By Franziska Furst
They say there’s nothing better to stimulate the creative juices than a blank canvas, and that’s exactly how Belgium based ethical designer Katrien Van Hecke starts to work.
The designer always starts from raw white materials that she then employs as what she calls ‘the canvas’ for her signature prints. Each season, her ‘art’ changes: fall may see bark-like effects on wool or prints reminiscent of camouflage while spring could present vibrant colours accented by bursts of ‘graffiti’ prints.
In any case, Van Hecke’s fashion represents the height of modern artisanal luxury. All her garments are hand dyed, and her fabrics are as green as can be–she favours knits fashioned out of recycled French wool, organic cotton and silk.
Although she’s a strong believer that sustainability is the new high fashion, she believes her work should be recognised for more than just her eco-credentials:
‘I strongly believe in an individual, alternative approach with a young and dynamic spirit that distinguishes me from the mainstream. Every garment can be seen as an individual object. This results in imperfection and aspect variation, which I consider to be distinctive characteristics,’ she says.
Van Heck launched her emerging eco-brand in October 2010, showing a select range of six dresses in a Paris showroom. Since then, she has grown rapidly, and now her collection is featured as part of London’s Fashion Week‘s Esthetica Green Showroom and will also be presented at the Carousel de Louvre for this upcoming Paris Fashion Week.