Less Filling is an independent clothing brand by Sole Kulnarong, we caught up with Sole in her workshop set up in an idyllic finca in Ibiza to talk about the simple aesthetics in her designs and how each piece is handmade from start to finish
Formidable Magazine. First a little bit of history. How did Less Filling come to life? Sole Kulnarong. It seems that Less Filling started in my life asa personal project, I wanted to have a lifestyle set around a workshop. I picked the Less Fillingname as a reminder to simplify processes in order to express my inner world. It’s like a discipline, a kind of Zen practice. I studied Fine Arts and I tried different media, usually related to textiles. To me, silk-screen print was the closest to the urban aesthetic of those places I lived throughout my life. In 2014 I opened a workshop/gallery in Barcelona, since then it was an ongoing experimentation, searching for the fashion language of this city. Then, last year 2019, I decided to leave my workshop there and move to Ibiza, so it’s a new stage now.
F.M. Why Ibiza, how does the island intertwine with the brand? S.K. I was born on the island but I left when I was still a small child. So Ibiza became a lost paradise linked to my childhood memories. In a sense, I was fated to return here someday, so it just happened.
F.M. What are the influences behind your designs? S.K. Mainly textures, lines, and shapes that I adapt to pieces of clothing, I like clothes, fabrics, and their applications. I like to take a basic raw material and build my pieces from scratch, this way I can personally control every step of the process. Another big influence on my designs is graphics. Somehow I’m always with graphic designers and in cities packed with visual advertising. The details within those advertising graphics always fascinated me.
F.M. How is your design process, how is a collection conceptualized? S.K. It absolutely has to do with the present moment, I start choosing an image and starting the process in the workshop where everything changes and everything happens. I pointedly limit myself to the resources at hand, so I allow a big deal of serendipity to happen, of course, there is a certain method, but there is also a big deal of freedom in my work.
F.M. Your studio is in an idyllic finca in Ibiza, to what extent is this environment present in your work? S.K. It is a very quiet place, it takes me away from the noise of the city where, in fact, I usually get the input for my inspiration. We could say that right now I’m in a moment of transition. I’m getting away from the big city-inspired designs, and I’m working more and more with ideas that come to me after moving my workshop here.
F.M. Is the studio just a place for production or also inspiration is inherent to the studio space? S.K. It is totally the place of catharsis where I put together my ideas and everything comes to life. It is my temple.
F.M. Did you have a plan for the layout of your studio or did it develop Organically? S.K. In a way iI did. When I moved Less Filling to Ibiza from Barcelona I replicated the workshop I had back there which had been growing organically during the last 10 years. I needed to have the spirit of the place here in Ibiza exactly as it was.
F.M. How is a day in the life of Sole Kulnarong? S.K. Now, living in this place, on an island, in the countryside, it’s like a newfound rhythm in sync with nature. The city takes you away from that. Here everything is so quiet, it really feels that I am the one moving. So slowly but surely I’m getting everything I plan done, little by little every day.
F.M. What do you love and hate about Ibiza? S.K. I love that the unexpected is always around the corner here; the people you meet, situations you live, the natural environment, so inspiring… At some point, you realize that these are feeling, emotions, that you were looking for but you didn’t know, you were not aware of this need. This is a magic feeling. On the downside, sometimes is kind of difficult to integrate or to be accepted by the island.
F.M. Best and worst night out? S.K. The best would be live music on a huge stage. And the worst possible night out could be listening to radio music in my car.
F.M. What’s on your playlist? S.K. Grateful Dead,
F.M. Our motto is “A life less ordinary”, what makes life less ordinary/worth living? S.K. Honestly, I think life is less ordinary when you face in the most simple way, removing all the clutter around you and focusing on what is happening in the moment with determination and awareness. When you are in this mind frame, everything seems to come alive.