Spotlight: Patrick Mohr


Written by Rebecca Griffith
02 Monday 02nd August 2010

Patrick Mohr is a German designer who caused quite the stir when he used bald, bearded and in some cases, half-naked female models in his catwalk debut at Berlin Fashion Week. A self-styled eccentric, Mohr started off as a model before venturing into the world of fashion design. He graduated from Munich’s Esmod Fashion School in 2007 after which he worked for Henrik Vibskov in Copenhagen before starting his own label in 2008. 

By blurring gender boundaries and challenging traditional ideas of beauty, his use of shock tactics seem to transcend the importance of the clothes themselves, despite the fact that the collection is actually very wearable. Like it or loathe it, Mohr’s collection has definitely got people talking. Having previously used homeless people and transvestite body builders in his shows, Mohr is no stranger to controversy. Don’t Panic talk to the designer about trannies, facial hair and how he finally feels he has been accepted by the fashion elite.
Firstly, what were the main inspirations behind your SS11 collection?
I perceive males and females as a unity, even though we’re not 100% alike. That’s why I’m into creating fashion that disguises the female anatomy. 
Can you explain why you decided to use bald models with beards – was it to create an antithesis of beauty or just simply because you wanted to shock?
I create fashion with a deeper meaning. I want people to discuss my shows. To realize how close men and women are. I want to create something new, something from the heart.
Do you think female facial hair will come into vogue after your show?
Italian Vogue had a homeless chic cover last summer. I’m pretty sure I was just part of rejuvenating the homeless trend last summer—it’s also called bum chic.
In your previous collection, Are We Shaved? you used extremely tanned-bodybuilders and thong-wearing transvestites with breast implants. Do you think you have a preoccupation with debasing traditional gender roles? Where did that come from?
That came out of my own life. Until five years ago, I didn’t know what I was. Everything I do is deeply connected to my heart. You know, I used to walk into H&M and grab stuff from the women’s collection. I used to ask myself: Why shouldn’t I go there? Why shouldn’t I use women’s perfume?
Some people have criticised your recent show at Berlin Fashion week by saying that your use of freakish-looking models took the emphasis away from the clothes themselves – what would you say to that?
My stuff will never be easy to take in. However, I think this latest collection made people realize I’m not only an agitator, but also a designer who’s actually making wearable clothes.
You have previously used homeless people as models – was this another attempt to overrule so-called ‘fashion’ stereotypes?
Glitter and glamour is not my world. In my past I once almost became homeless. That experience has shaped me. Even if I wanted to provoke, in effect I just wanted to show that there is not just wealth in the world.
As the fashion industry is so preoccupied with beauty and glamour – where do you feel you fit in as a designer?
My creations are eccentric, somewhat provocative, outspoken, and very straightforward. My fashion ranges between avant-gardism and street wear.
Do you think that your debut at Berlin Fashion week is a sign that you have been accepted?
The Fashion Week was a big step for me. None the less it’s more important to establish the label in the commerce. This year were a lot of international buyers in my show at the Fashion Week and have watched my fashion. I think that is a sign that people accept my work.
And finally, just how long did it take to make your models bald and give them beards?
You’d normally need an hour per model, minimum. Some girls had hair all the way down to their butts, which they all had to put up with pins. Except for two girls complaining about the pain when they removed their latex caps afterwards, the whole thing was pretty relaxed.


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