All keep track of upcoming designer Yvette Peek. The ArtEZ design alumni blew everyone away with her graduation collection, sending illusional masterpieces down the catwalk. As curious as we are, we had a talk with her about the story behind her first collection, her admiration for strong women with non-conforming elegance and being the assistant designer of Sharon Wauchob.
What made you realize you wanted to be a designer?
My biggest source of inspiration is my grandmother. When I was a little girl, she taught me how to sew. That led to her teaching me embroidery techniques and pattern making. We even stitched my first designs together.
What do you think are your biggest assets as a designer?
As a designer I challenge myself to find the unexpected in materials and textiles and I made that into my greatest strength. When I design clothing I always have a strong woman in mind, with non-conforming elegance and a luxurious approach to colour and fabric. My graduation collection is based on the insomnia drawings of Louise Bourgeois. One of the strongest and most inspiring women I have ever known.
Before you started with the collection, did you already know the outcome of the design concept?
I went to the exhibition of Bill Viola during my internship in Paris. This was one of the most exhilarating exhibitions I have ever seen. My eye caught on of his illusional art pieces ‘Veiling’ of Bill Viola. In a dark space, an unfocussed film of a man is projected through 10 translucent sheets of fabric, growing paler and larger towards the centre. Two projectors at opposite ends of the space face each other and project images into the layers of material. I became fixated on this video installation. And from that moment on I knew that I wanted to recreate that illusional effect with different kind of layers fabric in my collection. The elements of shape-shifting developed later on, during my drape sessions. After a few drape sessions I came to the idea that my collection had to represents the brain that is experiencing insomnia, and that’s where the insomnia drawings came in.
You interpreted insomnia with fabrics where Louise Bourgeois did the same thing with pencil. Why is it that your collection exists of tints of black, grey and white, while bourgeois’ work consists of colour?
The type of woman I made this collection for is elegant, unpredictable and psychotic. I have used darker tones to create that psychotic vibe. And the best way to create an unpredictable illusion through different layers is to use tints of black and grey.
Can you tell us a bit more about the design process behind the collection?
Quality of fabric and craftsmanship are my most important values when designing. Therefore I won’t be looking at the clock when working on my designs. My collection consists of a lot of different crafts that have to be meticulously conducted. One look required an embroidered top that consists of 460 small pieces of springs that I have formed in circles, and those springs and beads are all embroidered by hand. This took my approximately three weeks. The two last looks in my collection consist of 22 meters of tulle per outfit, all hand-printed with markers, and 4.5 meters of printed plastic. From of all the time I spent working on my collection, those looks were the ones that took up the most time.
You're working as an assistant designer for Sharon Wauchob now. How did that happen and what do you admire about her work?
I worked as an intern for Sharon Wauchob two years ago. During my internship I was assigned as assistant textile/embroideries designer. This was one of the best learning experiences I had so far as Sharon gave me a lot of opportunities to develop myself. After my internship I went back to school for my final year but I stayed in contact with her and I always came back to Paris to help the team during Paris Fashion Week. Sharon is a consistently talented designer who creates thoughtfully engineered garments. I admire her strong detail-focused aesthetic. The way she uses traditional techniques and delicate fabrics in her collection inspires me.
How do you see your career developing from now on?
I would like to gain more experience within the field of design. I hope to get the opportunity to learn a lot from Sharon Wauchob over the next years. It would also be interesting to develop myself within another creative luxury brand with a focus on textiles, but we should not jump to conclusions. You never know what happens and I am looking forward to every new opportunity!