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A Forgotten Path

The audience sat with baited breath as Winde Rienstra sent her first model down the catwalk, chaperoned by men in suits, models were made to walk on what seemed like thirty centimeter high heels. 

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 18-07-2013

Who says fashion needs to be practical or wearable? Certainly not Dutch fashion designers such as Iris van Herpen, Marga Weimans or case in point, Winde Rienstra. Known for her extraordinary wooden constructions worn over tiny bodysuits, Rienstra slightly toned down her collection for her debut on the large Amsterdam Fashion Week runway, yet spiced it up with a series of entirely outrageous footwear.  

About the shoes Rienstra says: “It is a study in materials, taking a transparent material  that becomes ever-more translucent and combining it with other materials such as wood and metal, for me creates a beautiful image.” The shoes are laser cut from perspex and combined with wooden beads and studs.


A Forgotten Path is the name of Rienstra’s latest collection and refers to Russian dachas:

“I was inspired by these wooden houses in Russia which are richly decorated with flowers and woodwork. A lot of these houses have become abandoned as people used to visit these during spring but nowadays remain in the cities. The collection is about rediscovering your path and remembering how you once felt.”


In the slowest of tempos, models took to the catwalk one by one presenting ultra-mini dresses made of black or white felt with delicate, three-dimensional constructions and Rienstra’s characteristic laser-cut wood embellishments. A beautiful contrast came in the form of long, flowing gowns, with delicate floral prints. A romantic notion? “Yes, I think the Russian culture definitely has a sense of romance in it.”


An uplifting soundtrack or loud music weren’t necessary during this show. Instead a poem was read in Flemish and Russian. “It allows you to listen to the sounds instead of knowing the meaning of the poem. People may start wondering what the poem is about and that intrigues me.”


Eventually the collection came to it’s softest point as the bodysuit re-emerged, this time in a white silk with pink dip dye, little cloud-like shoulder pads and wooden accessories. 

A gasp could be heard backstage during the show and  the final model showed up without the platforms. A corset made entirely from wooden panels and covered in metal studs looked amazing as a study in proportions, even without the shoes. Finally we could focus on the clothing instead of worrying whether or not the model would make the final steps to the photographer’s pit sans chaperone.


Images by Peter Stigter

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