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Evelien van Pruissen

KABK fashion graduate is chosen to show at Who’s Next Paris later this month.

By Katie Dominy / 10-01-2013

As one of ten 2012 international graduates chosen for Who’s next Paris through its competition with the online platform Arts ThreadEvelien van Pruissen will have the opportunity to showcase her final collection created at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK). previously reported on Van Pruissen when she won the AVRO competition for fashion students in December 2010 and its clear the young designer’s track record for innovation continues. Van Pruissen’s menswear collection is rooted in early memories – we asked for more information. 

“Inspiration for this collection came from my childhood. I grew up with no brothers or sisters. This is something I've got used to, but it is something I have always missed. With this collection I created the family I never had. In every outfit there are elements of my childhood, pictures, colours, shapes. I mixed them all together to created a new image.”

Why did you decide to move to designing menswear?

“I never made a conscious decision to design menswear. The first year at art school I was convinced I was a womenswear designer. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had created a menswear collection. I think I like the fact that menswear is constructed out of a simple silhouette. Heritage and craftsmanship are very important elements in menswear. In womenswear it is about making the woman look pretty. When I create a collection I want to communicate my vision. I feel comfortable within the boundaries of menswear. I don’t thing I can communicate my vision through womenswear.”

Can you tell us about the stylistic and cultural influences that inspire you?

“For me there is no real answer to this question. I am a collector; I collect everything that interests me. This can be fabric swatches, vintage clothes, pictures, articles, stories, books and even objects I find at flea markets or on the street.  Just about anything. When I start working on a collection I start with a vague idea. I search through my stuff and look for connections between objects that I never noticed before. This is a spontaneous and intuitive process. While designing I use collage techniques to create designs. This gives me the possibility to be spontaneous, but at the same time to control it. This is how I arrive at a design. Inspiration comes from all sorts of places and in the end you cannot distil them from the design. Everything is mixed together to create a new image.”

What fabrics and techniques do you use?

“I love creating my own fabrics! For this collection I researched childlike drawing and painting techniques. A lot of the prints are drawn or painted by hand. I used lacquer and edding markers. I also tried to create my own sequins. This resulted in a textile created from a picture that I had laminated, cut into pieces and sewn onto a pair of trousers. Colour is also very important to me. Most of the time I dye my own fabrics.”

Do you feel your designs have a ‘Dutch’ quality to them?

“No I don’t think they do. I don’t feel very Dutch. I hate cheese, and I dislike a lot of other typical Dutch things. I don’t feel strongly connected to the Dutch culture. Nevertheless I was born and raised in the Netherlands. So somewhere unconsciously there must be something Dutch about my designs. I cannot objectively analyse my own work in that way.”


Evelien van Pruissen will be in the FAME area of Who’s Next Paris, January 19-22 2013 at Porte de Versailles, Paris.

Main image:  Jean Poodle
Other images: 1.-2. Photography by Jean Poodle 3.-5. Photography by Ron Stam 

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