Beauty that draws you in, wraps itself around you and gently squeezes; the feeling of all-encompassing happiness. It’s difficult to explain what Daniel Ramos Obregón wishes to express with his work. I found myself experiencing a bit of the much-talked about Stendhal Syndrome. And it isn’t only his work that amazes, it extends to his personality such that getting to know Daniel explains his work to the last detail. The ideas begin to come together, naturally, organically. It’s so simple, warm and kind that we can feel the purity and truth behind it. Naked, without anything to dress it up.
I like to believe in coincidence, in luck, that by doing what’s right and listening to the world around you, things will be easier. And setting aside astral connections, with Daniel, that day, it all went so smoothly, getting to know his people, a bit of Colombian folklore, the first-hand explanation behind his creative process, it was indeed an experience. That’s why, before going any further, I’d like to thank my fellow writer, Anabel Cuervas, who first suggested interviewing Daniel and put us in touch during my last trip to London, she hit the nail on the head. We here at So Catchy! would never have been able to capture the essence of his creations without having seen them first hand. We’d like to thank Daniel Ramos Obregón, the talented young Colombian and look forward to his future success. And we’ll be here to help if he needs it; when a talent is born, it lights up everything around it and besides that, there’s not much more we can say. We’ll let our interview with him at his home in London do the rest of the talking.
So Catchy!: With ‘Outrospection; The body and Mind’ you’ve mixed performance with dance and of course, your pieces. How do you plan on moving forward with this multidisciplinary approach?
Daniel Ramos Obregón: I think life is like a very complex constellation where everything is connected to everything else. There’s nothing more fulfilling both professionally and personally than to work with other people’s approaches and points of view, it helps broaden one’s understanding of things. Because of this, I definitely want to keep exploring the relationship that exists between the fashion industry and other forms of artistic expression, especially dance and performance. I believe these two share a common interest for understanding and exploring the essence of the being, the body and the human psyche.
SC!: Tell us about your creative process, in general, and more specifically about your last project. How did it come about?
DRO: I did my BA in Design with a focus on Communication Design which is the reason why I have developed a strong need for telling stories in my work. For me it is important that everything I do has a reason behind it and that every element has something to communicate. Usually my creative process begins with a visceral interest of mine and I try to work the theoretical and visual references until I come up with a core concept. Then I do mood-boards in order to contextualize the concept, with these you can create all sorts of visual and sensorial worlds to shape your ideas which I try to feed with as many references as I can from photography, scientific illustrations, movies, dance pieces etc. With this last project, I looked at the importance of the materiality of objects, their properties and their limits in order to create dialogues to help understand how to make things and to push the boundaries of the techniques you are using. Some of the pieces came together directly from the sketches but others did come out of spending time in the workshop and playing around with materials, which was very new and special to me.
SC!: Can you tell us about the material that you chose, the porcelain? Would you like to continue researching and using it in the future?
DRO: Yes, definitely! I think that all four materials that I used in this collection will be present in my future work for a while, but with porcelain I developed a very unique relationship as it provided some interesting feedback to the concept I was working with. I have a strong interest in how people build their individual identity and part of this project seeks to explore this by looking at the relationship between body and mind. At first, the decision to work with porcelain was almost on a whim and for aesthetic purposes but during the process I found this sort of analogy between the material’s properties and the construction of one’s identity. I used slip porcelain, which comes in a liquid state ready to be moulded and shaped into pretty much anything. Once the slip has been cast, dried out and fired, the porcelain becomes very strong and almost impossible to work with but it also becomes extremely fragile and delicate creating a beautiful dichotomy between its properties. If we think about it, our identities are very malleable in the early stages of our lives and as we grow up, it starts setting down roots in our personality and in the way we are, but as solid as we think it is, it will always be very fragile and susceptible to external stimuli.
SC!: What is the concept of ‘outrospection’ (as elaborated by Roman Kznaric) all about? Why is it important to you?
DRO: I’ve always had the need to be in constant movement. For me, it’s very important to have contact with as many cultures, peoples and different perspectives as I can. I see ‘Outrospection’ as a way to break out of individualism; it is by collectivism that we can grow exponentially and nourish ourselves. I understand ‘Outrospection’ as a way of shaping oneself through one’s own experiences as well as those of other’s.
Want to see more from Daniel Ramos Obregón? Check out Outrospection.
SC!: Are there any designers, artists or anyone else really who you admire?
DRO: So many people… Greek artist and choreographer Dimitis Papaioannou’s body of work currently fascinates me.
SC!: What do you think is missing in the world of fashion?
DRO: More emotional and intellectual appropriation of the products we use, we live in crazily high consuming society. I find the whole sustainable consciousness idea behind the Slow Fashion movement very exciting; I think we are starting to move towards a place where we need to find the balance between technological and hand crafted processes.
SC!: Tell us about your upcoming plans.
DRO: I’m focused on getting the most out of my collection at the moment. There are many things starting to happen with it as it’s been very well received, especially on digital platforms. Because my pieces were proposed as wearable art objects I want to keep exhibiting them as much as I can within the context of a gallery, I want people to see the amount of work behind them and hopefully to engage with them emotionally and intellectually. I’ve been selected to showcase my collection in June at the FashionClash Festival in Maastricht, which is very exciting, and you’re more than welcome to come! And there are a couple of projects and collaborations that I’m starting to work on so I’ll keep you up to date on my whereabouts.
SC!: And finally, do you have a dream that right now is unattainable but you’d love to achieve some day?
DRO: I wouldn’t say unattainable because I think that you can achieve whatever you want if you work really hard at it. As a matter of fact I find myself doing things that a couple of years ago I would have never thought possible. But I would definitely like to get more industry experience within jewellery and product development for luxury brands such as Givenchy, Margiela or Rick Owens. I’d also like to reach out more to the world of dance and hopefully collaborate with choreographers or companies at some point doing commissioned performance props. I think maybe the unattainable lies in being able to do everything at once!
Want to see more from Daniel Ramos Obregón? Check out Outrospection here
Translation and layout by Michael Padilla