The Artist Is Present! El Perro Del Mar on Fashion, Creativity, and Collaboration – Vogue

In Gvasalia, Assbring found a like-minded collaborator with an almost psychic ability to select the right piece for the right moment. “I’m so happy that he chose them, he kind of read our minds when it came to where we were going and what we wanted to create,” says Assbring. “Sometimes, a song isn’t enough; there are things that music cannot express. Fashion and its visual aspects can go where music cannot.” The boundary-pushing nature of Gvasalia’s collections aligns with Assbring’s perspective. “I’ve always felt like other forms of artistry have had more of a direct influence on me than music,” she says. “In every industry, there are anarchists, that one person who takes risks and breaks from the norm, and Demna has done that within fashion, which I’ve found extremely inspiring. I’m proud to have been just a little part of all that.”

The Artist Is Present El Perro Del Mar on Fashion Creativity and Collaboration
Photo: Gustaf Nilsson and Nicole Walker

A rebellious spirit is a requirement for Assbring’s collaborators, and for the track “Alone in Halls,” she sought out the elegant vocals of a fellow “one-man band” innovator, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes. “Devonte’s voice was just something that I heard inside of me when I worked on it,” says Assbring. “I thought it was something that felt almost like a choral piece, and I wondered what our voices would sound like together.” The song was recorded mid-summer at the height of the anti-police violence protests in the United States and across the globe. “You can almost feel the tension in Devonte’s voice,” says Assbring. “With the urgency of the protests, I didn’t want to bother him about the song. When he eventually sent through his vocals, they were so powerful, and even though it’s this short, almost ambient song, it holds so much emotion. To have Devonte be on that track was such a complete honor; he’s truly a multi-talented artist.”

The Artist Is Present El Perro Del Mar on Fashion Creativity and Collaboration
Photo: Gustaf Nilsson and Nicole Walker

The dedication and passion that each artist brought to the EP is something Assbring wants to see more of. With streaming services making it harder for artists to make a living and the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, she’s found 2020 challenging. Still, she’s hopeful for what the future holds. “Maybe we can be free in the way we think about music,” says Assbring. “Be spontaneous, lawless, and a little bit of an anarchist. Everything has become so corporate, and the art gets lost. We need to ask ourselves what we truly want now.” 

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