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  • Hermann
Words Rikke Jensen

Less Magazine would like to present Daniela Hermann, recent Fashion Design graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. We’ve had the fortunate experience of exploring her final collection from this course, centring not on the garment itself, but on the body and how clothing works with the body. Overall, Hermann delves into how we treat these things in our everyday lives.

The body, according to Hermann, is something we often forget in our daily lives. After a personal experience where Hermann damaged her back and was forced to sit in a wheelchair, she discovered that humans have a tendency to take things for granted. We only appreciate how well things work when they cease to work the way they used to. Clothing is made for the body. The body requires a certain custom process when being clothed. Putting on pants is different from putting on a shirt, as well as how hands require flexibility, while feet require protection.

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Hermann delves into the concept of undressing the body. How we wear clothes and how they touch us when removed. Clothing not only protects the body as its primary function, but it also alters and hides it. Shoulders become wider with pads, bras change the shape of breasts, and collars make our necks longer and slimmer. Clothing enables us to change who we are to fit into the identity we desire. Therefore, the act of undressing becomes vastly significant in our understanding of the body.

In her design process, Hermann has focused on bringing out what we hide from the rest of the world. The parts of our body that others are not normally allowed to see. Hermann desired to imitate skin with all of these characteristics: deformities, scars, stretch marks, and bruises to show us the raw feeling a naked body can give us. One of the materials used for this development is latex, a material she herself made from the bottom to imitate the human skin as much as possible, using various other objects to create realistic ‘deformities’.

Addressing the undressing culture also means to reflect the act of dressing. By revealing the body underneath the clothing that changes us, Hermann gives to us the opportunity to ponder about the garments that we are wearing. To take clothes off not only reveals who we are but also makes it possible to create a situation of reflection for the wearer. Not only that, but fashion designers can reflect on how they can create clothing that has stronger bonds with the wearer. Where is the fabric sourced? What is the style, cut, shape? What is its story?

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The final result of these processes is seven pieces of womenswear. Instead of ‘wearable clothes’ they serve rather as body pieces. A body piece is not necessarily a wearable garment, but rather a second shelter for the body, arising the reflection on the relationship between garment and body. The collection features these acts of undressing in every look, with clothes made of latex or a mix with other fabrics. Some are deconstructed and can only be identified and understood by closer inspection by the viewer.

The silhouette in the collection is elegant and sensual, respecting the female body in its undressing. Every garment is functional in its own way, maybe not in everyday life, but as a way of questioning the origin and treatment of clothing in the modern world. The focus is not on wearability, but on the thought process that we as humans should initiate more often like never before.

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