Seeking home in textile, space, and clothes
The 2020 spring-summer capsule collection named Rocaille combines the comfortable, soft, sustainable materials of leisurewear with the style of flowy, frivolous underwear of the Rococo era. The garments that are suitable for outside as well as the home are airy with a sense of intimacy, which is reflected in the atmosphere of the campaign photos, too. We chatted with the muse of DAIGE and the collection’s model, Dóra Riederauer, about her work and future plans.
DAIGE: You are the model of DAIGE’s 2020 spring-summer collection, but in the photoshoot the wool swing you designed is also featured. Tell us a little bit more about Babaswings! How were these functional pieces born? How do you imagine them in a modern apartment?
DR: There are many years of research behind BABA, but the idea really came to life in my mind during my years at university in Amsterdam. The main source of inspiration has been my childhood spent on the countryside, where wool felting and weaving are traditional craft activities. We did a lot of these things with my mom, too. Being away from home and studying about space and interiors really started my fantasy in imagining the feeling of homesickness in physical space. Wool as a material is therapeutic, it stimulates touch and smell and evokes concentration and bonding. Combining these, my research was focused on creating a sense of home and constructing something that invites you to stop time and immerse yourself in thoughts and memories, comforting both your body and your soul. The swing has a function of replacement, to create home in a place where a human wants to dwell. In a modern space that wants to become fully homelike, the swing can be an extra element, creating a sense of entirety and fullness.
DAIGE: How did you feel during the photoshoot and in the clothes?
DR: The pieces of the DAIGE collection gave me the same feeling [as the swing]. Not only in their aesthetics but also in their feel and colours. It was interesting to experience this sense of home through clothing – it was similar to trying my first swing for the first time.
DAIGE: Your own style is exciting, too, you use plenty of brave colours, especially in makeup. Tell us a little bit about that!
DR: When I was living in the countryside, I did not have a lot of opportunities to experiment with fashion, but I did fall in love with a variety of music genres through my older siblings. I was going through phases of punk, rock, reggae, and indie, changing up the colours I wore as much as I could. This was helped by being close to nature. I already felt that dressing was a natural way of self-expression and my parents never tried to stop me: I wore red with green, yellow with pink, everything that may be considered bad taste today (although nowadays the strange combinations of colours are on trend again). Later I moved to the capital and the minimal style that was popular at the time kind of stuck on me and for years I wore only black and white. I never really knew how to do makeup, but I started to experiment a few years ago and that was when I re-introduced my favourite bold colours into my life. By now I think I figured out the perfect way to balance my countryside and city selves. With these small tricks I can fully express myself.
DAIGE: It seems like you are comfortable with duality, you have not only designed the cocoon in Babé Sila’s “Hole” music video, but you also debuted as a director. At the time of the interview, the video had 62 thousand views on YouTube, which is a strong start for a first time director. What preceded this career path?
DR: Although Hole was my first time directing, I have been enamoured by the genre of music videos since I was 8 or 9. Since I saw a music video for the first time, anyway. I started singing and playing the piano when I was 5 so I had an intimate relationship with music and see how you can tell the story of a song this way I was fascinated. So why did I not study directing? I thought to be able to direct anything confidently, I had to get to know space as a concept, as everything happens within a space. For me, it is the element that connects every specialization and creative work. A design object, or even an illustration, becomes completed in space, turns into something visible that is in a perspective, in an environment – in space – and creates an atmosphere.
DAIGE: You moved home from Amsterdam after 5 years. Do you think you’ll continue here? What are your dreams as a visual artist and director?
DR: I wanted to stay in Amsterdam and reap the successes of my graduation show by trying myself out in freelancing. But finances and continuously finding myself in the face of human superficiality turned me towards home. Realizing I wanted to direct, I felt I should experiment in a more relaxed and less anxious state of mind, in my own environment. At home, using my mother tongue, in known spaces, I could work together with creatives whose work I am familiar with. This seemed more attractive than staying.
For me, directing is visual art itself. I know this is still a controversial statement in Hungary, mixing different fields of art, as everybody wants experts in their specific fields. But I think if you can create with your hands, you can express yourself in any medium or platform. In the academy, we were expected to manage a project from start to finish – meaning that if we had to plan an installation, we did every single thing from coming up with a concept to production, choosing a place for exhibition, and documentation of the process. All of these steps required precision, and this attitude stuck with me and inspired me to be able to look at a project from many perspectives. The creative process of the Hole music video was very smooth, and everything happened in a wonderfully open and harmonious atmosphere. Not only because Barbi and I knew each other, but because there was a clear desire to create and dedication from both of us. I want to bring this collaborative attitude to my future works, too.
DAIGE: I believe you are from Őrség [ethnographic and geographic region in western Hungary]. What’s the best thing about this region? What should we not miss if we are there?
DR: I was actually born in Budapest, my parents are both from the capital, but when they met, they dreamed about a life in the countryside. They both learned a lot about Őrség from literature and educational materials. During their adventures in the area they found the perfect land with a ruined house that later became my primary home. If you are in the area you must go hiking along the Kerka stream and visit the different villages the names of which end in “szer”. Eat some “dödölle” and try pumpkin seed oil made there locally. Try felting, weaving, and visit István Tóth in Kercaszomor who will teach you how to make a bow. The most interesting part of Őrség for me is that it preserves a poetic and intellectual quality of country life. People there really guard traditions, have incredible knowledge of everything around them whether that’s forestry, herbal knowledge, making pumpkin seed oil, or straw weaving. I can only hope that by my old age I will have a similar amount and quality of knowledge about the region and about life itself.