Stine Goya: Wild at Heart

Danish fashion designer Stine Goya’s collaborations with some of the brightest artistic talents at home and abroad prove that fusing fashion and art is always a good idea.

Nobody does bold, sensual femininity better than Stine Goya, the Danish modelturned-fashion designer who is celebrating a decade in the business this year. Deriving her inspiration from art, architecture and her travels, Goya’s delicate pastel dresses and whimsical prints have helped define the notion of the ‘Copenhagen girl’ – eschewing Swedish minimalism for something altogether more romantic and wild. “I believe that fashion must be playful,” she says, explaining her design DNA.

”Working with prints allows me to have a more artistic approach. I love how colors can leave an imprint. Colours are fascinating and tell so many stories – from grandiose or dramatic tales to intimate poetry. For me, colours are an inexhaustible source of inspiration; an almost raw material I love to develop further. They can be mixed in infinite ways, creating new shades that tell personal tales of colour, style and print. I love that.”

As a precocious child who started sewing and making her own clothes aged eight, a career in fashion seemed almost predetermined. Goya studied print and fashion design at Central Saint Martins before becoming a model (notably for Chanel) and later a fashion editor at Danish magazine Cover. Since launching her own label in 2006, she has made a point of collaborating with her favourite artists – her first print collaboration was with Cathrine Raben Davidsen in 2010.

“Working with people outside the fashion industry is a present,” Goya enthuses. “It gives me new ways to explore my own designs, fuel my creativity and write new chapters. It brings a welcome interruption into my everyday work-life and it is like adding an extra layer to the design.” She says it’s most important “that I can feel the art. Then of course, I look at the works, if it is suitable for collaboration and for working with fashion. Fortunately, in most cases where I have fallen in love, it has been possible to bring the artist to it.” She has worked with the likes of FOS, Kirstine Roepstorff, Donna Huddleston and Danish painter John Kørner, whose last retrospective Altid Mange Problemer at Kunsthal Charlottenborg inspired their latest collaboration, the Problem Bomber Jacket, featuring a vibrant tonal print of Kørner’s rendering of Copenhagen’s Raadhuset. Her 10th anniversary collection Flashback Forward, shown this past August, saw Goya revisit and update classic pieces from her line: lyrics from past show soundtracks were brightly embroidered onto a black robe coat while Pre-Raphaelite depictions of Ophelia inspired romantic dresses layered in silk and tulle. Musing on the evolution of the Stine Goya girl over the last 10 years, the designer says, “Maybe she hasn’t changed a lot, except for the influence all of us get from art, design and fashion in general. I think that that might be her secret power: that she is open-minded, but stays true to herself.”

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