The Mixed Reality of Martine Jarlgaard

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The Mixed Reality of Martine Jarlgaard

‘The sculptural silhouettes of luxury brand Martine Jarlgaard London come from a hybridisation of dressy nostalgia, understated decadence and a relaxed, futuristic language of simplicity. An undefinable balancing between recognisability and minimalist abstraction.’


In September 2016 Jarlgaard debuted the world’s first mixed reality fashion show at London Fashion Week. What followed was a media flurry in appreciation for her combination of luxury materials and flattering silhouettes exhibited in a way that played with ideas modernity and timelessness. We sat down with the designer to discuss just what makes Martine Jarlgaard London the name on everyone’s lips…

RM: How did Martine Jarlgaard London originate?

MJ:The brand originates from the vision of wanting to create another visionary and inclusive version of fashion which pushes innovation, and which takes environmental and ethical challenges seriously. I often ask myself and others- Where is the Tesla of fashion? Where are the brands brave enough to show real leadership, to inspire and to invent better ways and to stand up for long term thinking?

RM: You’ve worked with the likes of Vivienne Westwood- how have your various experiences impacted how you’ve developed your own company?

MJ: The fashion I envision isn’t fashion as we know it. The direction of Martine Jarlgaard London derives from this vision rather than any professional experiences as such. Nonetheless, experiences naturally shape you and I’m grateful for having been given such great responsibility by the companies I’ve worked with and for having worked with brilliant teams across the world.

Wherever you work and travel you learn something and remember the best. Having worked with companies built on different business models was a goal of mine. Diverse perspectives broaden your mind and challenge your way of thinking.

RM: What epitomises your brand?

MJ: Vision, innovation, femininity, sustainability, technology and curiosity.

1 Martine Jarlgaard London Drift Ice AW16 copy 2 Martine Jarlgaard London Drift Ice AW16 copy 6. MARTINE_JARLGAARD_LONDON_SS17


RM: What inspired your latest collection?

MJ: Time and the inflation of it.

RM: Do you think there is an ephemeral nature to this collection, then?

MJ: The sculptural silhouettes come from a hybridisation of dressy nostalgia, understated decadence and a relaxed, futuristic language of simplicity. An undefinable balancing between recognisability and minimalist abstraction as well as a strong sense of femininity with no conclusive definition.

RM: How has Martine Jarlgaard London pushed the boundaries between technology and the traditional?

MJ: Presenting the collection by using mixed reality (augmented reality) for the on-schedule Martine Jarlgaard London debut during London Fashion Week was the brand stepping away from the conventional and passive concept of the catwalk show by engaging the audience in an experience, where you decide your own journey as you navigate around the three-dimensional, holographic models. The idea of engaging the viewer and encourage an exploration rather than following the old idea of the catwalk show is the future. Augmented reality represents a new way of interacting and experiencing. By seeing the collection pieces in 3D holograms this has added another dimension to our way of understanding and communicating which was predominantly 2D prior to this. This is ground-breaking and will change the way we interact, learn and think. Experiencing the collection three-dimensionally is optimal as you see them as complete sculptures as you move around them; up close or from afar, as you please. Technology was paramount for making this vision real, and the collaboration with Fashion Innovation Agency and DoubleMe in W Hotel London for LFW gave life to this new way of engaging with the viewer. Being able to replay the show again and again is also hugely advantageous as it can be shown again and again without being reliant on extensive show production.

The future is much more interactive than just sitting back. And so it should be. We must engage. As consumers by choosing with perspective. As an industry by actively and responsibly thinking and acting more holistically.

RM: What direction do you see the brand heading?

MJ: More challenging of status quo, more innovation, more tech collaborations and pioneering sustainability. Technology is essential for identifying more intelligent solutions for the fashion industry from communication, supply chain analysis, securing transparency to new materials and 3D printing etc.

We need to smarten up, as humans and as an industry. If we want £2 t-shirts then let’s make them biodegradable.

RM: What has been your career highlight thus far?

MJ: Whenever I get a glimpse of a future which is intelligent, aesthetically interesting, sustainable and visionary through what I work with, this is a highlight. But it has to make sense beyond the aesthetics. There has to be depth, substance and vision. In my career there have been several highlights-from being invited and sponsored by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to show my graduation collection ‘Dress me until I disappear in Better Beauty’ during the Italian Haute Couture Fashion Week, to working closely with Vivienne Westwood and later launching Martine Jarlgaard London and being recognised for the brand’s innovative and sustainable vision by the likes of Forbes, Huffington Post and BBC.


RM: How do you view the current sustainability situation in the luxury fashion industry?

MJ: I’m eager to see real commitment and to see numbers reflecting actual impact rather than sustainability just being a marketing and PR stunt with no real scale.

RM: What advice would you give to young designers?

MJ: Rethink everything.

RM: Finally Martine, what’s your motto?

MJ: Asking ‘Why?’ Too many things and situations are not challenged, just accepted.

The Mixed Reality of Martine Jarlgaard


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Written by Rachael Martin

Rachael is a graduate from Queen's University, Belfast with a bachelor's in English Literature with Creative Writing. A freelance writer and blogger, her hobbies include blogging and reading.

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