Previously I touched upon Vestoj’s issue on Slowness, and how it places value on time when it comes to clothing production. One designer who acknowledges the importance of time, or rather, takes the time is ArtEZ graduate, Natalie de Koning. A short time ago, she portrayed her collection in Paris together with five other ArtEZ Fashion Master students. Her collection ‘Pulp’ embodies a responsible design signature, one which she has obtained seeking new ways of creating her own textiles.
Fulfilled with content after a successful portrayal of her graduation collection, she emphasises the hard work it has taken to create not only the garments, but also the yarns to the textiles by hand. The technical efforts are undeniably intricate, and although the idea behind the collection is of value, that is not the first thing Natalie wants her audience to notice. It is about the clothing first, the immediate recognition of the contrasting textures, subdued colouring and elegant touches which have resulted in a beautiful marriage that is an evocative collection. Natalie is of opinion that social responsibility has to already be incorporated, no matter what. When asked further about her working methods, it becomes apparent how she manages to tackle waste management by using pulp derived from old uniforms in a local factory. She also used residues from Saris in India, which she proudly attests to having a beautiful quality due to its soft and silk touch. Other materials include tampons that were thrown away due to production faults, and pulp from tapestry and knitwear. Timing is everything in Natalie’s work. In her efforts to acknowledge the artisanal working method as being central, she fragments slowness and manifests an outlook that the fashion industry needs. She aims to make her clothing more wearable in the future, yet is pleased with the exclusivity and emotional connotation to her garments. Perhaps, she says, she will keep it that way.