Wednesday 12 July 2017


Steven Van de Rijt is a promising Dutch designer who graduated in 2016 from the School for the Arts Utrecht (HKU). Since his days at the Summa College Eindhoven he developed an interest in fashion techniques and craftsmanship, but also on experimental fashion and couture. His work has been published in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar UK and the upcoming Vogue Talents Italia SS17, as well as French director’s Jalil Lespert new movie.
He is showed his stunning new collection at FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017, the first collection under the label STEVENVANDERYT.

How would you define fashion?
How one defines fashion is really open to interpretation. For some it is what they wear, while for others it's what they see on the runways. I would define fashion as everything that has to do with clothing. But there are levels to fashion. Fashion is what we see in the street, but also what we see on the runways. These are two different levels that should inspire each other. We project the world we live in through our way of dressing. The creators of (high) fashion have leading parts in these views on the world through fashion and they work to inspire or demonstrate our world.

What fascinates/inspires you and why?
Global social issues and differences. Art, music and different cultures.

Finding your own distinctive voice can be difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity (before you start designing/during the design process)?
I always start with a blank page. I find my personal fascination at that time and I start to create my concept. When creating the concept I also look for art, movies and music that can relate to it. As I start designing I only listen to music that shuts me off from the world and gets me in the mood. By doing that I get a mix of conceptual designs in line with my point of view and signature.

What challenges did you face during the design process?
When making experimental fashion it's always a challenge looking at what works and what is doable. Personally I grew up thinking everything is possible so I always try to make things work and look effortless and clean at the same time. But you need time to think about the best way to make experimental fashion look that effortless. And time is always a challenge when working with deadlines and interdisciplinary projects.

What do you want to communicate with your work in general?
I like to tell stories with my collections. I romanticize my concepts so that I can make bold statements with my work without it being misunderstood.

Can you tell us something about the project you presented at the FASHIONCLASH Festival? I'm really fascinated by the new Internet celebrities and the appreciation they get for what they do. They inspire their audience to go to extreme lengths to live up to their standards. With this collection I want to address the hardcore social media celebrity followers. The followers that really want to live the lives the celebrities live and go to the extremes to get there. To show the fact that they are out of touch with reality and make it obvious with their clothes. That they just want to have the things the celebs have and show it off all at once. It's not about how it’s worn, it's about that it's worn and that it's seen by many.

Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASHFestival?
Because I think that FASHIONCLASHFestival is the best stage in the Netherlands for experimental fashion.

Does fashion makes sense to you?
Of course it does, it's the way for designers to create awareness.

What are your thoughts on making ‘fashion’ more environmentally-friendly?
We should do that. I'm not a hardcore eco designer but I pay attention to what I work with. I do think that it's a very good thing that we have this new wave of eco designers who come up with good ideas to change aspects of fashion but I think the real issue are the fashion giants who overproduce their products and use the most environmentally unfriendly processes to make their clothing. For example the crazy amount of water being used to get a jeans with washing effect. They need to change and consumers should be willing to pay more for clothing than the prices they are paying now at those big fashion warehouses were they pay almost nothing for what the wear and wear it one time, never to be worn again. Consumers need to realize the worth of fashion and clothing. Better pay more for something you really love, then just the best next hip thing.

Do you think that fashion can contribute to a better world / well-being, and what do you do to make a difference?
Yes it certainly can. We as the new generation designers should inspire the big companies to change their ways and views on fashion back to quality instead of money.

How does technology change your creation process?
Designers work with their hands and I like to keep it that way. It's nice to have technical help if you want to but I think it can never replace human hands let alone the creative human brain. Technology makes people lazy and dependent. What's more beautiful than to know the power and quality of your own craftsmanship and creative mind?

Read more about STEVENVANDERYT:

Photography: Team Peter Stigter


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