Talent to Watch: Martin Niklas WieserWe talk to the designer about fashion, the future, and foreign lands

I googled you and hardly found anything. Do you think it’s a bit odd that people put so much preparation into interviewing you – that they stalk you a bit?
I actually don’t have a big problem with it yet. There’s only one photo of me circulating online where it’s a bit unpleasant for me. I never uploaded it for the public – Facebook is more accessible than you think. I have to be a bit more careful there.

You’ve already been in Berlin for some time now – for how long?
For six years. Before that, I spent two years in Ireland. I did my “Abitur” (German exam to graduate from secondary school) there – the place to be. (laughs) I had won a scholarship for a year in Dublin. I originally come from a tiny, tiny village. I definitely wanted to get out of there and did everything to make sure that I would. Going to Dublin was a step forward. For me it was a big city. My village in southern Tyrol only had 300 residents.

Did you stop anywhere in between or during your Berlin years?
There were a few stops. I worked in Vienna for Fabrics Interseason. I was in Paris. In New York at Tim Hamilton.

You just graduated from the Weißensee School of Art. What have you been up to since then?
I started working with a press agency and took part in the press days. The resonance was very positive even though the collection isn’t for sale yet. It’s strictly a production collection and isn’t ready for production yet. But that should change with the next collection.

On your aesthetics...
My current collection is 60 percent women’s wear and 40 percent men’s wear. There are a few pieces that overlap – that could be worn by either men or women. I used to only make men’s wear but now wanted to do something else.

For a long time I thought what was happening in Paris was really exciting, at Damir Doma and Fabrics Interseason. They do or did a lot of unisex wear. And, of course, I still find it really exciting to work with men, but I felt like trying something new and thought I’d try women’s wear. It’s a different starting point.

What’s the tenor of your current collection?
There’s not really any type of central theme. Instead, it’s the result of a lot of ideas that had accumulated. The collection conveys more of a feeling or an atmosphere. If you take a closer look, the collection is very complex. From the distance, it’s minimalist, simple and raw. My fashion is very haptic. This time I didn’t take a conceptual approach. My collection came from my own small world – without bringing in much from the outside. It’s a relatively personal collection. But always associated with a certain coldness – exactly the type of interplay I’m looking for. Ultimately, it’s really about what others think of it. I don’t do a collection for myself. Distance is important.

What do people touch when they touch your things?
I like to work closely with the materials and to learn a lot about them. How does a certain material react? What makes it break? I learn to evaluate the material and acquire some knowledge about it. Most of the materials are relatively raw and present and have strong surfaces. But I’ve also worked with leather, which functions very differently, smells different, is stiff in a different way and supports the garment differently.

Were there any difficulties during the design process?
I redesigned the collection three times. Redesigned each piece about four times until I was finally satisfied. I tend to be a latent perfectionist. But I’m also dissatisfied when a piece works and is coherent – when it fits correctly, when the aesthetics work and the references are well-placed.

Your favorite piece?
All the pieces mean something to me. But what’s even better is when it means something to others. A few of the pieces are very strong. For example, I like two dresses a lot: a gold, silk dress with Lurex thread. It has a pretty shape, which says a lot about the whole collection. And another one too – with a similar shape, similar seams and made of camel wool.

In your dreams, where do you end up?
It would be really great if I could have some financial leeway in my work – establishing yourself is hard. There are a few shops I’d like to work with. I would like to work in a nice work environment. I don’t like working alone. Maybe I’ll go to Paris… Reasonable demands, aren’t they? Realistic goals (laughs).

Text by Anne Postrach
Portrait by Jonas Lindström

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Summer Issues 2012



FIN – Fashion Week Closing Party

Saturday. 7.7.2012, 23:00 – open end
PICKNICK, Dorotheenstr. 90, Berlin–Mitte


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