Designer Janneke Verhoeven loves triangles, and her recent graduate collection at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts speaks of her fascination with the geometry. In Collusion of Angles, Janneke created an interplay between rigidity and softness by utilizing the geometric forms of the tangram puzzle. Recently Janneke took time to show her pieces and answered some questions regarding her design process. The collection was accompanied with shoes designed by Miriam van Weeghel, and were developed with wooden structures inspired by the Kapla principle.
What is the title, and concept behind your most recent collection?: The title of my collection is ‘a collusion of angles’. Searching for a way to integrate structures in my work, I used the geometric forms of the tangram puzzle. Shapes are created around the body with either flowing or rigid forms. Flowing lines are interrupted or disturbed by angles, by inserting triangles from stiff leather into fluent fabrics. They make parts of the garments protrude from the body, creating unexpected shapes with a renewed elegance. Another take on using the geometric forms is by using triangle-shaped pieces of fabric, which I folded around the body. This way I start a pattern from a really abstract form, and just with little adjustments I try to make a real wearable garment.
What are your inspirations for the collection/ how did you begin the design process?: I get most of my inspirations from things that I notice around me, this time it started with work of the artist Andreas Gursky, which is a lot about structures. Then I found an image of a tangram puzzle, which intrigued me, since it’s a really basic principle of creating something new, by structuring the pieces. So this is how tangram became the main inspiration. (continue below)
(cont’d) I began the design with the mannequin, and start folding and shaping fabric around the form. This mostly ends up in piles and piles of pictures. And in the end I only use around 5 principles for the real collection. I make collages of these and this way I try to create a certain image/feel. Through the whole process it’s a constant development of the collection, also with the inspiration, but also the designs keep developing. I find it very important to keep open minded during the process, and not stick to a very first idea.
What kinds of materials and main techniques used for the collection?: One of the techniques I used in this collection, was making groups of stiff leather triangles and fuse fluent fabrics with these groups. When I drape this around a body, the stiff triangles disturb the fluent lines, this creates stiff forms that protrude from the body. The materials I used in the collection are a combination of natural fabrics such as felt wools, silks, laser-cut leather. But also in contrast synthetic materials, like a blue sheer polyester and high shine polished leathers.
What are the most important things you have learned from your teachers and mentors?: I think I had really great teachers, Goran Pejkoski of Maison Martin Margiela and Lilian Driessen of Viktor & Rolf, who taught me how to structure my design process, to start early with making choices. I also learned to keep an open mind, and not be afraid to ‘kill your darlings’, which can be hard of course.
What is your current fascination (can be fashion, art, design, current issues, books, etc.)?: One of my main fascinations at the moment is still structures, and I don’t know exactly what it is about the triangle, but it’s a shape that keeps me really intrigued, so I want to find out what that is with the triangle
Check out the video of the collection here.
Editorial Photography by Bob van Rooijen
Runway Photography by Sanne Peper