DSTM AW13 by Maxime BallesterosConsidering the validity of such design requires extreme study. Hidden behind fabrics, shadows depict the infinite longing for expression. Inch by inch the work of DSTM is measured and tailored to appear organically fitted. Using needles in the manner only a master could comprehend, this label envelopes the “outcast”, the fetish fondling foreground of our nature. Here is what head designer Jen Gilpin has to say about it all.

Dark and dreary fantasies linger through the gatherings of DSTM tweeds. When and under what circumstances was DSTM born?

I started the label around the same time that I met my fiancé, photographer Maxime Ballesteros. He started from the first collection to photograph the brand. Our twin aesthetics helped to form the brand image and direction.

Why ‘Don’t Shoot The Messengers’?

Originally it comes from a quote from Shakespeare. The brand represents and explores the unconscious and mercury is a symbol for the unconscious. You can see it or know it is there but once you try to touch it, it moves away from the finger. Mercury is the messenger for the gods, and the quote came out from there.

Sex and fetish seem to be of key importance to the formulation of your designs. What personally intrigues you to incorporate such elements into your work?

I like strength and elegance in clothing. Exposing and hiding skin and form, creates mystery and eroticism.

Your latest collection portrays a simplistic grasp. How do you conceive each project? Do you consider the delivery of each idea to be an easy or difficult task?

Each collection is a journey to a different realm or fascination. There are always points in the collection that can get more difficult than others, and there is always a point where the vision of the collection gets fused together and solidifies.

DSTM AW13 by Maxime BallesterosIs detail an important feature in your works or do you find it easier to mold as you move?

I love draping on the form directly, exploring with shape and form as I go. Craft and handwork are an important element as well; I love experimenting with different leather techniques and hand weaving to create unique texture.

Organic and seducing, your photographs give light to grandeur possibilities. Elements restricted to a measured reality. There must be a message that reaches further than the eye. Personal taste or life lessons?

With Maxime’s photography we explore images that are can be quite provocative or seductive and sometimes even disturbing or strange. We endeavor to create imagery that is outside the mainstream fashion photography, something to make you stop and fall into the image.

Women have been on the forefront of your focus. Do you consider menswear to be less interesting or simply unfitting to your label’s current philosophy?

I love womenwear because of all the possibilities of experimentation and of course the body wear/ lingerie aspects. I have done menswear collections in the past and plan to launch more in the future as well.

Death, the occult, evil, power, elegance and many more have been associated with the colour black throughout the years. Seeing that you have such a powerful attraction to it, what would be your personal interpretation?

Black is an absorbent color, for me it represents the internal aspects of self and thought, the darkness when alone with eyes closed. I love form and shape and black is a perfect base note to explore with in.

What’s next?

There are a few collaborations and video projects on the horizon. I am also excited about our new boutique on Zehdenickerstr, 25 in Berlin Mitte. We are planning some more events for the months to come while we are also working on some exciting custom pieces for different customers and artists.

DSTM AW13 by Maxime BallesterosDSTM AW13 by Maxime BallesterosDSTM AW13 by Maxime BallesterosDSTM AW13 by Maxime Ballesteros