For her latest collection Tina Reiter found inspiration in a different version of street style. Her creativity brought her the award of Menswear Collection of the Year.
Tina Elisabeth Reiter is a young, talented designer who makes clothes for men ‘with character’. Quirkiness defines her own fashion aesthetics and she doesn’t dress ‘for fashion’s sake nor for the common glamorous cliché of fashion’. ‘Slightly strange, but really, really lovely’, as one of her tutors would say, Tina is one of the very gifted MA graduates from London College of Fashion. Austrian born, her way of seeing fashion emerges from the beauty and expressivity of the cultural background she has been brought up in. Finding herself between two cultural cities, Munich and London (where she does her studies), Tina feels home in her parents flat in Austria where she ‘is connected with a lot of memories and emotions’.
‘Home is the first place where you live, but for me it is actually more a feeling of belonging. Lots of unconscious influences play an important role: familiar smells, shapes and conditions make you feel home even more’, says the creator.
Being away from her home country for almost 6 years, she searches and expresses her origins by creating pieces of clothing with strong values. The Alps and the traditional costume are symbols which embody the signature for her A/W 12/13 collection, The Sound of Homeless(ness) which brought Tina, Menswear Collection of the Year award for MA_12 CATWALK.
A symbolic play between words, the name of the collection directs the eye into dances within an Austrian landscape filled with ‘sounds of music’. Tina Elisabeth found inspiration for her designs from observing ‘street people’ and their way of dressing and looking through history into her own culture. ‘I started to research about homeless people, in particular the way of dressing, focused on the aspect of layering and fitting their garments to needs. Looking more in depth I discovered that homelessness nowadays also means that you do not know where you belong to because you are not aware of your own roots or background ’, says the designer. Very proud of those pieces strictly handmade and using special techniques inspired by the folk costume, Homeless(ness) is based on two earth chromatic references: orange and brown which emphasise the collection’s background.
Her designs represent fashion in a contemporary idea about gender and how fashion for men looks like today: ‘there is some kind of a macro-trend for menswear. Companies have started to discover that contemporary men are as well crucially interested in fashion, because they want to look decent and be well dressed, just like women. That makes menswear design at the moment extremely interesting; it is like a new emerging market. The range for menswear will grow within the next years rapidly and I dare to say that in future there will be equal ranges’. With a strong vision on fashion she clearly distinguishes the kind of men who would wear her collection: ‘strong individuals who understand what the collection is about. This understanding is expressed in wearing the pieces itself. Each piece is quite unusual regarding contemporary menswear silhouettes. So the act of wearing itself is a statement’, says Tina Elisabeth.
The next step in Tina’s future plans is to develop her career in London close to one of the designers based here.
Intangible, she feels naked without her friends and beloved ones and tangible, without her smart phone.
|Photography - Jaiden Tang|