Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Horst Interview: Ana Hernández-Cornet

Hernández-Cornet Spring/Summer 2009

Horst is a very lucky boy to have met Ana, the Swedish ambassador of conceptual kitsch fashion. The girl that seduces with pure presence. Who re-invented the 90s and transforms inspiration into highly subtle references, only visible to the skilled eye. Art movements, subculture and the vulgar are interweaved to create a signature aesthetics. So read this interview and convince yourself: This is tasty!

Hi Ana, welcome to the world famous Horst Interview.

Hi Horst, well thank you, I'm honoured.

While writing the questions and doing a little research, I more and more fell in love with you and your aesthetics. I think you are adorable and you deserve fame. So here we go. As a little sweaty warm-up, what are you wearing right now?

Hmm… nothing fancy really, I just got home from working all day in the studio. Dark blue velveteen tights and a huge black double-knit sweater.

What does fashion mean to you?

‘Fashion is only the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse’ (Francis Bacon). I think that quote kind of works. But it can mean a lot of things... On a basic level fashion is a very good tool to reinforce your personality and who you want to be.

Tell me more about Splosh, your fashion art film. I love conceptual things and adding meaning onto something, so give me all the meaning you can.

It's a short film, which interprets the inspiration for the SS09 collection in quite a humorous way. I started out the research for the collection with a ‘wet T-shirt’ theme, but as I begun reading about it, I stumbled upon concepts such as aquaphilia (fetish for water, wet clothes and materials) and WSM (wet and messy fetish). Neither of these terms included nudity or any form of ‘porn aesthetics’, instead the focus was on the clothing, materials and textures used. This intrigued me and I was also surprised of the humour and kitsch involved. So, the film was made to sum up the whole world and idea behind WSM, but also to make it interesting enough for someone who’s never been in touch with that world, which is still quite obscure and secret.

‘Seeing a beautiful woman get hit in the face with a pie turns many people on’ - Please tell me more about those food orgy fetishes and how you hit on it.

That quote was taken from Splosh magazine, a British WSM magazine and site which is completely dedicated to WSM. I liked the site for the efforts they made with their in-house produced DVDs and photo shoots, which all had a very kitsch and colourful aesthetic. They love to play with the movie titles as well (‘Slime Suspect’, ‘Return to Gunge Hill’, ‘The Muckanic’ etc.) With their permission, I used two of their photos as T-shirt prints in the collection.

Which materials did you use?

For the film we drenched the models in pink, red, white and light blue colour, blueberry soup, yoghurt and at the end sprinkled them with coloured rice puffs.

Is it true that the guy was close to throwing up?

Almost, he was extremely cold after having all the fluids poured on him, so he started shaking heavily, gulping and then started laughing. It's all in the film, since it's shot in one scene.

How does this messiness transform into your Spring/Summer 09 collection? How does the collection look like?

The collection is very minimalistic compared to the messy inspiration. The theme reflected more the materials used: qualities with a wet and slinky feel like silk and polyester blends combined with see-through cotton voile, neoprene and leather/skin from salmon and nile perch. The collection seeks also inspiration from surf and water sports. The silhouette is a composite one which combines wide, boxy and narrow shapes. Colours run from ecru, oyster and turquoise to ochre and black. Styles include cropped see-through tops, creased-up jackets, tie shirts and customized denim with appliqués in leather from fish.

Stills from SPLOSH!

Is there a special men's and a specific women's style that might stand as archetypes for your collection?

I always work with a basic, big shirt as a kind of unisex garment. And I’m constantly trying to combine the ultra masculine and super feminine in one style, or in the combination of garments.

What does the women of tomorrow wear? What is your vision? What would you like to see on the streets or what would you like to achieve in the contemporary mindset?

I think people should dress with more power... Referring to Sweden, people in general are quite nervous in their relation to clothes, fashion and how they dress. That's probably why Swedes are so good at picking up trends as well. I would like to see women dress more confident and not always put the main focus on the practical and comfortable and ‘hide the body away in multiple layers of jersey’.

Are you already working on the Hernández-Cornet Fall/Winter collection?

If everything goes as planned, and with a bit of luck, it w ill be finished in about two weeks. The collection is inspired by cross-dressing and bi gender, which is a tendency to move between masculine and feminine typed behaviour. We will shoot the image pictures for women with both a male and female model.

And what about your own fetishes? What turns you on?

It could be very different things, depending on the person and situation. But when talking about fetishes within fashion and clothing, I guess I like juxtaposed materials and objects. Like a squeaky-clean outfit pared with really worn down, dirty sneakers... Or a perfect black leather skirt with a washed-out T-shirt. These kind of things.

I heard you are moving this weekend. Tell me about your new apartment, how do you live?

Right now I'm living with my sister and her boyfriend in their new apartment. I'll be moving back to my old flat next month, but for the moment I spend most of my time in the studio working, taking naps on the sofa when needed.

What is the kitschiest thing you own? I love my porcelain kittens...

I guess it's a sculpture I got from my ex-boyfriend... It's a black enamel man and woman’s torso embraced in a kiss. Very 80s. Oh, and when I was growing up, we had this big fox boa in the living room – my dad thought it looked good on our black leather couch. And two paintings made in very realistic stippling-technique, showing two naked women kissing each other. My dad's from Spain, that kind of gives him an excuse for his tacky taste.

Hernández-Cornet Fall/Winter 2008

Apparently, you were the one who re-discovered the 90s iconographic symbol of yin & yang. Something that quickly developed into a Lynn & Horst obsession. Thank you for that. Tell me what fascinates you about it. There is this inner fight...

I've been hung up on the yin-yang symbol for several years, and started working with it to kind of reinvent it. The big yin-yang symbol from AW08 is made from Google fight, which is a really silly thing you can do on the net when you type in two names and then they ‘fight’ with each other. When you do yin vs. yang, the result is 85% to 15%, so we made a new symbol from that. I did it in collaboration with my graphic designer.

Yin & Yang print Fall/Winter 2008

You hear with only one side. This kind of intrigues me. It has something very fairytale-esque. The beautiful princess, waiting for a spell to be undone by a certain symbolical act. How does this affect your lifestyle?

I've been deaf since I was 4 years old and got the mups. Usually I don't think about it, but sometimes it can be noticed in large groups of people, where I really have to work hard to stay focused on what people say. I have one friend who always turns to my left/hearing side when we speak. That’s really attentive and gives us a certain understanding. Bless you, true friend!

You are a very pretty girl, I have to say, what about modeling?

Thank you, I'm very flattered... I did modeling when I was 19. My best friend and me had a label together. We did a spread for a Swedish daily newspaper (Dagens Nyheter), posing in our own clothes. My boyfriend at that time was a model and the paper used a pic of him and me making out in the back of a van on the news bill... those were the days.

How does Mr. Right look like? How does he dress? How does he conquer your heart?

Looks aren't that important as long as the personality is there. I think a personal style is more important than a perfect one. One of my boyfriends used to wear his mom's animal print leotard (his mom was a dance teacher) with jeans, that really worked on him. With confidence, quirky humour and a humble attitude.

One last sentence that sums up Hernández-Cornet:

Balance of the opposites.

Thank you very much.

Thank you. See you in Stockholm soon!


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