Martijn Van Strien: Brutalist Outerwear

If ever the worlds of fashion and science were located on two different sides of the universe, Martijn van Strien is well on this way to assemble them together into one perfect dark harmony. He creates a world where anything is possible and constantly changing. Urban becomes rural, ugly turns into beauty and rainbows come in black and white. Ever future-focused, his aim is to make the best possible version of everything. Textile design might just be the beginning. Van Strien’s interest in the technical side of fashion and design made him stand out at the Design Academy Eindhoven where he graduated in December 2012. There he specialised in textile design and trend forecasting. Skills and knowledge he developed further at the Textile Department of Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, focusing on handcrafts and textile manufacturing. His two graduation projects at DAE, Threads for Cockaigne and Dystopian Brutalist Outerwear, received wide international praise and recognition. Both collections arose from imaginative worlds and abstract concepts. The first found inspiration in craftsmanship from the past, Medieval tales in particular. While the second explored future and ‘sustainable’ adaptations of textile design. For this he was awarded a prestigious ‘Keep an Eye’ grant during the Dutch Design Week, to continue designing and experimenting with various materials. His interest in future-focused and sustainable fashion, brought him to Antwerp, where he is currently assisting fashion designer Bruno Pieters at Honest By. Besides exploring material sourcing, his work includes all the Honest by graphic design, website, publicity and organising a book project. ‘’Nothing endures but change’’, (Heraclitus) and in the case of Van Strien this craving for evolution has become a recurring element in his work. Intrigued by the speed of fashion, standing still will never be an option for the young creator. In order to do this, it is important to keep your eyes open at all times, discovering and analysing new things. Preferably with one eye peeking into the future. At the same time, he likes the mystery of not knowing how something is constructed. It is this curiosity that makes him want to take a new approach to ‘sustainable’ fashion, working with recycled or organic-based synthetic materials instead of the old fashioned eco materials like organic hemp or cotton. He plans to develop his expertise in textile design through partnerships with established studios in the fashion industry. In the world of Martijn van Strien anything is possible, stylish and constantly evolving. Whereas ‘fear’ is a word unknown to his vocabulary.