Perhaps earth's greatest wonder is the natural weather systems that dictate our lives, integral to the feeling of safety, comfort, and pleasure, feelings that are also the basal foundations of clothing. It is these seasonal, typically unpredictable shifts in weather and their extreme influence over landscapes, surfaces, and how we dress as a result, that inform the design direction of Holzweiler's Fall/Winter 2022 collection, adaptly titled "Weathering."
A brand that calls Norway home, the family at its heart shares a deep understanding of the challenges of extreme weather conditions. In a nation that experiences bitter colds, rain, and some of Scandinavia's darkest days throughout the winter, protective, functional dress is an essential part of life.
With its Fall/Winter 2022 collection, Holzweiler explores the effects of weather through fabrication and texture, building a sensory tapestry of decay. From distressed edges to heat-reactive surfaces and print heavy in imperfection, the line-up holds a mirror to the natural world, showcasing "the beauty of decay."
Joining us in conversation, Holzweiler's Design Director Maria Holzweiler and Head of Design Duy Din Ngo plunge us deeper into the world of the Fall/Winter 2022 "Weathering" collection.
How did weather systems and their effects become the main point of inspiration for the FW22 collection?
MH: Norway has very unpredictable weather, and with four seasons, we need to dress for varying conditions.
Last summer, we had really nice weather in Norway, but in the news, we could read and see pictures from natural disasters around the world, with extreme rain, storms, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions. The climate crisis is apparent all around us, but; in between all these destructive articles in the news, there are also these warm stories about firefighters, volunteers, and families helping each other.
It made us investigate the beautiful aspects of weathering over the dark ones.
Did Norway's weather conditions, and your experience with them, offer any insights into the protective qualities required of clothing?
DDN: Wind and waterproof garments are essential in Norway. The fall season has lots of rain, and with snow, it also gets extremely cold in the heaviest winter months, making wool and down protective requirements. This season we also have been working with a wax-coated surface and heat-reactive fabrics, which has been very exciting.
The layering of garments and wool is part of our heritage through the need to protect ourselves against the weather.
Once the design and creative direction of the collection were settled, what were the first pieces you began designing?
MH: We always start our Fall/Winter collection by developing outerwear and knits. They are both heavy categories that take more time and need attention along the way.
This season, we also spent a lot of time on dresses and tailoring, focusing on adding fabrics and trims of high quality to elevate the whole collection.
Are there any favorites or pieces that you're particularly proud of for FW22?
DDN: We have a pair of leather boots, and sustainable down legwarmers are quite unique.
For the show, we made a very nice suit and floor-length vest in a decay, handmade fabric that we all really love, while we also fancy the knit with holes and distressed edges.
How were you able to translate natural weathering into garment texture and fabrication?
MH: We have worked with surfaces and textures that simulate the organic reaction of weather decay in different ways – by distressing edges, adding patina and treatments, and hand-painted prints, we have achieved the particular look we wanted throughout the collection.
Are there any garments that you've brought across and updated from previous collections?
DDN: We have dedicated time to developing our tailored items and improved craftsmanship and construction for long-lasting products. But with that said, we have a whole core of products that we bring over every season.
Did Fall/Winter 2022 present any new challenges that you've had to overcome; if so, how did you?
MH: The lockdown worldwide has affected the whole industry in many ways, causing delays and challenges for everyone.
We are aiming to use as many sustainable fabrics as possible, and the challenge at the moment is that the demand, in general, is very high while access is low, so an important resource has been the availability of our deadstock.
These challenges have pushed us to make changes and look for options for how we make our collections. So a specific example is our showpieces for AW22; every piece is made from our deadstock (upcycled) and will be available to rent post-show to give it a longer life cycle instead of hanging in our archive.
We were supposed to show both digital and physical – but because of lockdown and the unpredictability we currently face, we decided to make another digital presentation for this collection. We are very happy to be able to work with talents such as Celestine Cooney (stylist) and Michael Hauptman (photographer/director) to show Holzweiler in a new way.