Selina van Grondelle is someone who puts craftsmanship on the top of her priority list. The 23 year old designer from Wijk bij Duurstede presented her final collection at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in 2011 and has been busy to expand her experience and collections since. Apart from her participation in the program Beat the Top Designer, she just engaged in a very interesting collaboration with Jan Taminiau at the Floriade Masterclass.
Desiree Brands: You’re 23, that’s pretty young for a designer. You seem to know what styles you want to approach and which of them you want to omit. Did this begin at a young age?
Selina van Grondelle: I’ve always been driven creatively, from an early age I made things with my hands. During my education, I learned more and more, even from my own preferences, and this allowed my passion to grow even more. By showing my collections my true passion is getting clearer and this way it remains a challenge for me to pursue this.
DB: You create very special pieces, no two of which may be the same. Can you describe your style, your signature?
SvG: Crafts and subtlety with soft demure silhouettes, color and a fine attention to detail.
DB: You use a great amount of handwork in your pieces. I can imagine this to be kind of drudgery. What motivates you to keep working this way?
SvG: Maintaining a certain amount of craftsmanship is very important to me in my work. The details and techniques associated with it add an extra value to a garment. Working with only my hands creates an extra dimension because it may not be possible to make something like it on a machine. Therefor quality and craftsmanship are important components.
DB: What materials do you prefer to maintain this quality?
SvG: Mostly silk, knitted fabrics and leather. These materials make a regular appearance in my work because they show the feeling I want to create within my collections. For example, with a smooth, bright silk I can properly convey sensitivity and organics.
DB: Where do you get your inspiration?
SvG: Not from something specific. I do a lot of research into techniques and that makes me come up with new ideas. If I am busy with a new collection, I get my inspiration from pretty much everything, the streets, blogs, museums and magazines. Your eyes somehow open themselves naturally and you can immediately see things in a different way.
DB: Can you honestly say you are proud of a specific collection?
SvG: My graduation collection. This is because the collection is closest to me and all the knowledge I have gathered applied in it. A collection allowing myself to make a statement as a fashion designer, that’s quite something.
DB: In the past year you have worked under the guidance of Jan Taminiau. He is well known for his handmade materials and techniques. I can imagine that this was a very special experience for you.
SvG: Yes, during the Floriade Masterclass some designers, including myself, got lectures from professional people, the supervisor of the project being Jan Taminiau. During this process I had the opportunity to implement my ideas at the Textile Museum’s trimming department. Together with the experts of the museum, I used the manual loom, on which I have developed ribbon loom from special made gimpcords. I let this flow together with my design in fabric. Eventually I got the chance to exhibit my work at the Textile Museum, which off course is a great opportunity.
DB: What do you want to achieve in the future?
SvG: To see my dreams come true and in the future create my very own label.
Selina van Grondelle’s work can be viewed in the Textile Museum.
After waiting for a long time the day has finally come; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam reopened. The museum offers an older and refreshingly new collection of contemporary art. This combination of authentic and modern is reflected in the futuristic front that has been placed on to the original building.
Architect Mel Crouwel designed the entire new frontage, which because of its shape soon got named ‘the Bathtub’. The material for the panels is a synthetic fiber, Twaron, and besides its lightweight it is five times stronger than steel. ‘The Bathtub’ and the original building seem to be independent of each other, almost two opposites, but that is exactly what Crouwel had in mind when he designed the entire construction. When someone puts one foot in the museum, he does not realize where he walks into one building and where he leaves the other.
The Stedelijk hereby translated its content in contemporary art to its exterior, and the overall picture is in its full glory certainly a good example for contemporary Dutch Design.
Photo by John Lewis Marshall
Amsterdam has got a brand new art gallery. CNCPT13’s vision is to put contemporary art and authenticity together in one room. Where other galleries only put one or perhaps two artists on their white painted walls, CNCPT13 took on the challenge to merge antique furniture and paintings from the roaring twenties with contemporary art, this time in the form of life-size komodo dragons and luminous glass.
One of the artists you will find there at the moment is Albert Geertjes. This man successfully creates a core of inspiring value and emotion in his work. He designed a dining table with visible black veins of ink. This liquid was injected into the original material when the tree was in full growth, and caused it to slowly die from infection. The black circles in the wood are still clearly visible in the table itself. Geertjes’ work is a perfect example of authenticity and modern techniques that can work together to create a new innovative effect.
Every 13 weeks CNCPT13 shows a new artist in their art gallery. “Digging Light ‘by Albert Geertjes is on display until January 6, 2013
The now 37 year old designer from Goirle, Brabant, has been working with the TextielLAB in Tilburg on a regular base since his graduation collection at the Fashion Institute Arnhem. This laboratory is merged with the existing Textile Museum and shows the craftsmanship behind the production of various types of fabrics, such as those of Taminiau. The cooperation between Taminiau and the Textile Museum started in 2003, when the designer decided textile didn’t have to be designed behind a computer. The traditional way in which the designer can find the relationship between material and craftsmanship ensures innovation in his designs.
“I see craft as the base, the origin of things. Fashion started as tailoring, with fabrics, needle and thread. I want to understand how things get made, know how certain machines work. If you make it yourself, you can add new things like other yarns and colors. It is feel, smell and taste, with your hands in the earth. “
The collections Taminiau designed in collaboration with the TextileLAB are now on display at the Textile Museum.
The exhibition “The craft of Jan Taminiau’’ runs from September 29 2012 untill January 27 2013.