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Petra de Jonge goes solo

Armed with years of experience at various international fashion houses, Petra de Jonge finally launches her own designer label in Paris.

By Katie Dominy / 25-02-2009

Fashion designer Petra de Jonge has recently launched her own designer label at the Paris fashion fair Who’s Next. Although a new name to consumers, De Jonge is, at 38 years old, a well-known designer in the Paris fashion world - a ‘designer’s designer’, so to speak.

Petra de Jonge’s autumn/winter 2009/10 collection is influenced by the morphing relationship between nature, the human being and technology. She is fascinated by the relationship between contemporary art/architecture and nature, constantly searching for new shapes and fabric effects that remind her of the forests of her youth. Strong contrast is important in her work. Jersey sleeves balloon out, pleats structure the silhouette and the silhouettes envelop the body. Oversized mohair knits and fabrics cocoon and are contrasted with silk and leather. Jacquard knits take on the appearance of insect shells, which mimic biker chic in a new way. The colours - muted tones of pewter, nut brown, mole grey and plum - are derived from forest landscapes where de Jonge originally came from in the eastern part of The Netherlands .

A graduate of the Arnhem Academy of Art and Design, De Jonge's talent was recognised early on, winning the Smirnoff award for best fashion graduate of 1995. She first spent four years working at Kenzo, developing a strong technical knowledge of prints, knit jacquards, fabric development and colours. After Kenzo, De Jonge became head assistant at Barbara Bui for five years, where she multi-tasked, looking after the womenswear line, as well as designing the first footwear and handbag collection for the brand. She continued at Marithe + Francois Girbaud, creating new fabrics and silhouettes.

Petra de Jonge’s collection is made in Italy to ensure high-end quality and craftsmanship. Her focus is on wearable but interesting items for the woman who appreciates luxury without being too conformist. She is working on developing a network of high-end multi-brand stores in France and globally.

Photography: Etienne Boyer

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