From his impressive ArtEZ graduation show to his latest collection, Dutch designer Johannes Offerhaus is at the forefront of innovative design. Never prone to disappoint, Offerhaus’ most recent collection, presentation and accompanying film—proudly premiered by Glamcult today—are truly stunning, highlighting the designer’s ability to break free from the standardised constraints of fashion. Directed by Sebastian Mulder, the video captures Offerhaus’ ability to create a space in which fashion and kinetics collide. With earthy tones and strong, geometric lines, the film and collection demonstrate the designer’s fascination with the merging of mathematics and fashion, a curiosity catapulting Offerhaus from strength to strength. Glamcult spoke to Offerhaus about his ‘Experiment with Parabolas’.
Your graduate show and ‘An Experiment with Parabolas’ were remarkable, both as stand-alone shows and to your career. What are your greatest ongoing inspirations?
I have always been intrigued by machines, physics and math. And I think a great part of the inspiration for both projects came from watching instruction videos for all kinds of machines and techniques. Videos like: “How to install a water-filled flood barrier” or “How to wire up an ac-induction-motor in different ways”. I don’t know why but watching stuff like this gets me going. I guess these videos also helped me in overcoming problems like making skirts turn mechanically and building telescopic moving beams. Also, artists like Rebecca Horn, Mika Rottenberg, (early) Hussein Chalayan, Theo Jansen and the technical approach in their work inspire me a lot.
How do you class yourself as a designer?
I see myself as a designer and engineer. I’m a bit of both I guess. I love working with different kind of materials and techniques. And I wouldn’t be able to leave one to focus on the other.
Do you see the ‘An Experiment with Parabolas’ more as a fashion collection or art installation?
The collection contributes to the bigger installation. The main goal was to create a space where this parabolic shape, movement and sound would come together and create a certain atmosphere. An atmosphere the spectator could wonder into and be totally surrounded by it all.
What inspired your turn away from the conventional catwalk show?
It’s not so much a turn away from conventional catwalks show as it is an aspiration to do more and different things. During my graduation year I found out that I sometimes felt restricted by the borders of the space around the human body. So in the research period leading up to my last show I decided to enlarge this work space from 1 cubic metre to a 1000. In this space I could do experiments with enlarged shapes and movements. The human body is at the centre of the work and propels all installations.
What sparked your creation of and inspired the final result of the video for ‘An Experiment with Parabolas’?
Together with the director of the film, Sebastian Mulder, we first of all tried to capture the point of view of the spectator of the show as good as possible. The feeling of being right in the middle surrounded by the installation, not knowing where to look or focus. Next to that we tried to really zoom in to the details of the collection and show different angles of pieces of clothing.