Hi, we are Mirte Engelhard (fashion designer) and Nikki Giling (accessory designer) and we are both from Arnhem, Holland.
Mirte Engelhard: I graduated in Fashion Design at the ArtEZ Institute of Arts in Arnhem in 2009. Since then I’ve been running my own store in the Arnhem Fashion District and did several jobs for theater and dance companies and some collaborations with different disciplines. My style is characterized by nonchalantly falling shapes with sportswear details. A little Tomboy-ish. Most of the time I design women’s wear, but now and then I also like to design for men.
Nikki Giling: In 2008 I graduated in Product Design at the ArtEZ Institute of Arts in Arnhem. During my study I specialized in designing fashion accessories. To learn the craftsmanship of making leather bags I followed an extra education. After my study I cooperated with several kinds of fashion designers and at the same time I was creating my own collection for my label Nikki Giling. I now own a shop in the fashion district of Arnhem were you can see me work on new items and buy my work.
M.E.: My collection is inspired by the krumping dance style. After the ' LA riots 1992 ' Tommy-the-drug-dealer decided that it was time for something positive. He pulled a brightly-colored suit, painted his face, put a rainbow wig on, threw speakers in the trunk of his car and started to dance on the street. Tommy the clown Hip Hop Dance was born: ghetto ballet. Since the advent of the clown dancing, there emerged more than fifty different gangs, each with their own colors and habits. And each of them wants to distinguish himself by dancing in front of all others. The collection contains elements from the hip hop scene, baggy pants, big shirts and sportswear elements. Not an androgynous look but one tough and sexy for the woman. Nonchalantly, sporty and fancy. I wanted to create a powerful and energetic look. A cheerful group of self-confident strong women with a positive mood about life and future. The silhouette is oval shaped, with oversized items, droop shoulder, the pants and skirts low on the waist. The collection is created by “moulage” and folding of old school sportswear.
N.G.: My part are the accessories. Each design is a unique addition to the exceptional collection. All creations are designed with individuality in mind. Materials like leather, cotton, silk and wood form the basis, from which the accessory expresses itself in a distinct and clear form. I am inspired by folkloric costumes combined with the street-wear I come across nowadays. I think these accessories tend to be very commercial and flat. To me, the shape and details are much more important than the usual brand names or logos on the front. I rather make a beautiful stitched or molded detail to emphasize the form.
M.E.: In the collection you will find an overflow in color, like in the rainbow. The basic colors are black, blue, sand, cream and white tones, with pastel rainbow accents of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. The rainbow is the sign of "there is hope" and brings a smile on your face.
4. How is this collection different than the ones you have done before?
M.E.: This collection is more commercial, wearable, functional.
5. Can you describe your collection in 3 words?
M.E.: Sporty, tough looking and feminine.
M.E.: Going places and meeting friends, dancing, seeing documentaries and trying to understand why I lik or don’t like things, forcing myself to look at things I don’t like in the first place.
N.G.: Yoga is the best!
7. How do you personally define “fashion clash” or “a clash with fashion” for yourself?
M.E.: As fashion designer I like to be inspired by various themes. I’m influenced by all kinds of things around me that don’t attract me at first sight but fascinate me and tickle my creativity and catch my fascination. Fashion is to elaborate clashing ideas/images into new designs.
N.G.: For me fashion is a way to express yourself. But it is also a beautiful craftsmanship. I love to work with different kind of materials, such as leather and wood. It is like finding new shapes and solutions with the material and making it your own.
Pictures by: Meinke Klein
Pictures by: Meinke Klein