BARBARA I GONGINI is a Faroese brand, founded in 2005 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The collections present a different take on Nordic garments based on a conceptual approach towards fashion design. A specific construction process is aimed at crafting garments eloquently suitable for both men and women. Structural forms are challenged and experimental pattern-making shapes the backdrop for contemporary innovations in tailoring.
The design process is comprised of artistically responsible exercises with a particular focus on sustainability. BARBARA I GONGINI aims to contribute to local and global responsibility by pushing the boundaries of ethical fashion.
Barbara í Gongini was born in the filmatic Faroe Islands and graduated in 1996 from Denmark’s School of Design at the Institute of Unica Design. Ever since, she has developed her vision as part of a pensive dialogue between design, form and function. Barbara í Gongini currently presents her MAN and WOMAN collections in Copenhagen, Milan and Paris.
Next to this, Barbara í Gongini, is an active participant in the Nordic art discourse, working interdisciplinary in close collaboration with various artists in film, music and photography. This indirectly sets an reflective tone for her creative process. In turn, her work has been featured by artisans across borders in the spirit of her collaborative nature, in a myriad of different shapes with various purposes.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. Well, I’m a troll from the north Atlantic, mother of two fab sons and married to an ex-cop who literally has my back. He is my partner in crime and my CEO at Barbara I Gongini AS. I have been living in Copenhagen, Denmark for several years now; it is also the city from where my business is run. My roots reside in the Faroe Islands where I was born, in the world’s smallest capital, Torshavn. The city I was brought up, and where my surname has arisen — í Gongini (I Gonzighni) — meaning from the alley. It was the name of the street and the name of the house I was living in.
How long have you lived in Copenhagen and what brought you there? I have been living in Copenhagen since 1992. I came for my desire to study design, and I graduated from Institute of Unica Design in 1996. I have been living in this wonderful city since then.
Tell us about your work process and how it develops. Each design is built upon certain principles, as each garment has a skeleton that later requires layering, sculpting, and finishing. Once I start to modulate the garment, the creative nerve may strike at any end of the spectrum—ranging from strong expression, as seen in its most optimal form in our showpieces, to more subtle designs. It’s during the modulate phase where a multi-faceted character of the silhouette is explored, and that’s where the sky becomes the limit.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I am brewing on a few different projects, ranging from art projects for an exhibition in Frankfurt, later this year, and an exhibition that will be showing in the “Black Diamond” in Copenhagen. Further more, I am modulating garments from sounds and music compositions together with the one man band “Orka”, and finally I am working on to the continued collection build ups for the upcoming AW15.
What past trends in fashion should never come back? Ham sleeves, tromped skirts and sun cut skirts.
If you were a drink what drink would you be? Dark and stormy and spicy — whiskey sour with ginger.
Top 3 favorite or most visited websites? Pinterest, Soundcloud and YouTube.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? How do I put this piece on? What is up and down in this piece? Is this a sleeve hole ore a neck hole?? And so on…
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after experiencing your work? To appreciate the form aspect in the more DNA strong pieces, the wear ability of the more functional pieces, the span and good quality of the fabrics, the tactility in the garments, the interactive option of the garments, the fact that the wearer is able to customize the look to his and here own likings, the span between the minimalistic as strong and expressive outcome.