We all know what it’s like to wistfully long for something out of reach – harbouring that one secret desire. In his latest collection entitled “Secret Desire”, designer Danny Reinke conjures up the feelings that surround this sense of yearning.
The young designer caught a head start in his design studies, having attended Fahmoda in Hannover at the tender age of 16. Not long after his graduation, Danny went on to present his collection for the first time at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin this year. With his seductive setting he captivated us in a modern Garden of Eden. His designs are characterised by individual shapes and detailed adornments. Danny conveyed with his designs a feminine way of mysterious attraction.
Œ caught up with Danny to chat about his collection and views on femininity.
Why do you want your collection to conjure secret desires?
Everyone has a secret desire. For many, it is the crazy sex fantasy, for others the dream trip, which one can never meet, or the daily chocolate, which one is looking for. The collection focuses on secret desires, inner desires, which one would rather keep to oneself, or to which one does not dare to live out. I was really aware of this after talking to friends. They inspired me.
Is this a modern interpretation of the Garden of Eden?
The Garden of Eden is an absolute symbol for secret desires, so it was perfect for the installation of my collection at the Berlin Fashion Week.
How did you realize these ideas?
I’ve been talking to the different people and found that “secret Desire” means something different for everyone. For this reason, it was clear to me from the start that I would set up contrasts. I placed great emphasis on reds, because red is the colour of pleasure. From blood red to a raspberry, everything is there, even a tender, innocent rosé. In addition, a dark blue tone, which shows the masculine side, just like a dirty mud green. In the material we worked with breaks— velvet to leather, tulle to wool.
Why did you choose a more casual collection for such a topic?
I find the mix just interesting. If you have a continuously strong and extravagant topic, it’s fascinating to combine it with clothing, which you can wear in your everyday life, even with its strong message.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I don’t get the inspiration because the inspiration gets me. Nature, humanity, history or culture and society. It depends on the perspective and on my mood, my personal experience, these all are important indicators. For me, designing is always a personal process.
You love your bows, ruffles, and pleats, yet you are also designing for menswear. Do you think there is more space for creativity in designing clothes for women?
I am very romantic, very playful. There are many frills, lots of volume. I love working with fabric. For several seasons, I have discovered tulle for myself, because with this material, you can create a lot of silhouette with little effort. I do not process tulle like a wedding dress, but more specifically, unconventional, with steps and edges.
What does femininity means to you?
Femininity is a social construct. I like to play with it. I like to break up the traditional role models and a little bit of exaggeration at the same time. If a woman wears something in pink, she is considered as feminine. Combined with a rough biker jacket, it’s more complicated to think in stereotypes.
What is the archetype of a woman that you want to portray?
In my case, there is no special archetype. I don’t want to put my stamp on the people who are wearing my clothing. I want that they make it their own, that they live in it. I love to see my clothing on people, because I am curious how they combine and wear it. It depends on the personality and the special nature of a person what appeals to me.
You try to pay attention to use upcycling materials for your designs. Did you use some in your latest collection?
I tried to find some materials, unfortunately I could not find something appropriate.
So It’s not always easy to follow this statement?
Not always. My opportunities are kind of limited since my label is still young.
Why is this topic so important to you?
I do not like the mentality “cheap and a lot”, which is strongly developed in Germany when it comes to clothing. But there are more and more people who rely on high-quality, well-fashioned garments at realistic prices that have been created under fair conditions. At the moment, I see a trend that raw materials such as milk or bamboo fiber are discovered for material development.
Looking back on your career so far, what are you most proud of?
Designing a collection was never a linear process and at this point in my life I can say that I am truly proud of everything I achieved until now. Today I am very glad that I decided to become a dressmaker. Of course, the larger and more extensive the collection becomes, the more you have to outsource. But the pieces for catwalk I make myself. I just know how my cut should look, so I can get the desired result. Moreover, sewing is also a bit like meditation and is fun.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on my summer collection for 2017. It will be a pure women’s collection again.
Photography via Danny Reinke