Interview with Dawid Tomaszewski
Published at L'Officiel Italia on 7th September 2014
Just like Malevich Dawid Tomaszewski emphasises the purity of shape. With his latest and supreme collection “Suprematism” the Polish designer translates the qualities of this art movement into minimalistic designs with striking details like embroideries or splashes of colour.
Right before his show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin I talked to the visionary designer about his love for art, Cristóbal Balenciaga and his insatiable curiosity for knowledge.
What do you like about Berlin?
The generosity, the incredible growth, the possibility to have your privacy, the many lakes, because I’m Gdansk-born I need water around me, and the many great people. I didn’t found my brand here for no reason.
You said that the industry in Berlin is not that big yet. Are there other cities interesting for your brand?
We have showrooms in Paris and Milan as well. But here in Berlin I can actively participate in the whole process and I’m able to make changes. Today you can see what a great project we did in the workshops of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in cooperation with Prag PR and Catrice [the cosmetic brand is official partner of the show]. We have had off-site shows before, but they were never as complex.
You studied Art History after your Fashion Design studies at the London College of Fashion. Didn’t you want to start working as a designer right away?
Fashion was interesting to me for two years, but then I wanted to do something different. I also studied Psychology for one year in order to get to know myself better. I took some Architecture classes as well, but only along the way. To me Art History was important to gain more knowledge. I’ve always loved art. My mother, a fanatic art lover, always pushed me in that direction.
The Constructivism inspired this collection. How did that happen?
I’ve always loved Bauhaus and the Constructivism. The main inspiration was the Russian Suprematism. I like the radical approach to colour, shape and design. The Constructivism was one of the most enthralling epochs due to the collages. Everything was different and new – not necessarily beautiful, but it had a beauty within. And I like to deal with architecture and Bauhaus especially inspires me.
Do you have a favourite gallery or museum?
I love the Neue Nationalgalerie, it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in Berlin. There are many great places, including the Martin-Gropius-Bau. But I also like to travel to London. The Tate Modern is one of the greatest exhibition spaces you can imagine.
You said you are a book freak. What are you reading at the moment?
I always read three books at the same time. Right now it’s Steve Job’s biography, different ones about the Constructivism and the biography on Diana Vreeland, she was incredible humorous, a great woman.
Do you have a secret trick for when you loose inspiration?
I said that a couple of times, when I should stop developing myself I will quit fashion. That’s why my inner pressure is enormous. I’m searching for new ideas 24/7. And I’m extremely curious about what I can see and learn. I don’t own a TV though. I just live of music and books. I try to stay away from the stuff we don’t desperately need.
Is there something you would like to do in the future?
I would like to become the Creative Director at a big fashion house, maybe one very different from my brand. That would be amazing. We’re already having some talks about that.
That would be parallel to your own label?
Yes! I really want to do that! I always say how I have so much time. I never take vacations. I travel a lot for business, but it’s not work, it’s my life. That’s a great thing, to be able to say that. And I definitely want more – more of life, more of art and more of creativeness. That’s what pushes me.
Who is your designer example?
My role model has always been Cristóbal Balenciaga. I love his design – his radical approach to fabrics and these sensational shapes from the 40ies, these oversize coats... And he has been a great person too. I also read his biography recently.
You already did a men’s collection. Are you planning another one?
For now we’re focussing on women. I adore the female body. Women are the most beautiful creatures that surround me, my team basically just consists of them. I like it to work with just women.
Did you see the collection already? The print is amazingly beautiful.
It is based on architectonical drawings right?
Yes, it’s the architectonical floor plan of a high-rise building. We enlarged, shortened, stretched it and put some colour on it, a little bit in the style of Gerhard Richter. The fabrics arrived two weeks ago and look perfectly like someone had just drawn over them with a pencil and a brush.
Just two weeks before the show?
Yes, it’s an ongoing process. You always change something. I’m constantly aspiring towards perfection.