LEADING CULTURE DESTINATIONS:
Kostas Murkudis is a German fashion designer famed for his versatile unisex aesthetic, directional cut and clean lines. The Dresden-born avant-garde designer initially studied chemistry before turning to fashion design at the design school of the Lette-Verein in Berlin and cut his teeth in the industry as right-hand man to Helmut Lang. During his near-decade with Helmut Lang Murkadis won the prestigious Philipp-Morris Design Award and subsequently began his own eponymous line. He has been involved in a wide variety of collaborations in his career with brands such as Johnston's Cashmere, Schiesser, Mykita and Pringle of Scotland, among others, and a love of art and alchemy has always been at the heart of his practice. In 2010, he showed in the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt–his fashion colliding with a light installation by Carsten Nicolai, and in 2015, the Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art showed his work as part of showing the exhibition "Tuchfühlung”. Here, the artist and designer tells us why The Renaissance remains an enduring inspiration and explains why the best museums are like mini-cities.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which one would it be and why?
There isn't any particular piece, but I’m really into the Renaissance paintings of Lucas Cranach, there’s a couple of pieces he did that I really admire. There's something about the composition–the way that he’s showing sheer fabrics and human bodies, and the layers he creates is something I’m really interested in. the way he was showing the delicacy of skin is something I deeply admire and try to refer to, especially when making my choice of fabrics.
How do you believe museums will impact future cities?
I was in London a couple of months ago and I spent literally four days in the Tate, I was so touched by the concept of the tate, which is like going back to Ancient Greece. I mean , the museum in Ancient Greece was not just one place with one building, it was a city within a city, showing different cultural movements, and that’s something I’ve found in the Tate–you can go into the exhibition, you can spend time in the library, you can go for coffee. it is a city within a city, and a place to meet people, to communicate–not just in the classic sense of talking, but also looking and watching. hopefully there will be more like it coming soon.
How has social media changed the way we view art and fashion?
it has clearly changed almost everything, to be honest. I used to go to shows in the 80’s in Paris, where people were concentrating on what they would see on the runway. nowadays, when you go to shows, most of the audience is not even looking directly at the models, they’re all just looking at their iPhones, and trying to capture the moment in a very simple way. it’s just not that direct anymore–people are desperate to just capture something fast, and and then go on to the next moment
Who do you think are the cultural innovators of tomorrow?
the only one in fashion, I would say is probably Rick Owens. HE's truly working with material in a sculptural way. He's not concentrating on creating classic wardrobes and classic looks, or whatever. he’s more interested in working as an artist, and that makes him quite authentic and outstanding. there isn’t anybody else in my industry, really. Celine is also working with this kind of masculine code on the female side, which is interesting, but it’s not as radical.
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT THE MOMENT AND WHERE CAN WE FIND IT?
I’m working on a project with the artist Carsten Nicolai, who is a long-time collaborator that will take place in Japan next year, and I’m working on a museum project for a new museum. I had the chance to show my work in a museum in Frankfurt in the Museum of Modern Art and the curator has asked me to do something for a new museum, in Dusseldorf, so I’m working on a few different things but mainly art projects.