Ten Meets Fredrik Tjaerandsen, The CSM Graduate Making Viral Wearable Bubbles
Who knew bubbles could cause such a commotion? Going from being just one of 43 lucky students chosen to show at the Central Saint Martins BA graduate show to becoming a viral fashion star in less than 12 hours. This is the story of Fredrik Tjaerandsen, the CSM graduate from Bodo, Norway whose sculptural rubber bubbles deflated into garments on the catwalk at 1 Granary Square last night. An overnight jump from around 1000 followers to 33k and counting – such is the power of a major fashion moment, one that will be remembered in the history books. “My collection is inspired by an almost indefinable moment when a human’s self-awareness becomes active and sentiment. I have strived to develop a process of experimental practice and development through which I could react and create my own expression of this moment and experience of being in that moment,” Tjaerandsen describes Moments of Clarity, his collection that won him the L’Oréal Pro Young Talent Award. What’s the first thing he did after the win? “To be honest, I cried,” he tells us today, still delirious from the instant global popularity of his work.
The power of social media and the growing numbers of students completely changed the meaning of a graduate show. What was once a showcase created for fashion insiders looking for the most elevated ideas has since turned into a competition of innovation and grandeur, a visual-driven exhibit of eye-catching, Grammable work. And that’s rightfully so – who else should we look to come up with something we’ve never seen before than 20-something creatives with a tenacious spirit? Fredrik Tjaerandsen is the poster-boy of this new generation, offering action and reaction to the archaic system of fashion shows. “The bubble I have designed with the shape of a torus. The inner part of the torus is where the garment is constructed and inverts out to the bubble. […] I have constructed these pieces with an air pressure system that lets the wearer control the air-flow. Whenever the wearer wants to deflate they open a latch inside to release the inverted bubble part and then dives out of the deflating bubble,” the young designer explains the process. It takes 10 seconds for the bubble to be deflated and inflated, each made out of rubber sourced from Sri Lanka, crafted with the help of their local rubber growers. When we posted the video on our Instagram, the main question was: “But how do you breathe?” Tjaerandsen answers: “It’s no secret – it’s just oxygen inside!”
Coming down from such a high, there’s big expectations from graduates. Whether starting their own brands or looking for jobs at fashion houses, the options are endless and intimidating. Tjaerandsen’s plan isn’t following a path in just another proof of his award-deserving genius: “I’m going to exhibit the Bubbles in a new space very soon,” he tells us. Until we get a chance to see the bubbles again in real life, we’ll just have our videos of bubbles on loop – they hit a sweet spot of fashion ASMR, like millennial versions of those iconic Hussein Chalayan performances that changed the face of fashion. Will Fredrik Tjaerandsen have the same effect? We’ll just have to wait and see.