Cora Isabel David

Studio Visit
Cora Isabel David is busy. The 27-year-old designer is currently involved in several different shows, at Wedding Dress #5, at the Showroom-Meile, and as a nominee of the P&C Designer for Tomorrow Award at the tent. Her studio and flat are in the heart of Kreuzberg at Kottbusser Damm.

If your current collection was a building, what would it look like?

It would be big, wide, airy. I imagine large windows that allow many perspectives, since my current collection works with contrasts between closeness and openness.

What type of building would you choose as a temporary studio?
The more space, the better. A loft is probably the standard answer, but a large, wide space above everything else would be great. I love it when no one is moving above my head. I love a wide view and to not feel too restricted. I tend to leave my stuff lying around. Being able to let things lie scattered across the space for a while often helps develop new ideas.

How would you describe your relationship to your studio?
Very intense. I am very happy with the combination of living and working. I find peace here.

How important is the space for your design process?
I simply have to feel at ease. I need personal things, my walls are full with pictures. I find these anchors to my own person, which accumulate automatically over time, very important. I like being surrounded by memories, but also new things which are added to that.

Whose studio would you like to take a look at?
Those of all the designers whose work I’m interested in: Marc Jacobs, Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon, Riccardo Tisci, Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, especially now that Margiela left the house. I’m interested in inspired spaces, where also unusual things and personal stories pile up.

What inspired your new collection? 

My collection is inspired by the global economic crisis: what psychological effects does the crisis have on people, how does it change aesthetic preferences? In the interviews that I did, people repeatedly told me that they feel a greater need for security and intimacy. To this, I added proverbs, phrases from the media: 'don’t let it get to your head', 'tighten your belt'. I knitted stock prices into the fabrics and used thick strings to gather cloth, playing with the German saying 'to put one’s head into the gallows'.

Which object is dearest to you in your studio?
The kaleidoscope, which I look through when I can’t stand seeing cuts, fabrics and seams any more. 

What does a moment of inspiration feel like? 
When something inspires me, a thousand ideas start rushing into my head and I’m equally convinced by all of them. It can be too much to handle for the moment.

How do you go about designing your clothes?
Most of the time, it’s a combination of patterns and draping. I often imagine two-dimensionally how a cut could work well. Then I usually rely on that, start making a first model and modify it a lot on the dress form. It all goes hand in hand.

What do you do with a finished piece?

I put it away. Onto the next one.

If you could travel through space and time, where would you like to stop?
I always played that as a child! I’d pick the 1920s: art, fashion, the suffragettes, going out in Berlin. It must have been a fantastic lifestyle – but maybe that’s only the stories that have been told afterwards.

What do you see when you look through your window?
Roofs, the tops of trees and a different sky every day.

What does Berlin mean to you?

Berlin is a melancholic city to me, it feels unfinished. I think it has the highest quality for living – I’d even be so bold to say that that statement holds international truth.    ◊    - SSt



Picture Credits: Nicolas Kantor für DERZEIT

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