Originally from a small town in Germany, designer Mona Cordes moved to London in 2015 to study Fashion Textiles. Never one to shy away from bold prints and bright colours, she instantly felt at one with the city’s quirky scene. 5 years on, she has completed an MA in Fashion Design and recently launched her online shop. Alongside her design work, Mona also dabbles in freelance photography and styling.
In this article, Mona shares her graduate collection, the challenges of COVID and her upcoming projects.
‘SELSHAMOUR ~ HIDE + SEAM’
The mystical world of the supernatural is explored in Mona Cordes’ latest collection. Drawing on the elements of nature to inspire the colour scheme and pattern, Mona explained to Œ: “The collection calls people to look at what nature has to offer and the spirituality behind it.”
With every look, she has attempted to recreate characters from her favourite supernatural tales. Whether that be a light fairy, troll or a firefighter, she aims to cherish the magical powers that these creatures possess. “I took the hidden and secret elements of the underworld into today’s world and gave them a modern aesthetic of my own.”
In particular, Nordic mythology has acted as a rich source of inspiration for her collection and print visualisation. Even the title plays on her love (amour) of Selshamur, which is an old Icelandic story. In the tale of Selshamur, “seals can take off their skin and dance in the night naked. If seen by humans they can lose their bond to the ocean and be taken away from their territory. There is a link to fashion as humans wear clothes to protect, enhance, decorate and hide their bodies.”
Having to complete her Masters during a pandemic undoubtedly was not an easy task. With the studios closed, Mona was forced to readapt her creative processes. Instead of doing her initially planned all-round screen-printed collection, she switched to digitalising her print ideas. Although she missed the hands-on aspect, she enjoyed experimenting with new methods.
Fighting the elements, Mona managed to organise a socially distanced show for her graduate collection. The event took place at the scenic Hampstead Pergola in London. In typical COVID style, the show was live-streamed on Zoom.
Fortunately, Mona’s endeavours have not gone unnoticed. Since joining NOT JUST A LABEL’s retail revolution, she was selected as one of the Top 20 designers for the FABFabric Contest!. Items from the SELSHAMOUR and previous collections are now being sold on NJAL’s online shop.
Like many other creatives, Mona expressed that COVID-19 has made the future of work rather uncertain. Never-the-less, she has decided to focus her energy on making pieces to sell online.
Mona told Œ: “I have started selling at a shop that belongs to the designer of ‘BOY’ London. Soon I will join a print studio and focus on getting pieces screen-printed to add to my shop. I’m also thinking to participate with a mini collection for the upcoming LFW or organise my own show. Hopefully, I can secure myself some design, print freelance jobs along the way!”