Soulland designer Silas Adler is a young man with an old soul. He founded the Danish menswear line while still a teenager, and sharpens his quirky sartorial skills with every season. The new collection is called 5th and Events, and the lookbook is quite obviously a lesson in street-corner dressing. We spoke with Adler yesterday about the hybrid headgear, smoking pipe pendants and Sherlock Homles capes he has lined up for spring 2010; about the importance of cross-dressing and why the Copenhagen-based designer is leaving his hometown behind next season.
So you’re moving to Paris?
Yes I’m moving in a month. I really can’t wait to get out of Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a really small city and there are benefits to that, but it can easily feel like a village. I’m excited to go to a place that’s bigger with new inspiration, just to see how things are and learn a new language too.
People here either go to London or New York, so it’s easy to end up in this little group of Danish people. Paris is a little bit more complicated—there’s a new language but also I really love the city. It always makes me feel like I’m a little in love.
The accessories for Soulland spring 2010 are genius.
The hats were made at this factory here in Copenhagen. It’s been around since 1946 and they’ve been doing handmade hats for all kinds of people. Now there’s only one guy left at the workspace, he took the place over from his dad 40 years ago. I just went there and had a chat with him about this idea we had for a fedora—basically instead of a brim all the way around, it has a peak like a cap. He was said that in his 40 years of making hats he’d never seen anything like it.
It’s a pretty unique cap-fedora hybrid.
Exactly. People have been going crazy for it.
Have you been wearing it?
I wear it quite often and people always ask me about it. They go on sale today actually. Because they’re handmade, there’s a limit on how many we can put out at one time. We made 20 to begin with, and they’re going to be released in a shop here in Copenhagen called Storm. We thought about waiting until the rest of the collection comes out in the spring, but the hats were causing such a stir we figured we better put them out, since they will probably be copied sooner or later.
What about the pipe pendants?
We did the pipes together with a 100-year-old factory and this jewelry designer named Vibe Harsløf. Some of the capes you see in the show have buttons made out of the same wood that was used for the pipes.
What drew you to the pipes?
The last year has really been a rollercoaster—good and bad stuff kept happening, like the whole financial crisis. All of a sudden the world is a different place. I wanted to mix this vibe with menswear from fifty years ago. As a result, We spent so much more time on quality—all the lining and piping and details on the inside. I think a lot of new designers with a street/contemporary background forget that a piece of clothing has to be nice and durable all the way around.
We noticed that there were girls in the show at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Have you started doing women’s wear?
No, we haven’t—but I’m not the one to tell people how to dress or not to dress. I mean I love classical menswear but people tend to take themselves very seriously. My job is figuring out how to bring down boundaries, and how to push things while keeping a connection with the past. You can be classical but you can’t be boring, and that’s what we try and do.