“My working table is actually an antique chest that me and my dad found during our last trip to Bali. I modified it and added on a big glass drawer on it, to store my endless stacks of books and fashion magazines that I always flip though religiously. I love the idea that I can just sit on the floor and work on every sides of the table, doing anything: making illustrations, browsing the internet, cutting fabrics and making toile or simply just sit and reading.”
Friederich Herman was born in a small town in East Java, Indonesia to a violist father and jewellery designer mother. He started drawing since he was two years old; his first canvas was his bedroom walls, much to his parents’ dismay. He graduates this year with a degree in Fashion and Retail Design, and plans to pursue a master in Fashion Stylist and Communication in Milan next year. In the meantime, he decides to just enjoy life and do what he loves to do most, creating art.
FROM YOUR DESKS: What are you learning in school at this moment and how did your idea take off?
FRIEDERICH HERMAN: I’m a student majoring in Fashion and Retail Design at Nanyang School of Fine Art in Singapore. Although I take a joy in designing clothes, fashion illustration has always been one of my biggest passions. But ever since fashion photography essentially replaced fashion illustration, the need for illustrators in the fashion industry declined greatly.
Fashion magazines used to be filled with beautiful illustrations. But with the internet and tighter communication worldwide, the role of the fashion illustrator declined yet again.
So in the era when fashion bloggers fill their blogs with fascinating fashion photography, and every others have stunning pictures taken with SLR camera, I’d like to create a blog dedicated as a reminiscence to what it used to be, to remind people that sometimes it’s a good thing to go back. I myself enjoy translating the identity of a fashion designer’s collection into my illustration, and capture every intricate detail that a designer created on every outfit.
FYD: Does drawing from photographs and writing about the designers look help your own understanding of fashion?
FH: Definitely. Taking a closer look on a garment and the details that I’m going to illustrate gives me a better understanding about how a certain fabric drapes, what’s the best sewing and finishing technique to apply on a garment,and what’s the best fabric to use for certain silhouette.
FYD: What is the current look in Singapore among your peers?
FH: Somehow I sense here nothing makes a girl or guy more attractive than to dress exactly like other girls and guys who all dress exactly like hundreds of thousands of other girls and guys in shopping malls.
It feels great to once in a while bump into someone on the street who dresses differently and not afraid to show who they really are.
FH: I love to dress up in layers, despite the sunny climate that we have here in Singapore. I also love to wear colours, but sometimes I can just walk out from my apartment wearing black from head to toe. My closet itself is a riot of fabrics, colours, and textures. My mom had a seizure the last time she peeked inside.
FYD: What designer constantly inspires you with their changing looks?
FH: Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann and the duo AF Vandervorst are my biggest designer inspirations. I love how they consistently deliver astounding and hauntingly beautiful work, season after season, while staying true to their roots and without ever losing their trademark aesthetics. I also adore the works of many young designers who surprise me from time to time with their collections, such as Olivier Theykens, duo Proenza Schouler, and Nicolas Andreas Taralis, among others.