Fabian Kis-Juhasz dares to question, subvert and defy what he works with, whether that be the way he moulds leather and lycra to the body – merging the monstrous and beautiful – or challenging traditional notions of femininity and womanhood. The Budapest-born, London-living womenswear designer talks to us about his design past and dreams for the future.

What is your background prior to the MA?

I was born and raised in Budapest, where I studied at a high-school that offered a really intensive art and design education besides the regular classes. That gave me a good foundation in fine art and art history. I specialised in leather design which was great. Then I moved to London to do a BA in womenswear.

How have previous internships and placements helped your work?

I did quite a few placements during my BA, some of them I found to be very exploitive of interns and they didn’t really care about our learning experience as students. I worked for Meadham Kirchhoff for a few months which was an amazing experience, it opened my eyes to a totally different and alternative approach to the industry.

Who would you like to work with, dead or alive?

There are so many! The films of Dario Argento were a major influence in my work and they acted as a catalyst that started my obsession with 70’s horror films! I’m also really obsessed with Jeffree Star and his makeup line at the moment.

How do you use moulding in your design work?

Moulding came from the idea of trying to create a gender ambiguous second skin. Initially, I worked on moulded leather pieces, but for my final collection I was trying to push the technique with different materials, such as satin and lycra.

How do the light transparent tulle pieces relate to the heavier moulded shapes?

Again, it relates to the idea of the moulded garment being the body and dressing that up with sheer and revealing layers. I like the idea of contrasting something monstrous and grotesque with something that we consider traditionally feminine, like a sheer night-gown.

Gender roles seems to be irrelevant in your design. That said, would you say that femininity plays an important role in your collection?

Yes, femininity is absolutely everything to me. I believe that femininity and womanhood are two different things and that you don’t need to be feminine to be a woman and that you don’t need to be a woman to be feminine. I also don’t think that being feminine is equal with being passive and submissive. This is the driving force behind my work and that’s what I’m trying to convey in my garments with the moulded details.

Words Flo Allday Images Courtesy of Fabian Kis-Juhasz