“Designing under quarantine was terrible.”
Much to his relief, the quarantine rules in his country lasted ten weeks after which he was allowed to return to the studios. “Designing under quarantine was terrible,” admits the designer. Although the initial plan for him was to use strong visuals to enhance the narrative of his collection, it was not logistically possible given the pandemic. Instead, Benji decided to express the narrative through styling and makeup. “It is nice to have a background story behind something, but for me the visual is most impactful,” says Benji. Playing with beauty ideals, he wanted animated faces to model the collection, the designer achieved that through exaggerating the features by bold makeup resembling the aesthetic of rock band KISS. “The make-up is intense because I tried to make a glamorous person who wasn’t really done with her entire make-up process.” He continues, “It’s this idea of a woman who is not really done with her look.”
“Designing is a lot of hard work so you really need to like doing it, I have friends that quit in the first year because they didn’t like the teaching method, so it’s not for everybody.”
He describes his experience at Artez as a time of fun and building a bond with likeminded people. “We have been together for four years and everybody has the same work and pressures, so it was a really nice experience to go through it together,” he reminisces. The course also helped him explore different avenues, experimenting with materials and exploring his own aesthetic. As a student, the biggest learning for him has been following his instincts and being passionate about his work. “Designing is a lot of hard work so you really need to like doing it, I have friends that quit in the first year because they didn’t like the teaching method, so it’s not for everybody,” says Benji.