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Since their debut at the SS21 London Fashion Week, conceptual fashion house Maxxij has communicated an adventurous play of self-expression. Each collection presents a vision as experimental and refined as the next. Drawing a particular focus on high craftsmanship, menswear structure and tailoring, the designs push the capacities of volume and space. Composed with an equally meticulous alchemy, enigmatic runways and campaigns bring the collections to life, where Maxxiji transfigures a “suffocating nervous energy” into a captivating experience. We talk to the fashion designer below.
Welcome to METAL! Can you introduce Maxxij to our readers?
Hello! METAL readers, happy to meet you. My name is Maxxij , and I’m a fashion designer. I studied at the London College of Fashion and upon graduation, launched my brand Maxxij. Maxxij is a conceptual fashion house with destructive and experimental designs. Launched in the Autumn of 2017, Maxxij’s artistic vision focuses on high craftsmanship with futuristic and boundary-pushing aesthetics. The brand debuted at London Fashion Week in the SS21 season, and I have just finished my third show for the AW22 season. Focusing on menswear structure and tailoring, Maxxiji collections feature avant-garde silhouettes, technically strong details, multi fabric constructions and an innovative combination of colours. We value diversity and boundary breaking
Your work operates in such an experimental sector, what is the backstory to this innate creativity? Did you have much of a creative upbringing?
Design work to me is an art something that my spirit can partake in, a process of birth and death continually repeating, a medium where I can express sensuality, aesthetics, observation, imagination, captivation, obsession and euphoria. I chose fashion as the language through which I communicate with the world. And Maxxij is the story that I want to tell through that language. Maxxij is a physical expression of my sensory world as a designer. It is intimately connected to my life at that very moment, and directly reflects my design journey. I experienced different cultures at the early stages of my life. Then, I realised that there are so many different walks of life going on in this world, and I was always curious about life and existence since I was a child. And I was eager to visualise my own world of senses and ideas.

Your collections embody the idea that the act of wearing fashion itself could be an act of art. Would I be right to assume that runways and campaigns provide a focal point for your collections? In the sense that they allow the designs to come to life. 
I always think of the runway show while I'm working on the process of creating the collection. I believe that my thoughts and ideas are expressed best through the runways to communicate and give experience to others. I decided to become a high fashion designer because I was captivated by the suffocating nervous energy and tense atmosphere of the runway.
In Maxxij’s s recent collection for Autumn/Winter 2022 London Fashion Week, we’re presented with a blend of conceptual, sartorial and utilitarian aesthetics. Can you tell us some more about the vision behind the collection?
In the Autumn/Winter 2022 season, I tried to express the exquisite moment of the new aesthetic that Maxxij pursues, which can be visualised as abstract forms that have exaggerated twisting and crumpling. I worked on the collection with the aim of creating new dimensions by collecting aesthetic moments that arise from studying the human body and abstract forms.
In this collection in particular, but also within many Maxxij designs, we see a focus on menswear structure and tailored garments approached with a more playful and experimental touch. As a South Korean brand is this in any way a comment on the formal attire that sweeps the county’s highly-rivalled business district? Or rather, just an inferred parallel?
I don’t know. I'm just not afraid of using fashion as a medium to try destructive and experimental designs. I love using offbeat fabrics in bold colour combinations to construct my own form.

When looking at Maxxij collections, many designs present an almost added dimension, with their exaggerated shaping and silhouettes. How do you utilise volume and space within your work?
Through an oblique point of view I first deconstruct, and then redefine the parts and rearrange them to come up with new outcomes. The ultimate goal is to find my own dimension. By giving it my own twist, a never-before-seen beauty arises. I spend a lot of time on approaching pieces from different angles, both in a conceptual way and physically. I move around and see how it looks. My daily life is a continual cycle of thinking sensually, creating, laying it out, sitting with it, re-assemblance, lining up, wearing, documenting again.
I lay the individual pieces out and get a feel for the relationship among them. I see the forest, not the trees, so to speak. Because at the end of the day it is the relationship among individual pieces that defines the collection. Once I get a good feel for the relationship, I experiment with different groups to create a look and then test out various range plans to decide on a final lineup.  I love to suggest a new structure beyond conventional clothing, the messages that I want to send are a structural experiment, geometric and abstract aesthetic, a new relationship between the human body and garments and openness to diversity.
In your 2021 collection, Escapist, you address the breaking of boundaries moving forward to the new and unpredictable tomorrows. With such an experimental, and going-against-the grain approach to your designs, did you ever face any boundaries to your own creativity? Whether that’s within an institution, or the industry at large.
I think good design, good art is something never seen before, but at the same time is very cathartic (because it resonates with something unexpressed inside you and provides relief). It is not always easy to meet this moment. I always fight with the boundaries of my own creativity creating the collection. It is a laborious process where I enjoy every single minute of it. I want the creative journey to be a bit more enjoyable overall. It is painstaking, creatives push their lives to extreme anguish (but I believe that some of that anguish does come through their work.) I wish I could stay in the moment where I truly feel like myself. Whether it’s the temporo-spatial instant, or the emotional space.
And finally, looking forward, what does the future look like for Maxxij?
I wish Maxxij could be an adventurous play of self-expression for the present and the future, that many people can partake in together. I want to preserve the world’s creativity. I want to empower people to express their creativity and loudly voice themselves.


Words
Tiarna Meehan

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