Fashion is a living organism – everything breathes and pulsates, peaks or plunges, gives birth to something new or dies away. In this never-settling nexus of life forces, a designer´s work consists of observing this play of life, tapping into its vibrancy, and adding their own life-giving expressions. To manipulate form and substance, to tame the unruly fabric, or fill empty spaces with beautifully crafted items are world-making gestures that have the power to organise chaos and implement ever-new truths of existence.

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A portrait of Pelle Lundquist.

   

What if beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder? What if the sublime is out there, around, somewhere and nowhere at the same time?

Swedish designer Pelle Lundquist might not deliberately attempt to reduce chaos in the world, but his creations have this quality. His menswear label, A Day´s March, merges the cool and fresh aesthetic of a Scandinavian creative lineage with the severity and uncompromising style of a designer in search for excellence. For Lundquist and his brand, fashion is indeed a living organism – marching every day at its own pace, never really arriving, and never turning back.

Elena Stanciu: Where do you place your creative roots? Who/what inspires you?

Pelle Lundquist: My background lies within many fields of the visual arts. I worked as art director and graphic designer in Stockholm and New York for 15 years. In my early days, I was an architect assistant, I studied film and worked as a director's assistant and I studied art direction. I guess the variety in my background indicates my curiosity and interest in creative expressions in general. My inspiration comes from architecture, art, film and photography, as well as carpentry and other crafts.

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Remodeling of apartment on Tre Liljor in Stockholm, 2012. Interior design by Pelle Lundquist.

   

ES: How would you describe your creative evolution?

PL: Working in a creative position for 20-something years has given me more confidence in what I do. Today, I'm less nervous about what anybody thinks of my work. That has been very liberating, and it made me confident enough to change my career path from art direction to interiors, and then into fashion design. Trying new fields of creativity has been very good for me; I feel as inspired today as when I started working. And my past has been a great resource, since I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know when I am able to create something myself, and when to ask for help.

ES: Are you a self-taught designer, or have you had education in the field? 

PL: I don't have an education in fashion design. However, I think my educational and professional background, especially within graphic and interior design, is very useful when it comes to designing garments – the disciplines of form and function are closely related. The specialist's part in producing our garments is the job of our fantastic head of production, Ingrid Eurenius.

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Remodeling of apartment on Odengatan in Stockholm, 2013. Interior design by Pelle Lundquist. Photo by Magnus Mårding.

   

ES: For your menswear label, A Day´s March, you adopt an aesthetic and discourse on the garments that move away from the consumerist, fast-paced production type that often characterises this industry. How did you come to this approach? What type of man do you design for?

PL: Lately, I have grown tired of the ever-accelerating worlds of what´s hot or not. That was more or less also the starting point of A Day's March. We strive to make garments that stand the test of time and are about updating and refining classic menswear pieces — or what we believe deserve to be classics. We try not to think about what this and that type of customer wants, we're trusting ourselves to decide what to do and when to pass. My fellow creative director, Stefan Pagreus, and I have endless discussions on garments we have worn and loved in our lives. We're trying to translate that into our collections.

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A Day´s March Spring Summer 2017 Campaign.

   

ES: Scandi lifestyle and design are very popular at the moment with the rest of the world. Do you see your own work adhering to the scandi style? What would you say is Scandinavian about A Day´s March?

PL: Unlike many Scandinavian brands, many of the references we work with are Italian or American. But I still think the Scandinavian design tradition is clearly visible in everything we do. We focus on materials, silhouettes, and details – we don't make any fuss. I also believe that we, as many Swedish brands, are ambitious when it comes to making a sustainable product.

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A Day´s March Spring Summer 2017 Campaign.

   

ES: Having lived in a Scandinavian country myself, one thing I noticed is the reverence people have for rules and how things should be (not without a national component to it: "this is not what Danes do..." is something I hear a lot). Danish interior design, for example, sets up a world of its own, with all Danish homes reproducing the established forms, shapes, and colours. This made me think of the nature of creativity in this space: would you say that creativity is somehow limited by these expectations of design to "look/be Scandinavian," to cater to the view people have of their own lives, of how things should be?  

PL: I don't think designers in Scandinavia feel that they are obliged to follow a tradition, but I think it's almost impossible not to be influenced by it if you have grown up here, and even more so if you have been to design school here. And yes, I believe that you will be limited by focusing on a certain style. On the other hand, from a design perspective, limitations are often very good to work from, you will have a better chance to excel within that design direction.

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Remodeling of apartment on Odengatan in Stockholm, 2013. Interior design by Pelle Lundquist. Photo by Magnus Mårding.

   

ES: Would you say that life imitates design, or design - life, in a Scandi context?

PL: Considering that, typically, Scandinavian design focuses on nature, materials, simplicity, and honesty, I would say that design imitates life.

Words: Elena Stanciu