1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. (Who are you, where do you come from and what is your field of specialization?)
I am Natalie de Koning, a 23-year-old recently graduated fashion designer who lives and works in Utrecht. You could say my field of specialization is sustainable fashion design. With ‘I am Nold’ I am making wearable sustainable fashion designs. Besides that I am also making high fashion garments from time to time, like right now, I’m also working on three pieces for a new exhibition called ‘High Fashion Low Countries’ (www.highfashionlowcountries.com).
2. Tell us a little bit about the concept behind your collection.
My new label ‘I am Nold’ has a continuously growing collection of clothes and accessories that are all made from recycled - and a few new eco and/or fair-trade materials. I use materials such as old curtains, old clothes, and the leather of a couch and combine this for example with new materials like organic cotton or bamboo. Each piece is unique because of the limited editions of the same recycled materials.
Nold means ‘New but slightly Old’. All clothes are made from old materials. Materials that already tell some kind of story, but at the same time have a new life now.
4. You are working with eco-friendly materials – has it always been important to you to find a conscious way of designing?
Yes. During my studies at the Utrecht School of Arts I was already experimenting with sustainable fashion design. For example, for one of my collections I recycled an entire leather couch and for my graduation collection I experimented with dying in tea instead of using chemicals. I also used a lot of residual materials. (More info www.nataliedekoning.nl )
5. How is this collection different from the ones you have done before?
This collection is more wearable than the ones I did/do for my school or exhibition.
6. What were the challenges you faced while working on your collection?
I think the whole experience of starting my own label. That is something you don’t learn on an art academy. But I’m not in a rush. Working for myself is the most difficult task but it also gives me the most satisfaction.
7. How do you personally define „fashion clash“ or „ a clash with fashion“ for yourself?
I think my “fashion clash” can be defined as a fashion ‘wakeup call’. I hope I can inspire people to be more conscious about what they’re really wearing and what it’s really made of. Does fashion has to be such a rapidly changing experience? Do we really have to throw so much away or can it still have a different use?
Photography: Mirjam Tonnaer
Styling: Ivania Carpio van Osch
Model: Lyanne Tonk
MUA: Anita Bok