Anna Scholz is a Swedish costume and fashion designer based in Stockholm whom graduated from Beckman’s College of Design in 2016. She has exhibited in Milano Design Week 2015 and has also collaborated with the Nobel Museum, GANT, the Swedish Cancer Society, Love Warriors of Sweden, Dailyroutine and endeavored in numerous other projects. Her outfits have been worn by celebrities such as Bea Åkerlund, Veronica Maggio, Oscar Linnros, Laleh among others.
Anna has really opened up in this inspirational interview and her answers allow you to get to know parts of her great personality. Having lived and studied in Stockholm myself, I recognized myself in some of her answers. I thoroughly enjoyed working together with this obvious talent and together create a wonderful article about fashion and creativity.
Where do you draw the line between your costume and fashion designs and why?
I don’t necessarily draw a line at all. My experience is that a garment can be both it just depends on the context and the bearer. For example. My Princess dress with illustrations on has been shown on a catwalk as part of my final collection but it has also been worn on stage as costume and shown as art in exhibition. I have always been attracted by that line, the one between fashion and costume. The area of couture, theatrics and glamour.
How does Nordic fashion compare to European and global fashion in your opinion and is your work primarily rooted in Sweden?
Oh, I would definitely not describe my work as a great example of Swedish or Nordic fashion. Quite the opposite. The Swedish fashion scene is all about commerce and wearability, which is great, but I have always been a bit of a drama queen at heart and my influences are all great designer from Japan, France, The Netherlands.
What first drew you to fashion and what is your current drive?
I think I have always been sort of obsessed with beauty ever since I was a little girl playing with my Barbie dolls. Then when I got a little bit older I started reading magazines like Veronica and Archie and one summer when I was about ten or twelve I started tracing the characters and drawing my own designs on them. From that moment my faith was pretty much sealed. I was completely hooked on the freedom that came with creativity. The sensation of creation. To this day it is still by far my biggest drive. I love starting up a new project not knowing what the outcome will be but I know that when I am done that “project” will be a part of me forever, because I gave birth to it. It sounds super weird but I think everyone who has ever created something creative knows what I mean.
How do you pick or develop your fabrics and can you tell us a bit about the conceptual first phase in your design logic?
For me the fabrics and materials are usually the starting point for my work. I usually find something that inspires me, it can be anything from a merely visual input to a more philosophical or abstract idea. But once the inspiration is established I usually get right to the materials, if the material itself isn’t the primary inspiration of course. I love to create new surfaces through different crafting techniques such as weaving, embroidery, knitting well, anything really. Once I have found a material that I like that material usually tells me what it wants to become. But the process of creating the materials is really important to me. I just love working with my hands!
If any, is there a specific target group you focus on with your artistic creations? If none, who are the primary consumers of your work?
I realized a long time ago that the concept of “target group” is really restricting and not at all a good generator of creativity. Of course that’s not the case for everyone but it is for me. I rather design my own characters and then people can decide to wear them if they want to. I believe that if you design something that you believe in, others will believe it too.
Today my primary customers are companies, celebrities and stylists.
Does your creativity sprout from spiritual or philosophical thoughts?
I have always been a promoter for brave and bold when it comes to dressing myself and others. I think it’s my typical Swedish upbringing that has backfired completely. I grew up in a rather secluded suburb to Stockholm and I early learned that being deviant was wrong because people might then talk behind your back and maybe even distance them self from you. The Swedish culture still has a lot of residue like that from the social democratic movement that for many decades dominated the political climate. “Don’t think too much of your self” and “Don’t exaggerate”. After 28 years of trying to adapt to others expectations of what I should be and do, I decided to stop and when I did, everything fell into place.
Today I’m very confident in my craziness and I have managed to make a career out of it. I just love designing the entire package and taking control over all parts of the look. E.g. By putting masks, wigs or other headpieces on my models. I often design specific shoes to go with each outfit and create looks that consists of several pieces and works together in a very specific way to create the look I want. Many designers create pieces that can be styled in different ways and were the stylist often comes as a last measure in the final weeks before a presentation. I do quite the opposite. I usually start with a character that I want to bring to life and the I spend just as much time thinking about styling as I do design garments.
What are your most memorable exhibitions so far and can you elaborate a bit on it?
Well, when I was doing my first year at Beckmans I had the opportunity to create a ball gown for the Nobel museum in Stockholm, and it was to be inspired by the Nobel Prize winner in literature Alice Munro’s authorship. It was really great because all the recipients of the Nobel prices that year were present at the exhibition.
What was your inspiration behind the collection you are most proud of?
I think that my strongest work so far is my final collection at Beckmans named “Once, I was a Princess.” On a superficial level it was inspired by my supergirly childhood and the obsession with glitter and shiny materials that completely dominated my life back then. But it was actually a very personal collection and for me it was a way to try and comprehend the divorce of my parents that had taken place just a few years prior.
I was in a way grieving the “death” of my childhood and my collection was a way to explore how much of that little princess that was still living on inside me, if any. I realized that some parts remained whilst some were gone forever. The result was a collection with a lot of playful cutesy-cute but also with an unpleasant sort of goth-punkish undertone. For me the show was almost like a funeral for the little princess Anna, both joyful and sad but necessary for me to move on personally.
Today I try not to think of this period as the death of a princess but as the birth of a queen. Very humble I know but us women need to boost our egos from time to time.
Can you let us know a little about your future collections, exhibitions and plans?
Right now I’m just sort of along for the ride and I jump from project to project and having a blast. I am currently taking part in the exhibition “natura dentata” at the house of culture in Stockholm.
Soon the amazing company Love Warriors will launch a series of fine print photo art signed Anna Scholz Amouei and super talented photographer Ela Strand available for purchase. I’m super excited about it!
The other projects I’m working on right now are mostly collaborative and I can’t say that much about them at this point but it will hopefully be amazing!
Anna’s signature creative style is certainly unique, her professional philosophy to be respected and her life’s journey so far riveting. She’s currently working on projects cooperating with other talents in the industry, hence we should keep track of her and her work since she’s for sure going to surprise and amaze us in many ways. For now, please kick back, relax and buckle up for another unique ride through the world of fashion; this time from the eyes of Anna Scholz. We look forward to your comments and feedback where as usual we’ll always follow-up. Without further ado, go get your fashion on with Anna!