‘I like to surround myself with objects that have value beyond the apparent. Things that feel oddly familiar, like something you’ve seen in a dream,’ said Central Saint Martins womenswear designer Moa Arnald. Forced to return home due to COVID-19 restrictions, the unfortunate circumstances challenged the designer to reimagine her collection. Having left all materials and tools behind, an intimate and meticulously handmade design process became the result.
With a personal approach to the source of inspiration, she observed objects imbued with memories around her in the family home of Juoksengi, near the Swedish border to Finland. ‘I love the tactility of things,’ she muses. Examining items often overlooked, Moa seizes her references from domestic textiles, antique velvet sofas, crochet curtains and ‘a tiny leather purse from moulded reindeer leather, made completely without stitching.’
Moa experiments with burnout and print techniques inspired by her grandmother’s tapestries, tying to the idea of faded memories and fragmentation. Referencing her Nordic culture, the designer also fuses traditional clogs with beak boots and turns them into a ‘beak mule’ that incorporates a leather sock. She moves within a muted palette, exploring shades of brown and ‘the kind of yellow you’d find in faded film rolls.’
Zlata Kriukova, BA Fashion Journalism