2 years ago, armed with a masters degree from the Vienna University of Applied Arts, Kathrin Reinfurth headed off to Beijing. There she created fashion brand MPMP - it stands for Magnetosphere Prospecting and Monitoring Program. Today she’s mixing art, science and fashion and exhibits her creations in China and in Europe. Nicely Made in China (NMiC) spoke to Katrin about her experiences and what she’s bringing to fashion design.
Kathrin, why did you choose to come to China?
I really arrived in China by accident – or at least without any great plan! I had heard of lot of negative things about China and Chinese factories; that China can only do mass production, about the factory owners’ lack of flexibility etc etc…but I quickly discovered a very different reality. As it turns out, China for me is the only place where I can make the clothes I have in mind, and my experience so far is completely different from what I had been told to expect.
In what way is China different?
China gives me the freedom to experiment. It is the only place on Earth where I can find people running small workshops ready to try all sorts of things on a small scale.
What type of experiments can you do in China that you could not do in Europe?
Here every fabric I use is specially prepared for MPMP. For instance, I can order laser cutting for small quantities, or, I can use digitally printed silk, which is then washed in silicon. The touch of the silk then becomes softer and almost liquid thanks to that silicon bath. I have also developed a special neoprene, which is normally used for diving suits, but we have made it in silk instead of nylon.
What type of clothes do you create?
When I was at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, I followed Belgian designer Raf Simons’ masterclasses. (He recently replaced John Galliano as head designer at Dior). He created mainly menswear - so at that stage, I designed menswear. Now however, I’ve moved on to mainly womenswear: coats, scarves, dresses.
For the benefit of Nicely Made in China readers, could you define your style a bit more please?
Certainly – I would say my designs are uncomplicated, contemporary and high tech! By that I mean that my style is clean and clear, and defined through straight lines and shapes which give my clothes a modern, practical and elegant look. The high-tech side is the development and the use of special fabric. As for the patterns, the whole contemporary aspect is enhanced by my ‘nature’ prints.
Can you share with Nicely Made in China readers the kind of projects are you working on now?
Indeed – I’m very excited about this – for our latest line of raincoats, we are using a special technique which makes a reflective print, so it reflects light in the darkness and shows a normal print during daylight. I’m also working on a special kind of coating, which is anti-radiation – it will stop radio waves penetrating the garment. It will act as a complete shelter from radio waves!
Where can NMiC readers see and buy your creations?
MPMP creations can be bought in Beijing from this shop:
Wuhao curated shop
35 Mao’er Hutong, Dongcheng district
And through my website, via email.
Prices (on July 27th 2012):
Handbag 2000 RMB
Raincoat 3800 RMB
Dress 3250 RMB
Scarf 1650 RMB /