Since 2012 Leon Emanuel Blanck has been creating designs in his atelier in Germany. His artistic path is guided by an original concept that he calls Anfractuous Distortion. A sombre and anti-conformist style resulting from working in three dimensions, based on the interaction between materials and the human body. Recently, Leon has expanded his artistic horizon beyond fashion, applying his unique approach of artistic expression to sculpture and other design projects such as jewellery.
Descending from the anti-fashion movement of the 1990s, Leon Emanuel Blanck launched his eponymous label in 2012. That same year, the brand opened its studio in Heidelberg, Germany. Today, his collections are available in niche destination stores, such as hide[m] (Munich), Lab Store (London), Wolfensson (Vienna), BoutiqueW (Tokyo) or H.Lorenzo in Los Angeles.
Leons’ work is part of the permanent exhibition in the Hamburg Museum of Art and Crafts, next to some of the most respected names in the fashion industry, such as Thom Browne and Rei Kawakubo. Subculture publications like StyleZeitgeist have written about his work, and so have mainstream media outlets such as “Welt am Sonntag” and many more. Today, he is an integral part of the avant-garde scene of Paris Fashion Week and the niche culture of non-conformist fashion.
Like clothing, sculptures are each created as an expression of his Anfractuous Distortion universe, where every piece represents an extension of its original concept. Drapings, lines, reflections – all are called upon to transport his obsession with volumes, movement, and materials onto physical objects, clothes, sculptures, and more. Each creation exudes a sense of abundance, strong presence, and substance.
All pieces are made from high-quality, sometimes exotic, often unique materials. Leon has worked with carbon & glass fiber, non-tearable PU military fabrics, parachute material, kevlar fiber knits and metal weaves, gold plating as a leather coating, resin, and more. His cuts are modern, organic, and sophisticated, rich in detail, yet naturally minimalistic and subtle.
Every single piece comes from the hands of skilled artisans in Leons’ atelier in Berlin, Germany. Some of the intricate garments take up to 70 hours and numerous production stages to be completed. In an industry and era where the tactile connection between the garments and their creator seems to have vanished, Leon Emanuel Blanck aims to revive an appreciation and nourishment of craftsmanship, constructing anatomically inspired patterns that are meticulously merged back together.
Each piece goes through a complex yet elegantly simplistic process: From idea to concept to finished product, the form is de-constructed into a pattern after a unique shaping technique performed on the human body dictates the final construction of the garment. A large, geometric form, led by the human body’s organic anatomy, emerges from the process, similar to the process of creating a sculpture. The final piece can only be created through the destruction of the original body cast.
The finished piece appears both solemn and sober. Entirely cohesive, its complexity is apparent only in the meticulous bends, applied lines, and the markings of the artisans’ hands.
Human physiology is centered around the body – its anatomy, studied for centuries, continually changing and shape-shifting in its ever-flowing evolution is the core idea around which the concept of “ANFRACTUOUS DISTORTION” revolves. It is an interplay of anatomy, motion, and shape. The entire creative process is based on a conversation between fabric, body, movement, and Leon’s mind. It is a constant back and forth between force and flow — harsh edges against flowing lines.
ANFRACTUOUS DISTORTION is about constructing body-sculptures, self-drapery, and perpetual motion of the subject. All patterns are drawn and created by Leons’ hand. Leon draws inspiration mostly from nature and organic structures such as leaves or veins with a dash of science-fiction and post-apocalyptic allure. Working directly on and with the body, Leon cuts each draped sculpture into individual sections, creating a prototype pattern, ultimately becoming a humanized garment. Seeing the body as a whole, symmetry is never relevant, as is the established categorization of pieces as upper and lower halves. The resulting construction is a purist manifest of deeply technical sartorialism achieved through extrapolated patterns, in which no element is ever repeated.
Silhouettes are body hugging with a dystopian allure and embrace the beauty of natural imperfection. The sculptural forms and shapes remind one of a hollow man. Wearing Leons’ clothes can feel like wearing someone else’s body – an intense and explicitly sensory experience. The feeling of protection, a second skin, an entirely organic representation of what a garment can be is the result of this approach. There are only so many techniques, methods, and ways to make a piece of clothing, and ANFRACTUOUS DISTORTION is an entirely original one, unique in execution and outcome.