rpmmelbourne is a fashion concept store in Carlton featuring curated imports for him & her. Last week rpmmelbourne hosted renowned international fashion designer Birgitte Raben Olrik of Danish label Rabens Saloner for an exclusive meet and greet giving guests a glimpse into the mind of a fascinating fashion visionary.
Rabens Saloner is passionate about sustainability and traditional craftsmanship and as such Birgitte spends a couple of months per year in Bali supporting workshops and family businesses, seeking out village dressmakers, leather smiths, bone-polishes and armies of knitting grandmas who contribute to each and every new collection.
rpmmelbourne was the label’s first Australian stockist and the partnership goes back 10 years. rpmmelbourne was thrilled to host Birgitte and share some insights with Couturing’s readers.
Can you speak a little about the ethos of Rabens Saloner?
The core value of Rabens Saloner is the feeling that everything is made by heart. The garments are often handmade and hand-dyed, why not two dresses are identical. Rabens Saloner is about good traditional craftsmanship and we do not compromise.
How do you begin to design your collections?
Twice a year I travel on an inspiration trip to L.A. with my creative team. I am very inspired by the vibrant city with all it has to offer, from vintage archives, art to creative souls that we meet on our way. To me, L.A. is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. During our trip, we build up “a woman”. The inspiration can come from a certain place, a talk we have, or anything that catches our attention. – and with this woman in mind, we build the wardrobe we imagine she may have.
You’ve spoken about your affinity with Asia – what initially drew you to the continent?
I am eternally fascinated by the mystery of East, the lifestyle and its people – they can create the most wonderful things with their hands.
How did you come to work with rpmelbourne?
My Distributors in Melbourne, H & B Fashion, have a long lasting relationship with rpmelbourne.
You’ve said that you like when women dress for themselves – do you take any inspiration from street style?
I think street style is super inspiring. Especially when people dare to dress for themselves, that’s when you get the personal style – I love that. [It’s] powerful and not necessarily based on a trend.
Who is the ideal Rabens Saloner woman?
Who is not? However, if I am to mention one particular person I must confess having a major crush on the French singer, Francoise Hardy and style icon, Caroline de Margaret. Both are about French sophistication meets rock n’ roll that everyone wants to own. Pure effortless coolness.
Do you have any pieces in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
My skinny jeans and my western boots – That is my “uniform”.