Having trained in textiles and sewing at the School of Fine Arts in Rotterdam I have been living in France since 1984. Between 1984 and 2000 I worked as a model and at the same time won numerous fashion design awards, after which I began to create collections under my own name.
This is my story: I’m a designer making textiles and clothing that personally resemble me. They communicate my own poetic impression of the world and offer a sublime vision that makes use of beautiful materials, combinations of soothing hues, remarkable ornamental elements and fluid fabrics that evoke elegance and well-being.
Today’s economic market is favours mass production, swiftly and crudely executed in manner that limits the traditional quality and conventions of pert-a-porter. I have seen this happen first-hand and have suffered from the experience. Our society consumes with such outrageous speed. Frustrated by this realisation and trapped in a system that I can no longer support, I have tried to imagine an alternative that aligns with my personal aspirations and allows me to develop my collections far from the strictures of this devastating consumer culture.
My new collection has all been produced locally to me, using European fabrics and recycled elements. It’s a direct response to my frustration with consumerism and my own passion for recycling.
The term concept might be overused in marketing, but it nevertheless allows me to describe what I’m trying to do: moving away from a world dedicated to women, men and children and instead being true to the textures and moods for which I’m known. Each unique element has been developed in the same decorative fashion, from pillows, lamps and bags to pouches and blankets. The jewellery also employs this new philosophy; made from the lace and pearls of old milliners. I’m offering a second life to items that would otherwise be wasted, discarded or forgotten. I’m proposing more than a collection and attempting to exceed the notion of fashion, to champion a style that celebrates the quality and history of an object. The line maintains my offbeat style and is perfect for everyday wear.
These collections allow a simpler method of manufacture, less complex than classic collections, because each component piece of fabric can be used from season to season, transposed from summer to winter and vice versa. This approach also allows me to work more closely with my clientele, to be able to listen closer and produce personal items without lengthy lead-times. The other advantage of this method is the way it has enabled me to collaborate with local seamstresses, whose trade would usually be insufficient to pay the bills.
With them on board we are able to create a true social enterprise. I support the growing shift to an economy that’s circular, lasting, local and collaborative and close to my philosophy of life.
And now I feel happier.