Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 3.25.39 PMDesigner Spotlight: Agnes Hamerlik

For Chicago native, Agnes Hamerlik, fashion is not simply about beautiful clothing.  Her intrepid and avant-garde designs seek to push the boundaries of fashion beyond art by incorporating juxtaposing concepts into her work.  Agnes is currently a designer in residence at Macy’s Chicago Fashion Incubator, and , upon winning the AIBI Stanley Paul Fashion Design Scholarship in 2012, she began her own brand, with which she strives to create pleasantly shocking silhouettes using unexpected fabrics.  In today’s designer spotlight, we met with Agnes to discuss how she utilizes fashion to find and understand beauty.

How and why did you start designing?

I have always been an artistic person; the creativity in my work comes from my wide range of knowledge of literature, art, design, and history. I enjoy pushing the boundaries of fashion by combining unusual and unorthodox materials into my designs for a dramatic result.  I’ve also been in love with garments that are beautiful despite not adhering to the general image of what is aesthetically pleasing.

What do you think about fashion today?

Currently the main problem is that designers create too much too fast, and poorly. Creating fashion should be a privilege, and creating it in a way that allows it to last and expand is a right for the younger generations; and I believe it is every designer’s obligation to serve this philosophy.

Where do you go and what do you do for inspiration?

My design process certainly never starts and finishes the same way.  I rarely look for huge spurts of inspiration; rather, I discover something small that intrigues me and sparks a sequence of ideas in me. I never design anything with a clear idea of the finished product in mind.  This makes designing a lot of fun for me – I never know what could be next in my process.  One moment I think something is finished; the next day, I see everything in a different light.

What is your brand aesthetic?

My collections are built on the idea of opposing elements: fragility and strength; simplicity and complexity; fluidity and inflexibility; beauty and decay. Every piece I create is defined by avant-­garde design with a unique aesthetic, perfected by my precise artistry.  I try to defy traditional perceptions of fashion by giving life to the unconventional.

View Agnes’ virtual lookbook and purchase pieces that are infused with juxtaposing elements.