Mirror World

Sitting at the table, I watched her looking at herself in the mirror. She liked to do that, and she did it with childlike passion whenever she was here in my studio. She loved the old mirror, a grand mirror with a wooden frame, the glass slightly cloudy. You couldn’t check on details, but the soft, milky world inside the mirror was unrivaled. Looking in the mirror, you always had the feeling you were seeing the big picture.

I made a latte for the both of us and waited for her to join me at the table. The woman in the mirror on the wall seemed like a faded memory of the real version on the opposite side. Her lips, tinted dark red, were the only pop of color in this yellowed, matte picture, like in an old colorized movie. Now the two women waved at each other in synchronous movements, then they turned away from each other. The pale woman’s silhouette turned into the void, and the real one looked at me.

She came to me at the table, sat down in front of me and drew the cup closer to her. She looked at me contemplatively. “Interesting, these mirror worlds,” she said, tilting her head towards the matte glass panel on the wall. “We carry them with us and listen to their stories. I’ve often asked myself what’s behind this...”

I didn’t know how to answer to that, wasn’t even sure I knew what she meant. I contented my- self by taking a sip of my latte, letting her tell her stories, waiting in silence for the time being...


Behind the Mirror

We had talked for a very long time about mirror worlds and labyrinths of thought, about how to find ideas and inspiration, how to make the right decisions, how to communicate ideas. Then she asked what it’s all about for me as a designer – what’s my motivation? I stayed silent for a long time while she drew lines in her latte with a dented little teaspoon. The never-ending task of tracing the tirelessly closing lines put her in a state of waiting trance; her coffee was cold now. Amazing how a single person can wait that long. I thought about her question and suddenly started talking, my words pouring across the table into her latte.

“As a designer, you’re part of everyday history, and you’re influenced by it. You collect impres- sions and experiences and use them as building material for something new. You ask yourself, ‘What were the things that left their mark on me? Influenced me and shaped my way of expres- sing myself?’ You let yourself be inspired and follow your inner stream of thoughts. It’s not just about coming up with ideas though, but about making decisions and understanding their conse- quences. Influenced by the exterior, you’re facing it with your inner self, the exterior and interior mutually referencing one another, reflecting what you see. You want to make the kind of fashion that unveils a part of life, just as others want to wear fashion that is more than just cloth and thread. You want to tell stories of dreams and visions, but also of life in its harsh extremes – of beauty and ugliness, of everyday life and fiction, and of how all these things change their place and meaning. You’re part of it, and so you want to tell about the things on the stage of life’s theater, but without the dictates of superficial beauty or mere functionality. Instead, it’s about the transitions: between the foreign and the own, ideas and decisions, fiction and everyday life. Because you want to tell them, the various chapters of the mirror worlds, as multifaceted and nuanced as they are – the stories of fleeting beauty and constant change.”