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Mattijs steals the show at Prelude

For his A/W 2009-10 collection Blanco, Mattijs van Bergen puts his heart on his sleeve and goes back to basics, with the help of a blue point pen.

By Jeanne Tan / 04-02-2009

I HEART Fashion

The 'Blanco' collection from young designer Mattijs van Bergen was raw, personal and exquisite. Mattijs presented his A/W 09-10 collection along with five other designers at the Prelude show from the Dutch Fashion Foundation. The immediate response was that the designer had definitely put his heart on his sleeve - literally. Blanco explores Mattijs' love of fashion and his dedication to the art of making garments.

Calico, the material used by designers to make their first 'test' garment was used for most of the pieces, giving a feel of rawness and authenticity that the garments were somehow still in their original state. Mattijs drew patterns on his 'blank canvas' in pen, to tell the collection’s story, which gradually developed into intricate pleating details, constantly playing with optical illusion. The blue from the pen gradually seeps into the fabrics, as if the ink had taken a life of its own. Apart from his signature pleating, the collection combines shapes as sharp as a blank paper with more flexible, fluid and bending ones, adding up to an interplay of volumes throughout the whole collection. The pleated metal details, hand-crafted by Mattijs’ mother return in this collection. The heart-shaped details and forms represent Mattijs' love affair with fashion.

We finally pin down a quick chat with Mattijs who is recovering from the week that was Amsterdam International Fashion Week.

You say in your statement, "In a time of turmoil when the future is uncertain, Mattijs finds inspiration in the basis of his garments and in the dedication of making then." What is this basis you're returning to?

The base for me is the love I have for fashion, which is the foundation of the profession: patterncutting, tailoring and drape, the development of the garment.

Can you tell me a little more about the idea/process with the pleats and the drawings with a blue BIC pen?

I love fabric treatment, adornment and embellishment. Pleating works in so many different ways depending on the material. It can be super-fluent or hard like body-armour. For this collection I wanted to create embellishments that take very basic materials like calico and pens and use them in such a way the become something that has an high-fashion, almost couture-like quality.

What's your favourite piece in the collection and why?

I love the long dress with the layered pleating and the copper necklace, because it is soft and sharp at the same time and I love the necklace that my mother made for it.

How will fashion survive these tough times?
I think we should stay positive, look for personality in high fashion and finally all choose quality over quantity, because fashion can't stay the way it is. High street copies the heart out of all the beauty created by designers.

Photography: Peter Stigter

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