Former McQueen & Balenciaga designer on creating a new kind of punk fashion
A collection of thoughts from Christine Nielsen, former Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga designer.
A collection of thoughts from Christine Nielsen, former Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga designer on how her brand Hyun Mi Nielsen is incorporating romantic punk tones in its designs for the mobile fashion-intrigued woman of today.
I always loved the idea that girls can be a gang of punks.
The references/the inspiration is a mix of a lot of different things I love and felt right for this season like solstice, maypoles, Scandinavia, punks, black and white photos of folk costume, texture, volume and graphicism.
When I left Balenciaga I took some time off to think about my work, who I had become and where I wanted to go. I have never wanted to start my own label. The thought never occurred to me until I was asked: “Why don’t you start your own?!”
At first I didn’t really think about it, but somehow the thought lingered and in the end it felt like the right decision to found my own label to start something new.
Alexander McQueen is my greatest inspiration. He touched a lot of people, and he definitely made his own mark in fashion.
I would like the women to wear my clothes to be strong, independent, and able to move around easily. What does everyone wear every day? Jeans and trousers—that’s why I thought it was relevant to include them. The woman of today is mobile. She has a career, she juggles many things, but, at the same time, she is beautiful and decorative.
It is impossible for the work I do for my own label/HYUN MI NIELSEN not to be personal. We are such a close tiny little team – me, a junior assistant and an intern.
I hope people see something innocent but super punk at the same time (in Hyun Mi Nielsen’s aesthetic). I like the contrast between light and dark, romanticism and perviness.
I’m really into working out how you can elevate things that are humble, how to use a couture technique with mundane everyday materials. That’s the exciting part of having no budget, finding a way to execute what you want anyway.
I found these amazing old pictures of european folk costume, pictures from Bavaria and Brittany. I was struck by the texture, volume and graphicism of the photographs – the techniques used, the proportions, the huge black bows used as headpieces, the white starched cottons, guipure, embroidery etc. the garments were incredible.
I hope [the collection] is a mixture of wearability, poetry, romance, and empowerment. I design for the active woman, that’s why I choose to have simple dresses and decorative coats. But fashion should also be about dreams and aspirations…
I design for me, but also for the love of romance.