Words by Juule Kay
The world is changing, and with it, a new generation of trailblazers is taking over. In our new monthly series E-MERGING, we introduce the people adding to the cultural moment with their creative minds, new ideas and unique approaches. It’s a glimpse behind the scenes, a way to dig deeper and look beyond the picture-perfect outcome we’re swamped with every day.
[Maison Taskin] is not your typical fashion brand. It’s a hybrid of tradition and progressive style, bridging both the physical and the digital world. “I design for ambiverts like me who are a bit shy offline and more extroverted online,” says Taskin Goec who started the brand in 2016 while studying at Kunsthochschule Weißensee. Back then, the choice of name was rather ironic. “As a fashion design student in Berlin, I was the total opposite of a traditional French heritage house,” he recalls. For the 26-year-old, Maison Taskin is a universe of its own, a creative outlet to experiment and rethink what else fashion can be.
As a result, his creations alternate between tradition and technology. Embracing the relentless quest for the new, yet weaving in his hard-earned fashion knowledge. “I am not only a designer of garments, but also a designer of ideas,” he says. For his latest collection, Maison Taskin brought together physical clothes with a virtual aura you can only see on the screen. What sounds like an elaborated form of nostalgia-filled mood rings is, in fact, a creative approach to show how our identities are interconnected. “I feel like who I am online influences who I am offline and vice versa,” he explains. “The online world feels like a frivolous party compared to the physical reality, which comes with limited resources.” With his fashion brand, Goec does not only play with the idea of how identity changes in a digitalized world, but also creates clothing that coexists in both realities.
But digital fashion is a craft that comes with boundaries.“Since it’s still a new practice, it’s up to us creators how to build our workflows,” explains the artist, who sometimes spends nights scrolling through chat forums on the hunt for the right online tutorial. Instead of sculpting a digital item like a piece of clay, Goec rather works with 2D pattern making, and sews the pieces together in order to create volume. “It’s an active decision to take some traditions into the virtual space,” he says. “For me, digital and physical both speak to the same desires, that’s also why they work so well together.”
As a matter of fact, it’s the so-called *spaces of desire*, the digital fashion designer always comes up with first. For his graduate collection, it was a technological swamp that became the home of his otherworldly characters and designs. “It’s a bit of science fiction in the sense of a prediction or a mirror of society,” he continues to explain. “This digital swamp was about a post-capitalist society that neglects everything new, but cherishes the things that have a history to it.”
When talking about the future, Maison Taskin wants to bridge both of our realities––the virtual and the material. “I hope that digital fashion will become a cultural practice that connects the objects you buy and wear to different spaces to create a kind of glitch.”
Your computer crashed, and you can’t use the internet for a whole day. What do you do?
I take the S-Bahn to go to the swamplands around Berlin.
Real talk! How many realities do exist for you?
There is an infinite number of individual realities, but there are only a handful of collective realities. To me, it’s mostly two: the physical and the virtual, and I believe that both are equally real.
You’re having a one-on-one with one of the characters you created. What’s the first thing they say to you?
They’d probably ask me to build a physical vessel for them to inhabit to also walk in our reality. To me, they are real people with human names. They even have different personalities, some are more courageous and explorative, and others are a bit more introverted.
What’s the one thing that always gets you distracted?
Food and thirst traps.
Is there something that only exists digitally that you wish would exist IRL, too?