Q+A with Pauline van Dongen | §tereop§i§ FW11

Read my interview with amazingly talented Pauline Van Dongen, young designer from Amsterdam that with her graduation collection Morphogenesis won the prestigious “Most creative collection” Fashion Award in Italy issued by Camera della Moda. 
Pauline’s work focuses on the surface, she uses fabric as a starting point. 
Working with unconventional or new materials triggers her to explore and research the processing and finishing in a garment and allows her to work like a researcher. Tactility, texture and no-frills modernity are the essence of her work, 
“a proposal for the future”. 

About STEREOPSIS collection video:
“As the eyes of humans and other animals are in different positions on the head, they present different views simultaneously. This is the basis of stereopsis, the process by which the brain exploits the parallax due to the different views from the eye to gain depth perception and estimate distances to objects. The mesmerizing video is a preview of the womenswear collection Stereopsis, which explores this phenomenon.
§tereop§i§ is an exploration through an alien couture landscape, using echoes and ghosts to leave time in the residue of a digital harp performance. This combination of the universal based fashion of Pauline van Dongen and Champagne Valentine invites you into a backwards galaxy.
Directed by:
Champagne Valentine
Stereopsis collection: Pauline van Dongen
Asst. Sofie Zwerver
Hair & Make-up: Sunanda Koning
Model: Maike Postma

Who is the woman protagonist of your Stereopsis FW11 collection and what is the inspiration behind it? 
The relationship between the body and the environment is one of the main sources of inspiration for me as a designer. It’s movements within space, and the way people interact with their surroundings. The functioning of the brain and the senses; especially how we see things and how we put our surroundings in a certain perspective. The inspiring work of the artist James Turrell was one of the driving forces behind my latest work. His sculptures of light in space which incite the effect of illusion by playing with three dimensional space and two dimensional surfaces, led to the research for my womenswear
collection Stereopsis. Light creates our dimensions of space and thereby influences our perception of our surroundings. Something that seems flat at first sight can suddenly appear to be three dimensional.

Which colors and materials have you been using and experimenting with?
I prefer the idea that the body is what gives the clothes a certain volume. This, to me is more than just clothing, it is a way of seeing and experiencing shapes and volumes around a moving body. Starting with the materials and working directly on a mannequin, making moulages/drapings is the best way for me to translate an abstract concept into a visual and aesthetic representation. Therefore I used
materials that could imitate and incorporate a moving body. One of those materials is buntal, a woven woodfiber from the Philippines. It may seem quite rigid from a distance but it’s flexibility actually allowed me to work like a sculptress. I find it a challenge to work with materials that are quite
unconventional for clothing. This requires a certain ingenuity. Actually with every collection I unconsciously seek for complexity and challenge myself to find solutions; this allows me to work like a researcher. I’ve also used a lot of leather in this collection. By laser cutting leather I created three dimensional structures that play with light and interact with the viewer when moving.

What is inspiring you at the moment? 
At the moment I’m very interested in Cubism. In cubist artworks objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form. Also the way the works of Picasso for instance depict multitude viewpoints simultaneous in one painting is fascinating. In a way it’s also about depth perception, but in a layered manner.

Photography: Mike Nicolaassen

What do you think style is about? And how would you describe your personal style? 
Style is not really the right word for me, it’s more about behaviour and attitude to me. To me it’s about being aware of your surroundings, being aware of movement around you and also about having a goal in life and a vision.

If style was a place it would be… 
‘The Wave Arizona’

And if it was a person? Who’s your style icon? 
I don’t really have a style icon. I do admire people with a strong personality; driven people with courage and a vision.

And finally… if your style was a song, what song would it be? 
That’s very hard to say, because I like a lot of different kinds of music. It depends on my mood I guess…Today I would go for Clock Catcher of Flying Lotus.

What are your three most loved items lurking in your closet?
 A grey suede leather dress, a bright orange cropped Tshirt, and some new All Saints army boots.

What is an absolute “must do” in Amsterdam?
@7 for Breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea or coffee…
Foam, the photography museum.
Proeflokaal Wijnand Fockink, a spirits and liqueur distillery and tasting room dating from 1679. A nice place to have a special drink.
To shop go to ‘the negen straatjes’ (The nine streets in between the canals) with nice boutiques, vintage shops, design shops (like Frozen Fountain) and good cafes/restaurants as well.

23 Comments   |   Posted by Wobblinbetty in  Fashion / interview / wobblinbetty
  1. wow those lethear dresses and the shapes and everything even the model are so kickass!!!
    yeah fishing is relaxing. you have to like it though.because then it would be boring

  2. i love your blog :)

  3. I am impressed!


  4. Amazing pics! <3

  5. great work! I like the interview, too!

  6. wow! love this interview! :)


  7. Love it, great interview of an amazing new designer!

    xx raez

  8. These are absolutely amazing. I'm saving few of the images for my drawing practice too :)

  9. WOOOOOOOOOOW everything is amazing esp the third one!!xx

  10. Because I am blind in one eye, they say I lack depth perception but, it is not true. They are the ones that cling to judgments and call it depth perception. I love what you do, I think you are beautiful in how you see. Thank you for being you.

  11. Because I am blind in one eye, they say I lack depth perception but, it is not true. They are the ones that cling to judgments and call it depth perception. I love what you do, I think you are beautiful in how you see. Thank you for being you.

  12. What an aamzing light

  13. This was really a wonderful interview. Her thoughts are very intense and explorative and I appreciate that. I'd love to see her pieces in person-from what I can see they're beautifully crafted. I also love how she says she works with unusual materials. I find that fascinating.

  14. when are you gonna post more of your outfits!

  15. Thank you so much for showing us this. I loved the interview, and the shoots inspired me a lot.

  16. aww amazing pictures and great interview <3

  17. Oh dear i LOVE this! Amazing! Love all the interviews you've been doing lately!

    Love Iben

  18. Gorgeous designs, incredible photos, fascinating interview.

  19. Holy crap! Where have I been? She is a-mazing.


  20. gorgeous pieces!!
    thanks for introducing me to her.

  21. well done! i loved the interview. the photos – the pieces. it's just toooo amazing. thanks a heap for introducing me to this amazing designer

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