Thomas Hanisch: “I always knew, one day I will design a costume for Lady Gaga”

January 8, 2016  23:01  |  Let’s talk

Thomas Hanisch

Photos: Christopher Puttins

Sincere smile, frank look, warm handshake and a little bit shy greeting: ‘Hey, I am Thomas’. The guy with a great alternative fashion taste grabs the attention of the passers-by and makes them even more impressed because of the achievements in the fashion industry in his early age. “I always knew, one day I will design a costume for Lady Gaga.” – shares the ambitions which became a reality three times per last year. 24 years old avant-garde couture designer and Thomas Hanisch brand establisher dreams about sharing his fantasy and creative ideas, which are inspired by Egypt and Greek mythology with the international fashion lovers. He seeks to create the visual stories while combining photography and text elements into the collages and introduce his “wearable art” collections to the audience which has an interest in avant-garde and original fashion perception. “Do not even try to regret your dreams just because at some points it might look impossible.” Ambitious dreamer does not lack neither the fantasy nor courage and faces each adventure as a part of a game. He likes to play and knows how to make it successfully.

Thomas Hanisch

Photo: © Fabian Blaschke

Thomas, you are a young fashion designer working in the avant-garde couture clothing. Tell me, what does this concept mean? How did your creative work path turn into this field exactly?

For me, avant-garde couture is the perfect field to show my creativity. My pieces are like ‘wearable art’. Sometimes it’s impossible to sit with this pieces, but I can show the world how much phantasy and creativity is in my mind.

I was always fascinated of the costumes of Lady Gaga. When she started her career, I started to draw her designs and after a while, I was drawing my own designs for her, and of course, they were absolutely non wearable.

You were born in a small city in Germany, later on moved to study to Berlin. What was the reason of settling down at least for a time being in a capital? In what ways your perception of fashion has been modified when you changed your living place?

Yes, I’m from a small town in Thuringia with 30.000 people. For me it was always clear that I will move to a bigger city, but never had in mind that it will be Berlin.

For the beginning, it was really strange to live in a town with so much people and possibilities, and of course so much creative people.

I was at ESMOD, school for fashion and art here in Berlin, and it shows me a lot more perspectives about fashion, but it was always clear that I want to go the hard way of designing avant-garde couture. At least I started my study with the sentence: “one day I will design for Lady Gaga.”

Thomas Hanisch

Photos: © Christopher Puttins

Your brand is known for exceptional and alternative designs, and often have transformational forms and new futuristic stylistics on your pieces. Where did your signature embroidery style come from?

I think my grandma influenced me a lot, because she was always telling me myths and we were watching all kind of Disney movies together. She was really motivate me to use my creativity in every form, like playing with Lego and design new stuff or draw scenes of myths and so on.

And with every year more and more interest come together, like phantasy/sci-fi movies, I got a huge interest in Egypt and Greek mythology and I think that’s the point why my designs are always futuristic and fanciful.

Thomas Hanisch

Photo: © Portrait Only and Kai Stuht

Every single piece you design is one-of-a-kind. How do you do that? What’s the process behind each piece? How do you start a new design?

When I start to design a collection, I always look in the past, stories or people which inspires me. Then I combine them with things of the future, what already happened or maybe will happen.

I look for photos, texts and then I start with collages. I combine pictures, elements of things together to create my pieces. In this progress I really don’t think ‘ok this could be a coat, this could be trousers’. I’m just combining and play with forms.

I have heard you are one of the beloved designers of Lady Gaga, aren’t you? How did it happened that you got a chance to create the outfit for Hollywood star being just 23 years old?

Yes. Last year in March-April, she was wearing two pieces of my diploma collection. One on her 28th birthday and one at a hospital visit.

It was kind of funny, because it was on Facebook. A stylist wrote me to send her my email address, and 2 minutes later I had an email with all the looks they wanted and a contract to sign, that no one will know that my stuff is on the way to Lady Gaga. Of course, after the publication in the press everybody knew it. It was such a hype because, as you told, I was 23 and one of three people in Germany who ever designed for Lady Gaga.

This year in February, she was wearing my designs again on her proposal day, lucky me I always had days where the press will publish these pictures millions of times.

Thomas Hanisch_Lady Gaga

Photos: Thomas Hanisch archives.

How big is your team? Do you do some freehand sewing?

For the moment my team is a one man show. I’m designing my basic line which I’m sewing by my own and selling in Berlin. But for the Fashion Week Shows I need some people which are helping me to sew all the crazy stuff. Also I need some people for making patterns with me, but 90% of the pattern making I’m doing by my own. I have a problem with trusting people. And of course someone who coordinate all meetings, press, the show seating and coordination.

Would you call yourself a dreamer or pragmatic person? What is the biggest challenge you cope with now?

I think I’m a dreamer, because I started on point zero, and now I got a few nice options in my young career now.

There was the chance to design my own watch for G-Shock/Casio, my Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week collection, dressing Lady Gaga a few times. It’s really hard to be that strong and creative, if you have to fight for every next step. I think that’s the biggest challenge for me, to get more international feedback, spread my stuff everywhere, show people all over the world my phantasy and talent, and get accepted as a grown up designer.

This article was originally published on SwO street Nr. 19 issue.

This article was originally published on SwO street Nr. 19 issue.

This article was originally published on SwO street Nr. 19 issue.


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