Interview: Clon8

I had a chat with clothing designer Angelika Chilikova, whose brand Clon8 aims to blur the lines between genders by the choice of textiles and silhouettes. Building a bond with traditional ways of tailoring and crafting and modern, urban pieces that hold a story too.

With mostly black pieces throughout all of Clone8‘s past collections, it’s like an emo’s dream. The avant-garde, ready to wear collections are developing every season. Its unpredictability is beautifully alluring.

Angelika Chilikova

What’s the meaning behind the brand name, Clon8?

The initial idea was the to find the ideal name to represent the cloning of dis-engendered clothing and from there it was a game of words. The 8th is my birthday so it kind of clicked and became the combination between my brand’s vision and myself.

I’ve read that you began tailoring and crafting from a very young age. How do you bring these techniques into contemporary fashion design?

Indeed, the craftsmanship all comes organically and the development is constant, but the origin is very much important for the extensions of this progress and adjustment to each new era.

You seem to take inspirations from a lot of different cultures, Asia, Russia, the Adriatic waters as well as being influenced by other countries you’ve lived or had connections with I’m sure. Where would you say these cultures come through most in your work?

I would say through my structure and fluid silhouettes, the obsession with mixing elements and textures and the choice of black.

I’ve read that you wanted to blur the lines between genders, how do you go about this when you’re designing pieces?

The blurred lines between genders are more accepted nowadays as far as personal identity goes. Again, it becomes a natural process… There is not a structured direction and it is very much an organic mix and combination of masculine and feminine aesthetic. Some pieces are very feminine and some are less. The opposite also holds true. I believe it is more the balance and the connection of opposites. This also very much defines my textile selections.

You work was featured in an editorial shoot we did back in July where model Michael wore a jumpsuit, which was amazing. Do you have any favourite pieces from your past collections?

Thank you! It was a very nice editorial. There is always a favourite one from each collection. The kimono from the “Black Euphoria” collection is one of my favourites.

As someone whose wardrobe is mostly black, I do understand the attraction. But what is your reasoning behind mostly sticking to designing all black pieces?

Black conceals depth. Black is a cultural signifier in the sense that, black is absolute. It is peaceful and simple whilst also carrying the complexities of our past, present, and future.

Your work talks about the past a lot, and seems to be influenced by history and older traditions. Why is the past so inspiring for you?

History and general humanity is very much the core of my inspirations. The collections presented to date dealt with history, but it is not necessarily that this historical aspect will be present in my upcoming collections.

So in your first collection Black Euphoria, you had a bright red blouse in there. Which, I’m not going to lie, seems a little out of place amongst the black. Was there a reason you wanted to include such a contrasting colour?

As you said, it was a contrasting piece and contrast is a recurrent theme in my work.

And at London Fashion Week a few weeks ago, you’re SS15 collection was black and white. What inspired that collection?

The SS15 “Alasho” Collection is influenced by the rugged grand desert landscape. The harshness of the climate and the smoothness of the sand dune, they are represented through the selection of textile. And the monochrome palette is of essence for its functionality. Creating paralyzed contexts, of soft against hard, black against white, draped against structured, somehow translated the beauty and serenity as well as a dangerous and coarse environment into a balanced unity.

What is on the cards for Clon8 in the future? Is there any chance of more pops of colour?

The cards are unpredictable. Personally, I am aiming to make the stories of my collections bigger and would also love to expand Clon8’s audience.

Of course there will be bits of colour, but the core of the brand will always remain black.

Finally, if your designs were to come to life, what would they say?!

They would speak in the language of the future, which is difficult to understand in the present.

Words by Eliza Frost