AN INTERVIEW WITH BEA SZENFELD
The Swedish fashion designer Bea Szenfeld likes challenges, but designing a dress made of cheese – there she draws the line.
She is one of the top designers in Sweden. Early adopters like Madonna, Bjork and Lady Gaga have discovered her handmade paper creations.
You can see pieces of Bea Szenfeld’s latest collection Haute Papier in Lady Gaga’s music video G.U.Y. Even though the video has been watched more than 50 million times on the Internet, she is quite unknown abroad. Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
I only do one fun job every four years. I mean, when I get to do exactly what I want. Otherwise, I work with large corporations. One fun project I’m doing right now is a collaboration with the Swedish Church. It’s fantastic! I have a lot of time. No stress! You do both commercial and non-commercial projects. How does it work? Do you usually get requests or do you sell in your own ideas? Most of the time people contact me, but sometimes if I have an idea I also present to someone. Is paper your favorite material or have you discovered any new materials that you like?
Some materials are not suitable to wear. It is difficult to make a dress of cheese for example. I have been contacted by a lot of companies that suggest odd ideas. I was asked if I could do something with toilet paper for World Toilet Day. My assistants and I sketched ideas in three weeks, but it was difficult to remove the comic sensation associated with toilet paper. Instead we worked with the toilet paper roll. We made flowers inspired [by] the sixties and used Swarowski crystals on each flower. This summer you were a guest on the Swedish radio station P1 talking about your life and how it is working as a fashion designer. Were you nervous?
It was terrible! I’m just a regular woman who writes messages on social media and all of a sudden, you’re On Air talking for almost an hour about yourself. I’m glad that it’s done. I have asked people if they just said it was good to be kind. I know one person who thought it was bad, but everyone can’t like me. There are people who don’t like the paper stuff I do either.