It’s unexpected, inventive and colourful. Loosely reminiscent of the Japanese punk culture and the eclecticism of the Brits, it’s seriously refreshing. Here is Atelier Wonder. Paulina Wonders imagines a whole different world through her designs, so I thought: Why not let her take us for a ride into her Spring/Summer 15 parallel universe? Jump in.
Tell me about your background.
I studied Fashion Design at Lasalle College in Montreal and then I worked a little bit over two years in the industry before moving to London. After a year stay and some short courses at Central Saint Martins, I decided it was time to return back home and start my own thing. I also enrolled in a BFA Fibres and Material Practices major at Concordia University at the same time. After completing my first year I decided to put my degree on hold and focus on Atelier Wonder.
How do those experiences influence your current work ? (She spent some time at Cirque du Soleil and was a design studio intern for the haute couture designer Charlie le Mindu in Paris.)
All three were amazing experiences and influenced me into being able to start my own project. I gained a lot of craftsmanship skills and self-discipline, but also the ability to think outside the box when it comes to conceptualizing the manner certain items look or are produced.
These experiences also gave me the confidence and the belief that I can start something with very little resources and practically no budget. Anyone can do something amazing if they really want to, it’s just a manner of staying creative with what you have.
What is the inspiration for your S/S 15 collection?
I drew inspiration from post soviet gopnik youths. It was a vague memory of my childhood, growing up in a small town in Poland and seeing the older kids smoking cigarettes and drinking beers with no future really. I wanted to explore the idea of teenage delinquency and being “wasted” from all perspectives.
I also wanted to give it a more positive spin, a queer punk aesthetic, where I turn the dark reality of these kids into a modern day rebellion in terms of self-expression and gender identification.
What was your creative process like for that specific collection?
It starts with imagining a story in my mind. For this collection, I tried creating it around an idea that was directly related to my identity. I then do a ton of research. I choose the types of fabrics by trying to link them to feelings that the story and research bring to me. I design the prints and styles and experiment during production. Often, while starting to create the pieces, I get inspired by the way the fabrics react and end up adding or changing styles accordingly.
SHORT & SWEET
What music did you listen to while working on that collection?
I can’t remember, but every time I think of making all the rhinestone pieces I think of Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy.
What are your favourite textiles these days?
Knits! Obsessing over weaves, hand knits, machine knits… All of them!
Designing for men or women, any favourite?
Designing for individuals is my favourite.
Something you can’t live without while creating?
Tension Tamer Tea!
What is your regular day like?
Emails, cutting fabric, having existential crisis.
What can we expect from Atelier Wonder in the upcoming year?
Only Time will tell :)
Clothes available at Atelierwonder.bigcartel.com