Tony Marcus Sacharias (1980) is a conceptual fashion-designer who originates from Drenthe, a province in the North-East of the Netherlands. In 2010 he graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Tony first caught our eye during Amsterdam International Fashion Week S/S 2012, where he presented his collection, ‘Marked by life’.
At the moment his studio is situated in his home a bit outside the centre of Amsterdam. Arriving at his studio and stepping inside the hall of the apartment our gaze is attracted by the focused room. The first part of the space presents a cosy living room with two couches and a small table in front of a television. The second part is divided from the first by a wardrobe with Tony’s latest collection and has a functional and tidy studio atmosphere. Bookshelves and pictures of his work in progress are arranged around a huge white table. General fashion books and other more specific art books are presented on white shelves. We spot books on Lucian Freud, Cindy Sherman and Egon Schiele, these hint to the designers inspirations for his collections.
Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and how you got into fashion?
I´m the youngest in our family of four, as a child I created my own world by making drawings. When I grew up I focused a lot on different hand crafts like embroidery and knitting. After high school it was clear to me that I wanted to do something creative and I decided to go to the Grafisch Lyceum in Zwolle.
After some years I wasn’t quite happy with the decision I made, then I moved to Amsterdam and did some interviews with different academies. I already had decided to do fashion, so after doing interviews with Artez and Amfi and Gerrit Rietveld Academy, in the end I chose the Rietveld. It felt like home, the whole atmosphere and the students and teachers.
I started in the preparatory course, then the basic year, a year of exploring and searching. It was really exciting using different media to make and present my work, like drawing, sculpture and film. Because of this I was doubting to do fashion or not, but in the end it was still clear my work was body conscious. That’s what I like about the Rietveld, it doesn’t matter which department you choose, you can give your own interpretation on what you do. I really wanted to develop myself as a kind of artist at the fashion department. The conceptual part was really important for me and the teachers gave me the opportunity to figure this out, which was great.
Before I started my exam collection, I did an internship with Orson+Bodil. It was a period where a learnt a lot. And like the Rietveld, this atelier felt like home. Working one on one with Alexander van Slobbe taught me a lot of his workmanship and it gave me the opportunity to develop an accessory.
How did you approach your collection ‘Marked by life’? What was the starting point for the collection?
I used ‘ageing’ of people, to show the beauty of the ageing, so not the negative part of it. Each silhouette has two layers and I applied three different stages to show the changing of the body. In the first stage I took the details of what makes a garment a garment, like collars and pockets and cut them away, literally cut them out. In the second stage the fabric falls apart by taking away the threads and the second layer (lining) is visible and the seams are showing inside out. The third stage is the part where the body shrinks. So I use woven fabrics and a technique by pulling the threads.
|stage 1 - cut away details of a garment like collars and shoulder pads|
|stage 2 - fabric falls apart by taking away the threads|
|stage 3 - shrinking the fabric (reference to an aging body)|
What exactly interests you in the change of the physical body?
What I like about the physical body, is to show my thoughts, how I look at people and how people behave. I want to show people: think twice before you say something about yourself or talk about somebody else, about their physical form or whatever. That is my general concept. I made a women collection because I think that women are thinking more about ageing and beauty, they’re more conscious of it.
How important are the fabrics for the design? How do you choose the fabrics?
For this collection I decided that it should be skin tones, because of the human body. I wanted to have natural fabrics, like cotton and wool and woven fabrics. I chose my fabrics intuitively. I went to Boeken, I almost spent two or three hours a day there. I would go there and buy some fabrics and then I’d go home again. Then I maybe have three different fabrics and go there again and then again the next day. Then you see other fabrics and think: Huh, I didn’t see those yesterday. Suddenly by doing so I collected the fabrics for my collection.
|shoes - platform are japanese inspired, made from heavy wood to force the model to walk slowly|
|caps - represent balding, by reversing the bald spot with hair|
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am still figuring out which way I want to go. I feel I want to get more experience to build my own brand, but it is also important to develop my work. I want to launch my second collection in the summer again. By closing my collection S/S 2012 I will have a campaign shoot with Allard Honigh.
So you’re working on another summer collection. Is it a conscious decision to focus on summer clothes?
No, it is more a practical decision (laughs)... I already had a talk with program director (AIFW) Carlo Wijnands about participating in the winter edition in February, I knew that with this collection I started, four months, even three months before and that was way too short. I do everything by myself, I just had an intern for four months. But the decision I made is that I want to have more time to make a new collection and also to give it more time. I do not want to work with machines, but really want to use my hands, to make my own fabrics for example. It is not totally there yet, but I might launch something for the winter edition, but more in a smaller scale.
Do you believe in the fashion seasons?
That was the first thing that came to mind when I was asked for fashion week. I thought: Oh but it has to be a spring/summer collection... but if I use thick wool or fur, if the material fits into my concept, then I just do it. I think it is really important that you stick to your own way of thinking. I use the seasons more as a deadline. To know it has to be finished by then.
What makes life worth living?
Family and Friends - especially my fiance and 2 best friends - but also musicians are really important to me like Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Antony Hegarty.
My house/atelier is really important for me where I feel save. Amsterdam is where I feel free of thinking and moving. Besides Amsterdam, I find Paris one of the most inspiring places, the people, the architecture, art and fashion.
Cd’s and certain books. my favourite book is Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’
Where ever the sun is, a really good cup of coffee and my sunglasses on.
Bon Iver’s “The Wolves (Act I and II)”
My 2 pillows when I go to bed
|All studio pictures Felicia Nitzsche|
|Tony Marcus Sacharias S/S 2012 - Photographer: Rein Langefeld|