Ever since Danish-born designer Mads Dinesen premiered his award-winning graduate collection in 2010, he quickly created a name for himself using memorable and creative mediums to showcase his collections. Specialising in both men’s and women’s wear, the Berlin-dwelling artist is recognized for using fashion as a platform to explore challenging societal issues like spirituality, politics, ethics and culture. As one would expect, this translates into dynamic silhouettes and cuts featured in his designs. His intense research into history, film, music and literature results in an innovative mix of hues, prints and fabric manipulation. With the dawning Fashion Week season, Œ checked in with the fashion maverick to see what a typical day for the designer looks like.
8.30: Time to get up, if my black and white cat Yoko has not already woken me up because she’s bored or starving to death!
9.00: Normally I skip breakfast, I know I shouldn’t, but I’m happy with coffee and cigarettes. One of my guilty pleasures is watching shitty TV shows online and, in the morning, this brings me slowly but surely back to life!
10.00: My interns start to arrive and we start the day with coffee and discussing what needs to be done for the day. Pattern-making and prototypes have to be prepared for production for both the previous and current season. Today we are working on trousers and a couple of jackets. My studio is in the basement, whilst my apartment is one floor above. Because of the tight space downstairs, I have to work on the jackets on the floor upstairs.
11.30: More emails and calls come in. One of my fabrics has not arrived yet, and the final deadline is very close. I try to get in contact with the company in Italy, and have to do some detective work because my contact there no longer works for the company. I can’t get any leads and I am stuck with neither a contact nor information, WTF!!! After some more digging, I finally get hold of someone who can help. It turns out that my mails to the company landed in their spam folder, so they haven’t started production, WTF!!!
12.00: Frustrated beyond belief, I go shopping for lunch, I need a good meal to get over this! When I get back, I cook oven roasted vegetables and goat cheese salad for the interns. When the food is ready, we all decide to eat lunch in my backyard, in the sun.
13.00: Some parcels arrive, among which are the printed fabrics for my new collection – they are amazing! I collaborated with the Belgium artist, Tim van den Oudenhoven on the print design. I’m so happy with the results and this saves the day.
13.15: Time to switch roles again; I have a Skype meeting with my sales agent, Esben from the VOID agency in Denmark. We have to discuss the upcoming fashion weeks in Paris and Copenhagen, and the small show/presentation we are going to do in Paris this season. I have been in the VOID showroom for the past three seasons, but this marks the first season we are going to work together as partners – very exciting!
14.00: Had a great talk with Esben, and got to know about some wonderful news: his girlfriend is pregnant with their second baby! Now I’m off to get a few things around town…
16.30: As always my shopping trip takes longer than expected but in the end, I get all I need for production in Poland tomorrow.
Come back home, check mails again; I’m waiting to hear back from a Danish company we will hopefully collaborate with for the upcoming season. Time is running out and I’ve still not heard back from them.
16.45: Just called the Danish company, from what they say, it seems my emails are getting lost! Oh my god, what’s up with this email bullshit? I resend my email and wait for their reply.
17.00: Check up on the interns, they are super cool and doing great stuff. I’m trying to balance letting them be part of the design process with teaching them how to do the more unexciting, but necessary aspects of the job like copying out patterns and preparing for production.
17.15: Colouring and manipulating fabrics: one of the fabrics reacted unexpectedly to a bleach treatment and it looks a bit of a mess, but it’s still great overall. It’s a ‘good accident’ but I have to work further on it.
17.45: After cleaning up the studio and checking up on everything, I send the interns home.
18.00: I prepare Yoko’s dinner, hopefully it will be to her liking! My little cat is somewhat of a diva and is very opinionated about her food!
18.15: Mads eats his dinner at last! I also have what is remaining from lunch. I watch more guilty pleasure TV and have a short Skype call with my husband, who is currently living and working in Italy.
19.00: I take over from where the interns left off, make small changes here and there and develop new styles and ideas. I love to work in solitude at night.
1.00: Time to go to bed, I have to be up early to go to Poland tomorrow morning. I curl up in bed with Yoko, listening to Arvo Pärt, trying to disconnect and get some rest! Good night – over and out!
text by Mads Dinesen