With Fashion Month finally coming to a close, I’ve gotta say—I’ve heard a lot of boring inspiration this season. Of course, Zurich-based designer, Julia Seemann, never disappoints when it comes to the starting point for her collections. Last year, it was German goth rockers, Xmal Deutschland, and this year, for her S/S ’18 collection, Seemann channeled ’80s and ’90s Swiss counter-culture, as well as the ultimate bad bitch—no, not Lil’ Kim—Medusa. Joining workwear, streetwear and a ’90s punk edge with snakeskin fabrics, Seemann harnessed the unrivaled strength of the mythological femme-monster, and gave it the kind of effortlessness you find in an oversize windbreaker. That’s the beauty in all of Seemann’s work: it’s cool and empowering, but never tries too hard—and you want all of it the minute you see it.
View the BULLETT premiere of the Julia Seemann S/S ’18 collection above, and read our interview with the designer, below.
Tell me about the latest collection. What inspired it?
The Spring/Summer 18’ collection is dedicated to the youth movements in Zurich that stood up for alternative cultural rights in the 1980s and 1990s. About forty years ago in Zurich, there was no place for underground music subcultures. In 1980, in the late punk era, people went on the street and started the ‘Züri brännt’ movement, which means ‘Zurich is burning.’ This resulted in spaces for alternative culture all over Switzerland. But still, in the early ‘90s, regulations for alternative club culture hadn’t changed that much. In 1992, about a thousand ravers came together for the first ‘Streetparade’ in Zurich—a demonstration for love, peace, freedom, liberality and tolerance. Thanks to the power of these generations, things have changed a lot these days. But besides these subcultural movements, I also took inspiration from classic workwear, glamorous diva looks, ancient paintings and Greek mythology.
What was on your moodboard?
There were many different themes on my moodboard—there were pictures from ‘90s streetwear brand ads, and ‘80s record covers, diva glam details and photos from punk icons such as Siouxsie Sioux.
How does this collection compare to previous seasons?
I see it as a combination of all the previous seasons—there’s workwear, subcultural, artistic and nostalgic elements. Comparing to the last season, though, it contains more bright colors.
Who do you see as the Julia Seemann man or woman this season?
A strong and confident individual who knows what she/he wants in life.
What inspired you to create the Medusa print?
The medusa can be interpreted as a symbol of power and resistance, but also of love.Therefore, for us, it’s a reference to the main statement behind the collection: fight for something you love.
Last year, you titled your collection ‘Incubus, Succubus,’ and this year, you included references to Medusa. Do you see these as feminist references?
You can interpret it as feminist statements, but I personally wouldn’t reduce these mythological elements to the feminist topic—I see it more as symbols of power and strength, in general. I think it’s interesting that these ancient figures and terms are still relevant in our society today, and therefore, it makes sense to include it into my work.
Describe Julia Seemann in three words.
Subcultural. Nostalgic. Straightforward.
Do you think fashion should be political? What do you see as your role as a fashion designer, particularly during hyper political times?
I think, for me as a designer, it’s important to question political and social conditions, and fashion is a great medium to do this in an ambiguous way. But I think it’s precarious as a fashion designer trying to be obviously political or propagandistic.
Styling: Erik Raynal
Hair & Makeup: Martina Lattanzi
Model: Kitty Garratt