Powered by
We Catch Up with Sylvi Sundkler: The Swedish “Shrinkage” Label Paying Homage to Clutter, Fashion Hoarding and Imperfection
NCO 115

N: Hi Sylvi, it's great to have you here. Could you share a bit about what's been happening in your life these past few weeks? We'd love a glimpse behind the scenes!

S: Hey! Well actually my name is Matilda!

Sylvi is my mother’s name and I’ve named my brand after her as a homage to her.. a hardcore fashion hoarder.

These past few weeks I’ve been back in school and working on my MA collection that will launch in June.  

It’s a reinterpretation of garments salvaged from the depths of my mother’s collected clutter. The collection explores the interplay between hoarding, reuse, and the emotional significance embedded within material possessions.

N: As a fashion designer you are best known for your shrinkage technique, which I understand originated as a solution to fabric waste. Can you walk us through the inception of this idea and the development of your first prototype? What was the learning curve like?

S: Yes, kind of - It’s a management project of Swedish waste wool. It started from a material sample during my first year of Bachelor's studies. I didn’t see much promise in it back then, it remained in a drawer for two years before I picked it up for my final Bachelor’s degree work.

The concept evolved into developing a system for using shrinkage as a tool to transform a 2-D surface into a 3-D form.

I built a double-scaled mannequin and went from there. Let’s just say the journey has involved a significant amount of trial and error.

N: The principle of 'lagom,' ( in other words, "just-right-ness"), is a hallmark of Scandinavian culture. Does this concept find its way into your design philosophy or lifestyle?

S: I think that term has always provoked me a little, maybe because it has to do with having balance in things which I find to be the hardest quest in my everyday life. But of course, it makes a lot of sense.

And I think expression-wise you might see it in my work. It's not necessarily always a direction I go for, but throughout my education and work, I've noticed I have a way of starting large and then reducing things until I think it works.

N: I also see elements of natural decay and imperfection in your work... It reminds me of the 'wabi-sabi' aesthetic. Any thoughts on this parallelism?

S: It has to do with the approach to accepting what is happening to a piece during the process. Even if it is time as a process or, as in my work, all pieces go through a machine wash where edges get unraveled for example.

A lot of the aesthetics in my work come from the washing process, distressed fabrics, washed-out colors, and so on. It’s something I cherish. This mentality has both simplified and enriched my whole creative process. In other words, it takes a lot of decision making out of the equation.

N: Recently, I have seen you dabbling with footwear, particularly boots. Without revealing too much, could you hint at the directions you're exploring for your brand's expansion?

S: Footwear is something I have been experimenting with in my MA exam collection, it’s part of the process of completing the looks. All of the looks are very material-led, so external shoes would clash hard. I find the format of footwear joyful to work with and I would love to learn more about it, maybe by collaborating with a shoe brand at some point.

All images courtesy of Sylvi Sundkler

A community-owned AI ecosystem where your creativity converts into a digital currency.
Get Started
A community-owned AI ecosystem where your creativity converts into a digital currency.
Get Started