Wednesday, 17 October 2012

worthwhile reinvention of tradition

You know how I could go mad about gifted new talents,
so when I spotted Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse's graduation
work I was utterly dazed and confused.
Stefanie is the young and dexterous fashion designer
capable of combining high-tech solutions with dainty
handcrafting putting into practice the richness of her
homegrown traditions in clothing through a 
post modernistic approach.

She recently graduated from London's Kingston
University with a superb project she called “Luctor
et Emergo” (I struggle and distinguish myself, literarily
translating from Latin) which is the proud motto on
the coat of arms of her native province of Zeeland,
the westernmost of the Netherlands.

Zeeland's coat of arms shows a lion emerging from
water being the large part of its territory below sea
level (the defense system against flooding made of
dams, floodgates and surge barriers can actually be
listed as one of the seven modern wonders of the
world and nearly equal in scale to China's great wall)

and that was the starting point for acknowledging 
her region's generous heritage.

Stefanie reinvented traditional knitted garments and
bonnets with large triangular flaps skillfully using a
combination of craftwork and modern-day methods
such as laser cutting (she made a name for herself
creating last year a sumptous dress from plywood)

or mixing fine fabrics and other materials like MDF
and perspex to put up stunning sculptural headpieces
that at a glance make me think of Iris van Herpen
and Úna Burke works.

Nieuwenhuyse had the chance to prove herself last
month at the Vauxall Fashion Scout show in Covent
Garden's Freemasons' Hall captivating the audience
with her chunky knits and labor-intensive silk and
leather outfits marking her rise to prominence.
Check the Behance network to fully appraise her
spellbinding knack for fashion design: 
you'll love her ways and means, too.

> all images © by Ezzidin Alwan/Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse <

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