Flash Dance

We speak to the Norwegian designer, Veronica B. Vallenes about her rebellious 80s-esque pieces

Text by Jean Kemshal-Bell

Inspired by the sex-up 80s power-vamp and the innocent 50s housewife, Norwegian-born, Denmark-based, designer Veronica B. Vallenes mixes rebellious chic with feminine styles for her latest collection. Using simple cuts, Vallenes’ brings together cigarette trousers, high-waist panties, sculptured shoulders and bandage dresses from the conflicting eras to offer sophisticated sex appeal. With a background in costume design, Vallenes downplays extravagance in favour of a highly wearable, yet edgy, collection.

How old are you?
Veronica B. Vallenes: 30

Where are you based?
Veronica B. Vallenes: I'm from Norway, but I live in Copenhagen.

What was the inspiration behind your S/S 10 collection?
Veronica B. Vallenes: I wanted to make a collection that was extravagant and full of edge, but at the same time simple and easy to wear. I was inspired by different female ideals from past decades. I travelled through time, from the innocent 50s housewives, with high-waisted feminine trousers and panties, to the masculine powerwoman ideal of the 80s, with sharp silhouettes, shoulderpads and straight lines.The rebellious and rugged, grimey character of the rock and bondage style inspired my design in a contrasting manner to the naive and cute 50s style. All these various styles inspired the collection on different levels, often in a hybrid combination that is more fitted for the woman of today.

Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
Veronica B. Vallenes: The vest with leather padding on the shoulders. It's both extravagant and easy to wear.

If you had to imagine one person wearing your collection who would it be?
Veronica B. Vallenes: I would love to see Chloë Sevigny in my clothes. I have always loved her look and her personal style. She’s edgy, feminine and full of integrity.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Veronica B. Vallenes: It balances between being edgy, cool, feminine and sophisticated. Downplayed extravaganza.

You are also involved with costume design, is there something you enjoy about it that you don’t get from fashion design?
Veronica B. Vallenes: I like working with costumes as a contrast to fashion. With costumes there`s a feeling or an expression that should be visualized. I mostly work with experimental perfomances done by a group called Loop Loop Loop where the visual look is a big part of the show. It`s extravagant, expressive and has a mysterious David Lynch kind of feeling about it. This allows me to work in a completely different universe. When I work with my collection I downplay the extravagant expression and make it more wearable. I focus on creating flattering silhuottes for the female body, where simplicity and extravaganza goes hand in hand. For me working both with costume design and fashion design are equally important and they form an essential symbiotic relationship, where one influence the other.

Who are some of your favourite up-and-coming fashion designers?
Veronica B. Vallenes: Danish label Vilsbøl De Arce. I really like their aeshetic and sculptural look.

What is your favourite city to visit and why?
Veronica B. Vallenes: Paris, I love the atmosphere there.

What are you working on at the moment?
Veronica B. Vallenes: I'm working on my new collection and a costume project, and I'm expanding my firm which currently takes a lot of my time. For me it’s essential to have a good and solid foundation, so that I can further my creative progression and continue to live and work with what I love most!

What can we expect from you in the future?
Veronica B. Vallenes: My ambition is to continue to develop my design and design process, always balancing between extravaganza and simplicity with a focus on the cut and the silhouette. Collaboration is something that I want to explore, especially with exciting photographers, artists and musicians, and make an attractive and intersting brand, ever developing. My dream is to expand and further my brand to include mens’ clothing, shoes and accessories, and broaden my influence in the world of fashion design.

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