We have followed Swedish artist and creative force Emelie Törling for a long time and we’d love to share some of her thoughts on life, fashion and motherhood. We caught up with Törling in her moving studio, now based in Zurich, Switzerland.
You’re a singer, painter, jewellery designer and run an amazing instagram account, where do you find all that creativity?
I have a very large inner world, I’m run by my emotions and as you know, emotions change fast. I have a grand imagination and I think I’m just trying to get the things I have in my mind out in the real world.
When did you start painting, and what is the process like for you?
I’ve always painted but I spent unreal amount of time with it in New York while being at home with my daughter Anaïs. It was the only way for me to lay down pressure or expectations of myself and just be. The process is spontaneity. Being in the moment. If I plan ahead, it doesn’t become real and raw the way I want it too. Perfection means nothing to me. I choose colours at the spot and how to paint. I always know exactly when I’m done or what’s missing thought. Can’t tell how. I just know.
Who is your biggest source of inspiration?
Music, people, feelings. Movies. Human life.
Do you have an art experience you will never forget?
Going to Barcelona for the first time, 10 years old seeing Gaudi’s world. I was completely blown away. It was a life changing experience for me.
Your brand Leontine, which makes boots and jewellery embraces the imperfect, explain your vision!
Again, I love the imperfect. Old cowboy boots? That was my cup of tea and I re-designed them in my living room with vintage finds. It was for me at first, but as people asked me on the street I started my brand with a post it in LA when ten people asked me about the shoes, I gave them my email address and that’s how it began. I did the same with jewellery. Could not find what I wanted to wear so I got recycled silver and learned how to make rings. Got vintage old jewellery and remade them. A collection also came about together with my best friend and musician Tove Lo, as we’ve always wanted to collaborate.
You recently did a collaboration with fashion brand Philosophy, how did that come about?
The great British stylist Claire Richardson simply called me up, I’ve never spoken with her before, but she thought the boots that I make would be perfect for the runway of the Philosophy show she was working with, and simply asked me to remake boots for all the runway models.. It was a success and after that they wanted to produce them as a collaboration. They sold out completely.
Model Kate Moss wore a pair of boots designed by you, how did it happen and what was you reaction when noticing?
I remember this well. First I sent a pair of boots to amazing British stylist Katy England. Then she contacted me and wanted another pair because Kate wanted to borrow hers when they had been out drinking. Kate did not give them back, so Katy England wanted to give a pair for her as a Christmas gift. So I sent them immediately and then I woke up one day when the pictures of Kate in my boots were all over the news. Harper´s Bazaar covered it and I had to make 22 pairs by hand that Christmas. My first baby was only one year so she laid on the floor and we were renting a house in Woodstock, NY at the time. It was freakin stressful but when I look back it was just freakin amazing.
You have some very creative friends, including Tove Lo and Icona Pop duo Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt – did you all meet through your love for an artistic profession, or did you inspire each other to follow that path?
Me, Tove, Caroline and Aino all went to the same amazing music school: Rytmus. We formed a tight pact back then, lived in a collective together after we graduated, and are still together like hotdogs in a vacuum seal. Tove is the godmother of my firstborn, and I introduced Aino and Caroline together so they could start Icona Pop.
We’ve always had each other’s back and pushed each other with love and support. They all are extremely talented and amazing women. Despite success down to earth and brilliant.
Your home has crossed the Atlantic sea from Manhattan to Stockholm, and now to Zurich, what will you miss about the city? And what do you love about your new city?
I miss New York every day. Once been there you are obsessed. I miss the vibrations of all the people, the history, the noise, the everything. Zurich was a quick decision. I love the location. Two hours to Milano, 4 hours to Paris, 6 hours to Porto Fino and less than 1 hour to the best ski slopes in the world. For the kids its heaven. And the air. Wow. Yeah, as you hear I think it´s cool so far. But it’s not forever for us. Just a stop on our way.
Where is your favourite spot for catching inspiration?
Inspiration is being around people and experience life. Simple moments. It can be that I see something on the sidewalk when I drive that start to go nuts in my imagination. To be secluded is not where I thrive. I need to be in the heart of everything.
Where did you end up on a night out in New York, and with whom?
Karaoke bar in china town with my best friends. Or ending up at someone’s place because house parties will always be the best.
You have two daughters, Nico Anaïs and Gia Aymeline – what’s your biggest mission as a mum?
Raising them as the strong and independent girls that they are. Also to show them the world and that it´s theirs to conquer and to give them a happy loving childhood.
How would you describe your own style?
I love being comfortable and cannot think of going out in something that’s painful or itchy. I don’t obsess with trends. I love my boots, oversized shirts, tees, long coats and leather. I usually wear my husband’s clothes.
What’s your most treasured vintage find?
It´s a barn door/closet door from a famous old actress. It´s a crazy painting on it with a naked woman with a head as a pig. I saw it standing next to the highway as we were driving to Manhattan from upstate NY, I made a u-turn over and put it on the roof for a 100 bucks.
What’s a perfect accessory to you?
Something old from a loved family member, something my daughter has made or something Ive bought on a trip. Things that makes me smile when I look at them because it reminds me of something I love deeply.
What do you like about Oh My Eyes?
I love that they’re One for One, it´s sustainable and timeless cool frames.
How does the OH-13 frame match your style?
I picked them in less than one second when I saw them. I love the 60´s vibe. Thicker frames, brown and masculine.
Who do you think we should meet next and why?
You should definitely meet with Caroline Hjelt. She is brilliant extremely talented, witty, crazy beautiful and freakin stylish. And one of my best friends of course. She will look dope in Oh My Eyes and give an amazing interview.