MarMar Copenhagen, an interview with Marlene Anine Holmboe
DANCING IN THE DESERT… with my tulle skirt and my astronaut pants!
There are times in the day when even the most harsh and sun-drenched places are transformed and softened, the more brazen lights get mild and the more deafening noises are dulled.
It happens when the sun rises and nature slowly comes to life shifting from the pallid and veiled white of the first rays to a soft and enveloping pink, or at sunset, when the vivid and rowdy light of the day diminishes and makes way for more veiled and pastel colours.
The more wild and desolate the landscape, the more evident are the changes and contrasts. It is this diversity, the fascinating juxtaposition of shapes and colours between nature and civilisation and the composed elegance of the universe that inspires Marlene Anine Holmboe, designer at MarMar Copenhagen.
Her work is marked by a perennial dualism: country chic and urban elegance, the old and the new, luxury and practicality, simplicity and glamour, ethics and business. Her latest SS17 collection is no exception: on one hand the silent and wild desert at daybreak and on the other, a mad urban night full of light, confusion and music. All mediated by Marlene’s sober and controlled perspective that rather than intensifying the contrasts works to absorb, unite and harmonise them, bringing to life something unique and unrepeatable every time.
1. The new MarMar Copenhagen collection doesn’t betray its style and kindly embellishes with details inspired from other worlds. The gold, the lunar prints, the reference to a wild nature melt in a sober, amusing, refined understatement that is the most distinguish feature of the MarMar inspiration. How much of your feelings, of your dreams, of your day-life thoughts did you put in this new collection?
Every season I put a lot of feeling and thought into the collection. Everything of MarMar Copenhagen is very heartfelt to me. I’m always inspired by old photos, movies, colours and always add a hint of circus. This SS17 collection is all about grand-scale daydreams. It’s about dreaming big. Specifically I was very inspired by the Nevada desert and the contrasts of this vast place. The colours of the desert and the open space above, contrasted by the glittery city of Las Vegas – especially in the era of the Rat Pack – which was also the time of the first lunar landing. Looking through an old sketchbook I found the old drawing of an astronaut I did while I was at the Royal Academy and which now has been turned into a print of the collection. So it is all about old and new things, things on my mind, things close to my heart.
2. I know environment really matters to you. How important is it in your personal life?
It means everything.
3. How is the place you work in?
Our offices are in an old telephone operator head centre. It’s a great place with a lot of history and with five metres from floor to ceiling, that means with a very spacious feeling. Over the years we have rebuild it and made it a very unique office space, with a lot of respect for the original features.
4. About the environment, what is important for you and worth an effort?
Well, everything is connected – people, the earth, resources, and with all that in my mind I strive to have a sound company, that makes sense, both in a general way and to me and my family on a more personal level.
5. How has the world around you changed over the years?
As the company has grown, we are in contact with a larger group of people. This combined with the ever evolving technical progress, creates higher ethical demands. It’s very exciting.
6. Where did you live as a kid and which ones were your dreams?
I grew up in very old big house in the city centre of Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, in a very social family, with my mum and dad and a sister, a brother, a dog and a rabbit. There were always many guests and a lot of things going on. As a child I wanted to be a doctor for I thought that what I liked most at the time – sewing and making clothes – could not be turned into a real grown-up job.
7. What from that past time is still a part of you?
It’s funny how things are repeated: now I live in an old house, with three children of my own and I certainly still enjoy the social life reminiscent of my childhood. And I found out that my old hobby could be turned into the job of my life!
8. How was dressing up back then? An option, an amusement or something you cared more seriously about?
It was definitely serious! I made a great deal of my own clothes – dreaming up new looks and made sure my accessories matched.
9. Is there a dress or an accessory, a shape or a colour from your childhood or your teen years you really liked and you always try to reinvent in your collections?
10. Did you expect such a success and how do you live this situation?
I certainly always wanted it and really enjoy it!
11. Do you feel like you realize all your dreams?
Many dreams have been realized, but I still have plenty more of them … stay tuned!
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Text Patrizia Mezzanzanica