Julian Zigerli AW16

Childhood nostalgia and mad love for the fam inspire Julian Zigerli AW16.

What better way to cure a case of nostalgia (or make it so much worse) than to flick through pages of the good ol’ family photo album. Comprising of equally hilarious and embarassing photos, and the occasional gem, all those great memories are sure to come flooding back. So it’s no surprise when Julian says that this particular collection is one that is very personal to him.

To make things even more personal, photographer and creative Yves Suter combined Julian’s old family photos with images from the collection to create a collage. The finished collages are now being used for the collection campaign. The AW16 collection, titled ‘Larger Than Life’, gives the viewers a flashback to late 80’s and early 90’s fashion, as he incorporates familiar colours and shapes that were seen during that era. As if the collection couldn’t get any more personal, Julian even decided to recreate old clothing from his past, and he ended up with four pieces: two jeans and two tops. He describes the difficult process of printing old pieces onto the new garments, and it all got a little too technical for us. But we’re glad Julian put in the effort because the result is an integration of the old with the new, almost like a physical representation of what nostalgia feels like. Deep.

The Swiss designer started his eponymous menswear label all the way back in 2010, and has only been on the rise since then. In fact, Julian won the Swiss Design Awards not once, not twice, but three times (!). Not only that, but he was also invited by Giorgio Armani to present in Milan, and the designer now shows as part of the official schedule in Paris. To help him get into the right mindset to work on this collection, Julian looked to personal clothing items, family photos and cartoon characters to transport himself back to the glory days. Using those references, Julian was able to translate his ideas and thoughts into rich wool clothing in vivid primary colours. He crafted pieces that honour the fashion of the past, yet his modern twists allow the clothes to stand on their own in the 21st century.

How would you describe your collection to us?

It’s a electric yet comfy and warm collection. Full of nostalgic ideas it was incredibly personal to work on – lots of 90’s influence from my youth and prints that picked up that atmosphere. The pieces were completely inspired by my family and each member played a role.

What was your inspiration behind it?

The collection is actually called ‘Larger Than Life’ and it is a direct reference to what I think is really important – family. Familiar feelings of what you’ve always known and not being alone was where I got most of my instinctive ideas from for AW16.

Do you have a favourite piece?

A very difficult question as all the pieces are basically my babies – so how can you just pick one from the family? Pieces I like to most to wear are the yellow bomber jacket, the knit scarves which have multiple functions, and of course the ‘Julian’ pieces. These were four pieces from my past which I recreated with print – two of my old pairs of jeans and two tops which are from my own private wardrobe. They were printed onto new garments, and although it looks simple, they were really difficult to make.

Talk us through your creative process when making your collection?

We always start with a feeling or a theme and this time it was family. I collected a lot of mood images and I was looking a lot into my own family and my own past – things all lead into one another so it is normally very organic.

Did you face any challenges or great successes?

The ‘Julian’ pieces I mentioned before were the greatest challenge – they look around three times longer than any of the other pieces to be able to produce them in different sizes, which you don’t really see in photographs. A success would be the show in Paris which was a collaborative process with French dramatics group (LA) HORDE.

Who is your favourite designer and how do they influence your work?

It changes every season – at the moment I don’t really have one. I’m influenced more by what is going on around me rather than the work of others.

If you could claim any person as your muse, past who or present, who would it be any why?

Well for this collection it was my whole family and myself when I was a teenager – but that is very specific for AW16. As a Julian Zigerli muse we have used our models Tim Grupp and Viktor Jörgensen over and over again, who I think are as close as I could get to a muse for the label.

Mariah Rosslee
Julian Zigerli AW16

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