This season, ATLEIN is of one of the coolest new designers on our radar. In honor of his recent nomination for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, we asked Atlein designer Antonin Tron about his latest collection and what he’s most excited about this season. Shop Atlein now in store and on BG.com.
Photo Credit: Alexia Cayre courtesy of ATLEIN
Bergdorf Goodman: Congratulations on your nomination for the LVMH Prize! Tell us about the moment you found out that you were a candidate.
Antonin Tron: I was truly surprised and happy when they called me. It’s such a great opportunity for ATLEIN and I have enjoyed meeting all the people involved in the selection process and to hear their valuable feedback.
BG: This was your first runway show since launching Atlein last year. What was your favorite part of this new experience?
AT: The Fall-Winter runway show was an important step for ATLEIN because I felt the pieces need to be seen on the body and understood in movement. A show is an important experience for the public to better understand what ATLEIN is about. The show expanded the vocabulary of ATLEIN, and I’m very happy with the result.
BG: What was the inspiration for your Spring-Summer collection? How will Spring-Summer evolve for Fall?
AT: The materials guide the design, no matter which season. I always start with a very physical process : cutting, draping, crushing, ruching.
For Spring I wanted to work with very earthy inspirations and essential materials. Natural inspirations like clay, wood and sky gave the mood for colors and feeling. I explored new jersey textures and I like the idea of physically colliding materials, something drawn from John Chamberlain’s “crash”sculptures. This physicality was naturally translated into an artisanal jewelry line inspired by French 60’s lava-glaze ceramics that I’ve collected for many years.
For Fall we introduced heavier jerseys in tweeds and tartans but still retained elasticity and fluidity. We also used a custom fil coupé jersey jacquard in vivid colors that collided with a sportier, jersey interlock. We introduced a range of knitwear based on masculine military sweaters and also cotton cashmere knits created by a unique technique that allowed us to create seamless knits to be worn like a second skin. We also extended the jersey line with structured outerwear and tailoring to create a more complete wardrobe.
BG: What are the 3 pieces you’re most excited about from the Spring-Summer collection? How do you see the BG woman wearing Atlein?
AT: I really like the sky blue paneled skirt made of top-stitched pleats. Its soft deconstruction is very flattering on the body. I particularly like the mixed-fabric black top with a draped circular insert in an open weave jersey. Finally the mid-calf blue jacquard jersey dress with long sleeves and ruching. Its unrestricted construction has something modern; a dress you can put on and take off as easily as a t-shirt.
It seems to me that a lot of Americans have a strong relationship to physicality. I can envision ATLEIN becoming part of life for a free-spirited, active woman.
BG: Did you always know you would become a designer? If you could do anything else, what would that be?
AT: In fact, as a child I wanted to be a volcanologist. I studied modern literature at university but then I eventually went to Antwerp to visit a friend who was studying at the Royal Academy’s fashion department. I felt an irresistible call and then enrolled for the next year.