British-born designer Carl Gustaf von Platen is an all-round creative type. From writing to photography, animation to illustration, video work and everything in between, there is a palpable edge to everything Gustaf von Platen puts his hand to, notably separating him out from others. Somewhat surprisingly then, he is just 17 and studying Social Science at high school in Sweden, where he also lives.
“It’s a very general course, that’s why I like it,” Gustaf von Platen explains. “A lot of my peers study art and textiles. However, I wanted to study a more general course and pursue anything creative in my own time.”
Whilst talking with Gustaf von Platen - or CG, as he likes to be called - I sense a confidence and wisdom way beyond his tender age. The small capsule business collection he has created, aptly entitled “All Work, a Little Bit of Play”, brings to life the Lo-Fi aesthetic that has been associated with many artists of the digital scene, along with the homegrown rawness of a self-taught fashion designer.
Having received no technical training, Gustaf von Platen’s collection marries the Lo-Fi with the Hi-Fi: “I like my work to be unpolished - a bit underground. I find the ugly beautiful.” Proceeding to talk about his inspiration for the collection, I soon realise his thought-process went far beyond aesthetics alone.
During the planning, the designer thoroughly considered the message he wanted to convey: “The [campaign] photos are based around the idea of the businessman in the satirical sense. I tried to convey feminism and the power positioning of a businessman or woman.”
“A typical businessman is seen as a very powerful figure but as soon as you transform those clothes into something more humorous, like [website] code, it just changes the whole idea - which I find exciting.”
Van Platen, like many others of his generation, has taken it upon himself to create. Under no pressure and with free reign, he has unlocked a power that we all yearn for when generating new ideas - freedom. For me, this phenomenon that has hit the younger generation is astonishing. From the children of the ‘ME’ decade, we welcome the children of D.I.Y.
Just looking at Gustaf von Platen and his exciting aesthetic, mixed with wit and humour, this change clearly seems to be paying off. Perhaps we should all be following in his footsteps by just having some fun with fashion and adding meaning to it - but, most of all, by flipping ideas on their head. Then, maybe we too can become successes of the D.I.Y generation.
[The Lo-Fi aesthetic is something that has been cheaply produced or is a reproduction of something. The Hi-Fi aesthetic is high quality, often requiring a large expense of time or money.]
Words: Campbell Addy