Although his name betrays his Greek heritage, Berlin-based fashion designer Kostas Murkudis has an undeniably German pedigree—a duality that tempers his latest collection. Photographer Crystin Moritz captured the new designs on film, her blue-tinged candids evoking spring’s interplay between sensuality and innocence, the past and the future.
BULLETT: You’ve talked before about the idea that two women embody the Kostas Murkudis look for Spring/Summer 2012. One is very traditional and tied to notions of success, while the other woman is aloof and wild. Can you explain the origins of this dual inspiration?
When I start thinking about a new collection, I always imagine two sides of a personality—a light and a dark side. For SS12, I was thinking about a woman who does really wild things, but also someone who’s also a classic, graceful beauty. There are a lot of influences from my Greek heritage in this collection in particular, although I didn’t grow up in Greece. I grew up in Germany during a really tough period, in the ’70s and ’80s. I have these two different poles and so I’ve tried to fuse them, which created something new altogether.
If your collection was a song, which one would it be?
Lately I’ve been getting more and more into music from the ’70s and ’80s, but I was also listening to the Eels’ album Tomorrow Morning when I was creating this collection. I like the mood and general feeling of that album very much. There’s this one song, “Spectacular Girl,” and in the video you see a lady who works in an office go into the elevator and strip down to her slip. She has a big bag with a huge gun in it that she starts putting together and then she shoots a guy. I thought it was so cool.
Does your approach to design always require breaking with the past?
It’s not that I don’t look back—there are so many beautiful things you can discover and get inspired by—it’s just that it isn’t about copying or reproducing something. I believe you can interpret things in two different ways: You can copy the whole look or you can think about what was special about it, and then try to capture that essence of it for our time. But even then, sometimes you fail. Sometimes you have a great idea and a vision of what it could be, but in the end, when you see the final product, you think, Oh, it isn’t that great. It was a great idea, but it didn’t work out that well.
So it’s a process then?
A process that I terribly enjoy!
Going back to the collection, you made usage of a laser cut techniques and also, utilized well tailored minimally shaped pieces. Tell me more: I was asked a few months ago if I would be interested to collaborate with the menswear brand Regent . Interestingly, they wanted me to produce womenswear, which was perfect, because I love to do tailoring , I love to do all these garments and I knew….. was pretty sure this would be a good occasion to go into this direction. This was one part of the collection I had to deal with
The other interesting thing, was that I was approached by a swimsuit manufacturing company. Creating fabrics for swimsuits provided me with some interesting insight into jersey, bonded and stretch fabrics.Through these innovative fabrics i got inspired to work with newtechniques, and that lead me to explore possibilities in creating new volumes, and finishings and movements. I tried to combine these two different worlds (menswear and swimwear) to make it look like it could be for one person.
Click through to see S/S12 looks from Kostas
special thanks to: Kostas Murkudis, Alexandra Degel at Loew Munich, Julian at Modelwerk