You never know where falling in love will take you. For history’s quixotic poets and artists it may have been the cause of eternal anguish, yet for love-struck Danish all-round avant-garde creative, Henrik Vibskov, it proved the catalyst for a dream fashion career. “There was a girl I fancied who planned to go to London’s Central St. Martin's to study fashion, and I just said, ‘yeah, me too,’” remembers Vibskov. “So I called St. Martins and got an interview appointment the next day, I prepared a file during the night, jumped on the plane, and got into the course… I also got the girl actually.”
Growing up in the wholesome green countryside of Jutland, Denmark, Vibskov was introduced early on to drums by his brother, began break-dancing in his teens and moved onto fine art soon after. “I was basically interested in all subjects from fashion, where you fumble around with buttons and small stitches, through to art installations that conquer an entire room and the emotional power of music, so I combined them all!” says Vibskov. Maintaining his interest in all areas of the arts, Vibskov’s flagship store in Copenhagen is as unapologetically unconventional as his audacious wares. Existing in a basement, The V-Store features wooden panels that hang loosely from the ceiling, revealing wild print that appears to move behind them as you walk by, and a literally earthy side room with a soil-covered floor. When not creating his bi-annual mens and womenswear collections, Vibskov in collaboration with Swedish Graphic designer Andreas Emenius, has launched a series of exhibitions, called ‘Fringe Projects’, over the past year. “Andreas and I experimented with all sorts of objects and techniques – performance, installations, magazines and video works,” explains Vibskov. “The central element of our work was hairy fringes. We covered everything in them; fringe beer, fringe family pictures with faces and walls fringed and jumping fringe trolls.” Their latest show was held at the Zeuws Museum in the Netherlands, where all ‘Fringe’ projects were exhibited while Vibskov and Emenius drove around the space in their “Fringe Car”.
Vibskov similarly invests his brilliantly eccentric fashion design with this spirit of experimentation. For Autumn/Winter 2009, Vibskov’s cinematic collection was refreshingly unlike anything else on the catwalk. Merging contrary themes, Vibskov pulled together a brave collection revealing Ahmish and circus inflections alongside hippie and early American settler style, with bold hats, make-up and Beetle Juice-like sets to complete the craziness. Taking his next step into creative diversity, Vibskov will soon be unveiling his ‘Fabric for Thought’ exhibition in Kolding, Denmark, and designing the stage set for the upcoming Roskilde Festival, where he will also be performing. The key to Vibskov’s unique vision? Not doing anything by the book. “I don't think about fashion and art and all their rules and systems, I just do things my way.”