtual Show collection, she wanted to emphasize this Ideal. Accordingly, she has created something that balances comfortability as well as sensuality. The garments have the versatility to be worn on a night out or to work. The wearer has the prerogative to decide. 

As Christina describes “the mixture between sheer and matte materials highlights the natural femininity”. “The sheer elements represent the sensuality and softness of women. They emphasise the unapologetic and independent woman by being self-empowered, owning and showing their body whenever they want to”.  However, this feminity is met with a strong sense of female empowerment. The collection pays homage to power-dressing and the 80’s working woman by making tailoring the focal element. 

Christina told Œ: “What I love most about my job is that I can influence everything from yarn, to design and to the final garment. Especially with knitwear there are endless possibilities: knitting patterns, textures, fibres. It is fascinating to study the behaviour of fibres, fabrics and the human body and to be inspired by these influences”.

 

 

Œ: How have you managed to stay motivated whilst self-isolating? 

Christina: Well, there are always stages in life where you will have to push a little harder than usual. Of course, it was frustrating being trapped on my own, not having support from my team in the studio. But I decided to take this time to make, reinvent, rethink, and along the way, I discovered new ways of working. 

Œ: When choosing models for the collection, what exactly were you looking for and why? 

Christina: For the casting process, I involved Karo, the stylist for the show, and Joana, my visual coordinator. We did the casting of the models mostly through Instagram, from our own contacts, and debated on WhatsApp groups and DM’s. It was important to find girls that are comfortable being sensual and feminine.

 

 

Œ: From an artistic direction perspective, how did you ensure your vision was met?

Christina: Well, it was hard to have full control of the way the models and the team handled the project. But it was extremely nice to see how each model filmed herself a little different from one another, the ambience in general from every model’s room was very different… I think that’s what’s special about it, they all made their interpretation of the inspiration and visuals behind the collection. It is something new for all of us (designers and creatives) to meet our vision as it will be a lot about accommodating new ways of working. But, I believe that can actually lead to a great outcome.

Œ: During Quarantine, Instagram has become the hub of creatives to live stream videos, share photos and connect with new people. How pivotal has Instagram been in the production process of your virtual show? 

Christina: Its been very important as it was the main platform to promote the show and also showcase it. Usually, for me, it is really important to reach out to people with a physical show, have a showroom and meet people in person. But it was also a new experience pushing the social media side of my brand.

 

 

Œ: How do you feel the Virtual Show went? What things would you change/have done better? 

Christina: My team and I were very happy about the outcome. There are always things you could do better, but it is also a learning process and a first-time virtual show, for me. I think we will progress from this experience onto more innovative ideas and a good mix between real-life shows and virtual ones.

Œ: What have been the benefits of the models composing their own videos? Has this added something new/different element in comparison to a typical catwalk show? 

Christina: It’s more individual. You give more responsibility to the models.

Karo Rose, the stylist for the virtual show, made sure the models were wearing the pieces accordingly. Joana Bravo, my visual coordinator, had to record herself to direct the girls: A guideline of how to film themselves and how to decorate the background. She managed this along the way of back and forth emails to feel attached to every girl and really made the effort to make everyone understand they should feel comfortable and confident around the camera. I think that was important for the attitude of each girl! The aim was really to bring out their inner sensuality and confidence, and they were able to execute it beautifully. 

 

 

Œ: Would you consider doing a Virtual Show again even after lockdown?

Christina: I think I would consider working with some virtual elements but I also enjoy a physical show and the elements that come with it. Communicating with models, Make up artists getting inspired on set. Feeling the energy in the room. 

Œ: What tips would you give to other designers considering hosting something similar? 

Christina: Make sure you plan everything ahead. Ensure your shipping. You will have to constantly communicate and make sure there are no misunderstandings which are difficult when you are working virtually but most importantly, be open to creating a new experience.

 

 

Œ: Would you consider doing a Virtual Show again even after lockdown?

Christina: I think I would consider working with some virtual elements but I also enjoy a physical show and the elements that come with it. Communicating with models. Seeing Makeup artists getting inspired on set. Feeling the energy in the room. 

Œ: What tips would you give to other designers considering hosting something similar? 

Christina: Make sure you plan everything well ahead. Ensure your shipping. You will have to constantly communicate and make sure there are no misunderstandings, which is difficult when you are working virtually. Most importantly, be open to creating a new experience.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an overwhelming impact on everyone from all walks of lives. However, for the fashion industry, this has been a very unsettling time.  It is only during a time like this that we realise how much social interaction drives fashion. From catwalks to photoshoots, the industry has been driven by interactive processes.

Therefore, as we look to the future, it is refreshing to see creatives like Christina and her team not allowing the pandemic to stand in their way. We at Πcongratulate them and look forward to seeing Designers, Photographers and Models finding innovative ways around the current situation. It will be interesting to monitor whether new methods will be adopted beyond the pandemic.

 

Fashion and Concept Christina Seewald
Production Joana Bravo
Video Paul Herrmann
Styling Karo Rose
Music MCNZI  
Makeup Naomi Gugler

Models:
FiaLaureCelineYuri, JijiLuiza, Linnea, and India