Tainted Love: Avant-Garde Fashion Designer Ann-Sophie Back is Putting Ambivalence into Vogue. Second City Style Fashion Blog

Fountain of 30

May 15, 2007 • Fashion

Joanne Molina for Second City Style Magazine

In a world of celebrity designers and public relations campaigns
designed to promote sales instead of substance, Ann Sophie-Back is a
breath of fresh air. Candid, cheeky and confident that her designs
speak for themselves, the Swedish-born avant-garde designer isn’t
looking for fans but people who will actually pay attention to what
she’s doing and what she’s thinking. Ideas are what drive this
international icon known for her dissonant dresses and substantive
silhouettes — but not to fear, she’s not above a good laugh and the
necessary amount of sarcasm.

SCS: How do you think growing up in a suburb of
Stockholm influenced you? Do you think you would be designing
differently if you grew up in London, where currently live?

ASB: I’m very affected by my Swedish upbringing. My
problems with taking fashion seriously mixed with my problems with the
beauty ideals of today and the way women are portrayed in the media.
I’m very middle class, like almost all Swedes and I don’t see the point
in glorifying the working classes like they do here. Sweden is at least
on the surface a very equal society and that greatly affects the way I
look at fashion.

SCS: What were your key inspirations when you started out? Have they changed?
ASB: I don’t think they have changed that much, it’s
more that I get increasingly aware of my motives. But also the more
aware I get of my “agenda” the more I can ignore it and appreciate
fashion for simply being beautiful (and sometimes vacuous) without
having to question it. Sometimes that disappoints me and sometimes it’s
a relief.

SCS: How have your collections evolved?
ASB: I think I’m a lot more aware of the wearer these
days; I’m more forgiving and understanding of their actual needs. I
also realize and appreciate most people just want to be told what’s
right and aren’t interested in the idea behind the garment. And maybe
they are right in thinking this, if it’s good, it’s good!

SCS: If you could come back as a piece of clothing what would it be?
ASB: I don’t believe in reincarnation. I’m a pair of
pear shaped leather trousers now and I have no chance in hell to come
back as a pair of Prada shoes.

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