Barbara Í Gongini graduated Danish Design School in 1996 and lunched her own brand in Copenhagen, in 2005. He collaborates with many artists from different domain: film, photographt, music. The designer is attracted by different materials and forms that she considers to be a substitute of colours. She works with materials that are painted in black and white and mainly leather, fur, rubber, silk, dry cotton, nylon.
Her clothes are a lot about intergender concept as there are many masculine details in her clothes made for females. Barbara ignores the today stereotypes when it comes to fashion that is specific to women:“I don’t really understand why the new generation all want to look like school girls, for example.”
Her collections are inspired from the old tradition of Faroe Islands, the place where she was born. She talks about the way she grew up in this place that fascinated her since she was little and it was the revelation she waited for in order to pursue this career: “In the Faroe Islands, where I am from, there was this fantastic woman that was always dressed for any occasion – very stylish. I saw here one day in her high heels walking the steep hill with shopping bags… I decided at that point – I was about 6 – that creating clothes was my destiny.”
Barbara thinks that fashion is a powerful instrument in changing world conceptions about the medium we are living in, reflecting in her works the actual problems of the society. She uses eco-friendly materials, that have the quality of being reliable, stating that it important to treat fashion as a transdisciplinary area field of work: “I think that all developments in ecological and sustainable principles are fantastic and that we should all do our best to take care of the world.” Barbara was nominated for Ethical Award at the Dansk Fshion Awards in 2010 and took part in Bright Green Fashion.
The silhouettes created by Barbara I Gongini are androgynous with simple cuts that create a powerful versatile piece. The artist is influenced by the minimalism specific to the Nordic and Japanese design. What she gets from them is a certain simplicity and dark melancholy. Her collections are divided into two themes: I-rEguLar, the more creative part where the artists plays with different themes, and REguLar a basic version, keeping the personal touch of the artist. Her label is divided into three labels:Barbara Í Gongini, The Black Line, and Leather and Accessories.
She states:” I consider myself a designer with an artistic approach trying to express myself non-verbally. Of course there is always a message in the clothes I make. Political aspects are important to me, but even more so is creating a modern take on sexuality and gender aspects. Not about sex or definition of male vs. female, but more about how we look at women and men. I think this has been reflected in mainstream fashion, especially here in the North, and is changing the way women express themselves.”
by Alexandra Ivascu
Alexandra Ivașcu is a fashion designer living and working in Cluj. She is pursuing her PhD at the University of Arts and Design, Cluj, studying the representation of the couple in contemporary art.