As the winners of Ecco Domani’s 2012 Fashion Foundation womenswear award, German-born identical twins Daphne and Vera Correll joined a prestigious group that includes many designers — Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Alexander Wang, and Thakoon, to name a few — who have gone on to thrive in the extremely competitive fashion industry. Currently based in New York on the Lower East Side, the sisters have been creating clothes under the label Correll Correll since 2006. They take an artisanal approach to design, dyeing, knitting, and embroidering their clothes by hand, thanks to studying techniques like Japanese Shibori dyeing, Peruvian backstrap weaving, and block printing. With their clothes already available in top-tier retail outlets like Hong Kong luxury department store Harvey Nichols and New York boutique Project No. 8, the two are well on their way to success. ARTINFO caught up with Daphne and Vera backstage during their fall/winter 2012 presentation in New York to pick their brains about art school (Vera attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Daphne went to Cooper Union), their fall collection, and their comparison to another sister fashion design duo.
What’s the inspiration for your fall collection?
Daphne: I guess it was based on what we’ve been doing for the past five years. We wanted to do a résumé of what we’ve been doing so far and really take out our strongest points and put them out there.
What made you think of the color palette and the shapes that you chose?
Daphne: Thinking about opposites a little bit, I think we were both drawn to blue and red just because ... we’re twins. [As kids] my sister would always wear red and I would always wear blue, so that has been a bit of a dialogue for us already, so I guess the idea for this collection was to have these complimentary contrasts, but tone them down and give them an environment like black with the blue, or brown with the red – create unity.
How does your art education factor into your designs?
Daphne: We didn’t study fashion design but I think it’s great because we have a little more play or freedom with the mediums sometimes, because we’re not formally trained in it.
Vera: We really use materials in a sort of unconventional, really experimental way. I think from always having made things that aren’t necessarily design objects, but maybe non-functional objects, that gives you a lot of liberty also in designing clothes.
You guys are being hailed as the next Rodarte. How do you feel about that?
Daphne: I love their stuff, but they’ve been around... I don’t know.
Vera: I really respect their work. I’m doing a thing that’s very different, and I think they’re doing beautiful, beautiful clothes, but I think our interests are a little bit different. But I am absolutely flattered.
Daphne: They’re amazing.
Vera: They’re awesome.
Who are your favorite artists?
Daphne: I love Lee Bontecou, Ad Reinhardt.
Vera: Blinky Palermo —
Daphne: Blinky Palermo. There is a lot of music we draw inspiration from.
What do you think of the connection between fashion and art?
Vera: I think it’s sometimes the same thing, it’s just with fashion, it goes out in the world, it’s not a sacred object in a gallery. Someone wears it but it’s just as meaningful.
Click on the photo gallery to see highlights from Correll Correll’s fall/winter 2012 collection.