Aarhus, coast of the Jutland Peninsula, West Denmark
The city is inextricably bound to the clever hands of its artisans. The streets downtown watch over small workshops where they mould glass and clay and hand down ancient handicraft skills, while the atmosphere of a bygone yet not lost era echoes between the buildings of Den Gamle By, the old town and open-air museum that gathers Danish houses from the past centuries.
In the same way, the hands of Leon Louis Jørgensen are intimately bound to his creations. Artisanal, coarse, apparently distressed yet sharply tailored in cuts and details, they are constructed through a process of subtraction and as essential and raw as the architecture of Aarhus, where his atelier was founded; from the City Hall and its clock tower, clad with Norwegian marble and enclosed in a concrete exoskeleton that resembles scaffolding, to the innovative residential apartment complex in the harbour area, named The Iceberg due to its futuristic peaks and the massive use of glass that makes it seem as though built from ice. It is a place where the avant-garde merges with tradition and nature fuses with the most modern artificial technologies, as in the case of the greenhouses of the Botanical Gardens designed by Christian Frederik Møller.
Leon Louis works with natural fabrics such as pure wool, silk and linen, longing for the same sartorial quality as over half a century ago, although the result is an unmistakably contemporary, at times almost “liquid” silhouette that is accommodating to the body that inhabits it. Extremely versatile, the clothes morph with the wearer, grow with him and follow his movements like a second skin meant to last beyond one season. They reinterpret Nordic minimalism and its urge for simplicity and functionality. Leon Louis’ collections draw inspiration from the gloomy atmosphere of the shadowy alleys of an eighteenth-century city and are strictly black, focusing on the garments’ shape and often deconstructed structure.
For Spring/Summer, under the name of Anarchic Arrogance, Leon searches for a gentler silhouette, resembling the landscapes of the countryside surrounding Aarhus where he often likes to lose himself in his thoughts, and focuses on architectural interplay and contrasting materials. This time the colour palette allows room for the leaden tones of the sea around Denmark, at times seeming to melt with the sky, and for the light green of the northern springs. The metallic details are taken from Danish military uniforms, which also inspired the shapes of the bombers as well as the detachable lining of the leather jackets.
The protagonists of the collection are the souls of those living isolated on the outskirts of society. Unable to communicate with their own kind, they insolently raise their voices against what has already been established, rebelling against the status quo. Wanderers. Reluctant dreamers.
Photographer: Mikkel Völcker
Art Director: Marlo Saalmink
Model: Wiktor Hansson
Location: Northern Jutland, Denmark