A talk with glam fashion designer TOMREBL
Lets follow him through, his road less travelled, from Germany to Uk, and Italy.
LIVE FROM Milan by Lyn Jegher
After being the creative Director of the brand ANDREW MacKenzie, last
year he succeeded in launching his first solo collection: »SHOKING
RADIANCE », and now, hes finally ready to capture Milans fashion week
with an exclusive, walk on the wild side.
STEPPING INTO TOM REBL Glam UNIVERSE
Just tell me more about yourself and how you first fell in love with fashion.
I grew up in a small bavarian town with about 15 000 inhabitants until I left school when I was 19. Until then I never thought about becoming a fashion designer. All I felt was a creative talent in me and so I searched for some kind of outlet. This brought me to London for the first time. And it was love at first sight. Just after a few weeks in London, I got involved with creative minds like stylists, hairdressers and club promoters. Rather than going back to Germany, I decided to stay in London and initially started to study art and design. After just one year, this didn´t satisfy me and I discovered a real passion for fashion. I started to study at Central Saint Martins, which was the only college I wanted to go. From the first time I stepped into this super-scruffy college building, I knew this would be my future. Saint Martins has a special “magic”. A lot of students and tutors I knew already before from clubs and parties. The following years were wild and excessive, but also fundamental for my professional way. I will always have a special bond to London.
What are the main features of your collection?
Highlights of the Spring/Summer 2009 collection are the died unlined hardware cotton trench coat with personalised lip-camouflage print, the black eco-leather punched coat with decorative military buttoning detail and the garment died leather biker jacket with dangling chains.
I was personally attracted by your beautiful all in black items, could you please tell us, in your opinion, what colour should be in this summer?
Brick red and faded grey.
whose TOM REBL?
I am what I am:
– my all time favourite band is SUEDE
– At the moment I am listening very much to Anthony and the Johnsons, Marc Almond and M83
– This summer I want to learn kite-surfing
– I love a soft boiled egg for breakfast on sunday morning
– I have Gilbert & George on my wall in the living room
– I am a fan of ARAKI
– I regret that I didn´t go to the christmas party of LOVE magazine in London
– I love ginger
– my favourite food is japanese and thailandese
– I used to play guitar in a rock band when I was 17
Whose your beauty queen?
Joe Dallesandro. I guess he was really lucky to have had his prime time in the 70s. The soft light and vintage faded look is very complementing.
whose your fashion muse?
Peter Berlin for obvious reasons and ANGELA, the mysterious beauty.
This would be the lip.
Actually, the brand’s subtitle „shocking radiance“ cites Elsa Schiaparelli’s fragrance from the 1920s, which were defined by surrealism. And it was Elsa who used a stylized lip in her advertising for this fragrance.
Surrealism concentrates on the subconscious and regards the world of dreams as the source of creativity, which reflects the philosophy of the label.
The word „surrealism“ means literally „above or beyond realism“. Tom wants to escape the
basic roles of the garment like functionality and pure adornment. It should function as the
extension of the owner’s personality or emotions.
what do you bring to life in your collection?
The inspiration for the collection goes back the late 60s and early 70s. Think of the movie Born on the Fourth of July and Ron Kovic. The military uniform clashes with the peace movement…
…….decorative parading details…….7/8 length trousers…..hippie batik-dyes over checks……washed-out tie-dye effects on cottons….faded reds and sun-burnt lavender…..medallion jacquard….metal chain embroidery……dyed leather with worn-in vintage effect….fur all-over print on jersey….
Coming from Germany, is there any aspects you put in fashion that could express your origins?
I have been living in lots of different cities all over Europe over the last years. I am not saying, that I lost my origins. Germany will always be home for me.
But working as a designer, my actual surrounding is important and is reflected in my work. The city I live in, the people I go out with, the places I go to are influencing me. So my work expresses more the point of my life, where I am at in this moment rather than my origins.
in your eyes, hows fashion perceived in Munich
Very difficult. Especially the menswear market is still very suppressed. But, hey, let’s start a fashion revolution in Munich. Revolution is the name of my boyfriend…
online magazines are a continuous source of creativity, and are gaining more appreciation with the evolution of the media system, could you please tell us, what is your concern regarding online magazines?
I am still very much into the printed magazines. I don’t like reading things on the computer. And you shouldn’t do it either. It is not good for your eyes. No, but you don’t have the sensation of owning the latest issue of Pop Magazine. I want to see magazines one on top of each other in lots of piles on the floor. I want to have a complete collection of all issues of my favourite magazines. I want to touch the different kinds of paper types. I want to rip out pages and stick them on the wall…
androgenous style- IN or OUT
Out – make up your mind and take a decision
having worked for eclectic fashion designer »Andrew McKenzie », what are the most precious lessons in fashion that you have achieved (from this experience) ?
The most important thing I learned is to get involved in all parts of the business. I am controlling all visual elements, which is still very important to me. Making a collection doesn´t stop with designing, sketching and realising the garments. There is a vision in my head, which I follow to the very end. This includes casting models, choosing locations, styling, retouching of pictures (very important), graphic layouts, even choosing the quality and weight of the paper for the printing of catalogues. I believe you received the lookbooks from my previous collections. So you know, that they are never the same and are always particular.
If there is the “creative master” from the beginning until the end, I can give a complete and homogenous image of the brand… Or I am just a complete control freak!
I am travelling a lot and visit many of the shops, which sell my collection, to keep a personal contact with clients. I listen to comments and discuss improvements and problems.
Over the summer, I am planning some presentations and parties, for example in Porto Cervo (Sardinia), Munich and Miami to reach an eclectic circle of final shoppers in a personal environment.
It is important for me to stay real as a person and to able to adjust to individual demands.
Any secret you would like to share with us?
My nickname amonst friends is “bunny”. And I like Freddie Mercury more than Madonna, but shhhhh….
When will you be doing your next fashion show?
I am planning to show my Fall/Winter 2010-11 collection during Milan Fashion Week next January.
I love men in heels, you think that someday fashion will be able to turn it into »a must »……..
I am trying my best. But I have the strange feeling that we won’t be alive anymore… what a shame