Katrin Schnabl, is a designer, artist, and educator from Germany. Originally trained as adancer, Schnabl moved her passion to fashion and traveled to New York to study at FIT. After receiving several accolades and freelancing for renowned designers including Jil Sander, she decided to focus on creating a collection of her own. This season, Katrin’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection is full of vibrant colors, architectural draping and feminine silhouettes, reminiscent of a former performance artist.
Did you start out with your own line, or did you work with other houses to learn hone your skills?
I’ve collaborated extensively with performing artists and contemporary dance makers. So behind being a visual contributor to the final staged experience is the in-depth knowledge I’ve gained expressing strong emotional ideas on an array of body types; from color and light, cut and shape, material choices, to assembly methods. The houses I had the honor to contribute to as freelancer have made lasting impressions on me, how a creative voice is maintained through organizational structure, support and hiring.
Do you have to be in the zone to start creating designs or is it something that comes naturally
It is both. Honing in on shapes, and associating patterns is how my mind works, that is the natural part. Creating and maintaining a space, both physically, and mentally in which to process and mine this hitherto gratuitous information into meaning and tangible expression is an effort.
A lot of designers copy each others ideas and styles today, how do you set yourself apart from the rest?
In how I work. I don’t start from fashion – I end there.How has your collection been received?
We’re receiving even greater response to our fall collection, than we garnered for spring. Stay tuned.
Do you have celebrity following, or are these products that you want to keep for mainstream consumers?
We have a very strong client following with women who are very active, culturally and in their community and field of influence. They come from all walks of life, architects, writers, gallerists, publishers, photographers, curators, and, yes also actresses, and singers, because our collection resonates with them.
There are lots of reality shows allowing for people to gain press and the proper funding to achieve what many work decades to accomplish… How do you feel about that?
I love the funding part.
If you were offered that opportunity, would you take it?
There is a rhythm to building and showing a collection. I move through conceptual research into shape and detail finding, and eventually into the garments that ‘come from that place’. It is really rewarding to be able to express ideas across a number of pieces, and find nuance, and versatility through a collection. This takes around 3 months, and is very intense in its’ own right. That much said, the reality shows are first and foremost entertainment, based on drama, appeal, competition, and they are structured around weekly challenges to create a single look. These challenges are what I call ‘emergency mode’- you have to go with your first idea, and push hard to execute it in the narrow time-frame.
Do you see yourself adding accessories to mix or do you want to focus on apparel?
I definitely see accessories – head-to-toe – in the near future.