In her collection based on the mythical and folktale phenomenon of shapeshifters, Swedish designer Maya Sundholdm studies the breaking point where a garment essentially changes its wearer's silhouette and appearance, via developing her own technological and material-crafting processes.

WORDS BY THE AUTHOR / By combining my knowledge of textile design with my knowledge of sewing, draping and pattern construction, I create garments with heavy influences of handicraft. I would describe my process as an emotional storytelling, meaning that I design for myself by myself and I am my own worst critic. I question everything, the how, where, when and why and  from there I build my creative world. I find it important for me to create these storylines not only to have as a guidance and base in my different projects but also to bring in the elements of fun and excitement throughout the whole process. Trying to work as instinctively and intuitively as I can, I  strive to uncover and represent the emotions, history and memories that are embedded within colours and materials. The more you can play around, the better the story


ABOUT THE OmniChi COLLECTION / Being given the umbrella theme Magic for this project, I continued my research and linked it to the phenomenon of shapeshifting. What fascinated me was its history, which has connections to the oldest types of totemism and shamanism, medieval folklore as well as the oldest existing literature and epic poems such as the Iliad. However, the phenomenon still occurs in contemporary modern fictional contexts such as literature and film. I’m finding inspiration in various movies such as the American series Grimm and in the Marvel cinematic universe films as well as contemporary artists such as Dan Lam and Shia Langen. 


In my research, I was drawn to a combination of something natural, real and familiar and something more illusory, futuristic – like science fiction. I focused on three different sequences of events simply explained as a fluid, a dynamic and a static. I wanted to see if I could build a collection  based around those few seconds in a transformation where something goes from one thing to  something unrecognizable. The purpose of the collection is to illustrate that the female body has been dressed in such a way that controls some form of change of position – that the body remains in different ways but the garments give the appearance of something new, that something has changed.

I describe the collection as the ability to physically change appearance; melt down, reconstruct and transform oneself. The moments where transformation occurs and the persona liquifies into  something unfamiliar to then take form as something new; a characteristic reincarnation. 

With materials and material developing being the main focus in my debut collection, OmniChi, I found myself mixing a lot of my previous experience and was heavily influenced by art and  performance art. I developed a deeper understanding for knitting, which is something I want to  learn more about, as well as a more experimental and almost chemical exploration of textiles by  working with silicone and its abilities.


The collection uses knitting in a technique called floats, essentially dropping the loops while  knitting on a domestic knit machine. The material is a mixture of wool, linen and cotton,  intertwined in my own mixture to create the colour and texture in the garment. I have created a dress completely made out of silicone. This one was an experience to say the least. Giving myself the challenge to create a garment without sewing was fun and exciting but also  challenging, with a lot of trials and errors.


The base of the dress is silicone manipulated with water, creating separations in its surface. The detailing pearls are also made of silicone and the patches grading in colour from green to black are made with a technique called flock or flocking.  

For my printed look, I created a pattern inspired by different nature elements such as water and the ridges in wood. Wanting to accentuate the pattern more, I found using spikes as an adornment to work the best. Combining the two as well as the padding in the shoulders, I could create a garment  representing a more static and hard expression, fitting well into the vision of this collection.


BIO / MAYA SUNDHOLM @sundholmmaya is a twenty-one year old Stockholm-based fashion designer who is currently studying BA Fashion Design at Beckmans College of Design. 

In her design, she focuses mainly on experimentation, sustainability and material manipulation. As a  designer, she’s captivated by nature’s many qualities; structure, motion and lines as well as the  form and motion of the body and bodily relationships towards garments. 

Maya often finds the materials the most interesting about her work and is fascinated by the tacit knowledge held within materials that allow textiles to become a blank canvas for untold stories and alternative  narratives.  


Art Direction / Alva Nylander, Alexander Peri, Eric Rösmark, Hedvig Moberg,  Joel Eriksson, Linnea Jacobson, Tuva Larsson 

Retouch / Linnea Jacobson 

Render / Hedvig Moberg 

Photography / Valtýr Daregard 

Models / Alice Vondeling, Select models stockholm Felicia Kerje, MIKAS stockholm 

HMU / Anna-Lena Svensson , Julia Ax, Amela Raghe



Art Direction / Alva Nylander, Alexander Peri, Eric Rösmark, Hedvig Moberg, Joel Eriksson, Linnea Jacobson, Tuva Larsson 

Cinematography / Stellan Runge  

Models / Aline Bennour, Icons Agency , Alexandra Wallner, Icons Agency Eunice Owolabi, Fiiri Agency 

HMU  / The makeup institute Stockholm 

Uwera Honorine 

Zoey Maleficent 

Cynthia Cidrao 

Anissa Guedra

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