HOMEWORK #27: MELITTA BAUMEISTER - CRASH Magazine
FASHION

HOMEWORK #27: MELITTA BAUMEISTER

By Alice Butterlin

Most of the world has been in lockdown for over a month now due to the COVID-19 crisis. A moment frozen in time, when people are faced with solitude, grief or anxiety and see their daily lives shift for the better or the worse. In this time of extreme uncertainty, we can also take the time to reflect, create and enjoy the passing of these strange elastic days. We thought it would be interesting to ask artists around the globe how their creative process has changed during the quarantine and if it has been an inspiring or rather daunting experience… with a quick snapshot of themselves in lockdown. Here we meet Melitta Baumeister, German fashion designer based in New York who crafts beautiful collections of monochrome pieces cut to perfection. Her clothing is stripped back, architectural, sometimes quite dark, but always wearable, draping the body in boxy oversized cuts. Discover how she is spending her days lately.

How has your daily life changed since lockdown began?

Living in New York, a usually sleepless city has come to a stop. It forces us to work remotely and more in a digital way. There is more time and space to think and pay attention. This is at least one positive aspect of this terrifying situation.

Have you had to rethink the way you create?

In a way it feels like back to basics. Working with what we have at hand. I´m using forgotten materials and trying to transform them into something useful. It’s a different type of creativity that is needed at the moment. For example, my team and I have remotely started a project: raising money for a donation of medical PPE for health institutions in our neighborhood of Harlem. We have designed masks that are produced by our independent contractors in the garment district, which is immensely suffering at this moment. For each purchase we are donating five medical masks to health centers, which we can get hold of through our networks. It’s been a great experience to see how we can utilize our skills, resources and infrastructure in a new way and actually make a change.

Did you realize anything in particular during this time?

Forcing myself to take time off is something I’ll have to remind myself once this is over.

Do you feel more inspired or paralyzed by the lockdown?

The dramatic impact of this virus on the world is undeniable and always in the foreground, but it is inspiring to see how the world seems to grow together a bit. How everyone seems to identify themselves that little bit more as part of a global community, that is inspiring!

Have you started or returned to any activities that you do not normally have time to do?

Meditation and cold showers!

What do you think you’ll take away from this shutdown?

That all of today’s biggest problems don’t respect any borders, and that each and every one of us is an essential part of the solution.

Are you worried?

Yes!

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