sruli recht studio visit
original content
apr 04, 2011
sruli recht studio visit


sruli recht’s sewing workshop
image © designboom

while in reykjavík, iceland for designmarch 2011, designboom visited the studio of designer sruli recht who landed
in the nordic country via jerusalem – johannesburg, south africa – melbourne, australia.
located in the armoury or vopnabúriđ ehf (as it’s known in icelandic) in the city’s fish packing district,
the industrial studio / showroom space is where recht works on his designs which are strongly rooted in process and materials.

working between product design, tailoring and shoe making, his newest collection ‘when gravity fails’ –
is recht’s first complete menswear line. ranging in pieces from coats, cardigans, jackets, trousers, shorts and leggings,
these main articles are accompanied by bags, boots, gloves, shoes and silver jewellery which total 55 styles,
approximately 130 with the material variations made.


work table
image © designboom

this collection happened in my hands instead of on paper…  I just listened to the fabric and the forms and they told me what to do.
to do this I came up with a technique to develop the collection; in thestudio we made a half-scale mannequin and 3D sketched
with fabrics straight onto the form. making garments in half scale really reduced the amount of detail that you would otherwise
put in because you have only so much space to work with. while doing this, we set up a technique I call a macroscope,
which is a camera trained on the form, connected to a projector, that throws the image of the half-scale mannequin and garment
in progress up on the wall full-scale. the shaped fabric was then transferred to paper, scanned with a large format scanner,
digitized to vector, scaled up, and then cut directly in fabric by the laser cutter. we re-draped in full size, corrected, rescanned,
re-edited, re-cut, etc. this process dramatically reduced the amount of work time, while increasing the accuracy and detail
of the whole process. every aspect of the collection is laser cut, from the patterns to the materials and final garments.

what you have as an end result is very little wastage of raw materials, much less time spent tracing and cutting,
and much more time to work and think with your hands on the actual garment. the whole thing is completely intuitive and free,
but very dimensional and formed. the collection is entirely draped mostly from single pieces,
and there was absolutely no design sketching. the result is a collection with a balance between construction and freedom
.’ – sruli recht

Sruli Recht – Interview from For-Tomorrow-TV on Vimeo.


work in progress on one of the bags from the collection
image © designboom

‘when gravity failes’ has a strong emphasis on the local with 98% of the collection made from icelandic materials.
recht worked very closely with atlantic leather, a tannery in the north of iceland that deals with raw skins
to make new materials. much of the leathers within this series comes from horse, hunted wild reindeer, birds,
fish and lamb. over the course of the last year, the studio has spent time tanning the natural icelandic materials
to achieve the right tones and hues for the garments.


image © designboom


working on cardboard models
image © designboom


image © designboom


a pile of leather bags waiting to be finished
image © designboom


tear drop shaped leather bag from the ‘when gravity fails’ collection
model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht

alongside the leatherworks, many of recht’s garments also utilize icelandic wool, in which case he again works
with a local knit producer to create his own constructions.


model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


‘born out of this’ show piece two from ‘when gravity fails’
model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht

‘born out of this’
27 still born lambs, 3 regular lambs, military dead-stock lining. and it
was said, during a conversation in the cold,
cavernous walls of the
tannery, chromium sulphate hanging low in the air, and not a piece of
natural light leaking in,
what is that heap over there? looking
vaguely at the iridescent white pile to his left, said he
‘that…? they
were not meant to be.’ and so it was agreed, I would take those lost
souls, and from him to me they came.

shaken, preferred, and pieced together, these almost once vessels,
together now one, and draped as a single square,
and a sleeve, and a
pleated set/raglan hybrid, with darted shaping. a coat to end all, and
begin again
.’ – sruli recht


‘born out of this’ show piece two from ‘when gravity fails’
model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


‘born out of this’ show piece two from ‘when gravity fails’
model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


‘icarus, post-crash’ show piece one
model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht

‘icarus, post-crash’
21 svartfugl [blackbirds] on a hunted wild reindeer base. after meeting a
group of hunters, hunting birds and beasts,
we struck up a deal: all
the birds they could bring me, in exchange for a pound of breath. and
birds they brought,
bags and bags of them. hands soaked in feathers and
flesh, they were sorted through, sent on ice to my tanner
(a craftsman
so brilliant I heard he once tanned air). what returned to our studio
was not a pile of feathers
and feet but rather the full-bodied, beaked
husks of those once soft flying blackbirds. and out of their box they
were pulled,
put onto the stand, and the garment quite literally
designed itself. all we had to do was sew it together… by hand and
heart,
on a reindeer base, body to body to back to wing, to have our icarus, post crash, sombre and in between
.’ – sruli recht


‘icarus, post-crash’ show piece one
model emil Þór guðmundsson styled by arash arfazadeh
photo by marinó thorlacius

image courtesy of sruli recht


fabric
image © designboom


fabric

image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


paper patterns hanging on a clothes rack
image © designboom


paper patterns hanging on a clothes rack
image © designboom


image © designboom


view of the back workroom and storage space
image © designboom


a shelf of packaging for recht’s various designs
image © designboom


garments being stored overhead
image © designboom


the showroom which is located at the front of the studio with items displayed on recht’s ‘cardboard cutting table no.1′
image © designboom


‘cutting table no. 1′
1500 x 1200 x 930 mm

image courtesy of sruli recht

recht’s ‘cutting table no. 1′ is a result of his constant travel in which he is continuously setting-up guerilla studios
wherever he is, however always lacking a good clean surface in which to work. constructed from corrugated cardboard,
the biodegradable furniture piece is lightweight and can be disassembled at the end of the day to make room for other activities.


image courtesy of sruli recht

image courtesy of sruli recht

‘cutting table no. 1′ all packed-up
image courtesy of sruli recht


concrete buckles for sale
image © designboom

see designboom’s article on sruli recht’s concrete buckle


shoes and boots on display in the showroom
image © designboom

the shoe and boot samples of sruli recht’s cllection are produced by local shoe maker guðrún edda einarsdóttir.


image © designboom


pieces from the ‘when gravity fails collection on show at the reykjavík art museum
image © designboom

as part of the designmarch events, sruli recht exhibited a selection of pieces from ‘when gravity fails’ at the reykjavík art museum.

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