Dorhout Mees | From Tilburg to Paris…

17 March, 2016

It’s been Esther Dorhout Mees her seventh collection, but the first time she showed in Paris. The collection was shown last week in the beautiful, but very robust Maison de l’Architecture.

The Dutch Designer has worked closely with the professionals from the TextielLab to manufacture and develop a large part of the fabrics for her couture collection ‘Nubivagaent’, translated: ‘Nothing is more revealing than movement’. One of the most striking pieces from the collection were two designs with giant shoulder decorations that are made in the ‘Tufterij’ from the lab. This impressive pattern pieces, in the lab called ‘balls’, were confirmed on a tough jacket. The substance of this jacket was in made on the weaving machines in the lab. In this way, different techniques such as loose elements together form an unity in couture.

The inspiration for ‘Nubivagaent’ came from Esther her fascination with birds, this also reflected in the wonderful make up of the models, combined with the black lenses, making them appeare as little birds. The show opened with a mysterious film, after which the models fluttered over the catwalk as ‘birds’.

Photo: Team Peter Stigter, the outstanding shoulder pieces, made in the 'Tufterij'. The rest of the fabrics of this design is woving in the TextielLab.

Photo: TextielMuseum, the fabrics coming out of the weaving machine

Photo: TextielMuseum, the pattern pieces in the 'Tufterij' of the TextielLab

Photo: Team Peter Stigter, the tufted pieces applied in the couture desings of Esther Dorhout Mees

One of the dresses, inspired by the graceful flamingo, was also tufted* in the TextielMuseum. For this dress many different types of yarn were used, such as wool, mohair and merino in think and thin variants and there was varied with various pool heights. Confectioning the designs took place in the design studio of Esther in Amsterdam.

Photo: Team Peter Stigter, the 'flamingo' dress

Photo: TextielMuseum, in the 'Tufterij' of the TextielLab

Photo: TextielMuseum, the pattern pieces of the dress are ready! 

A large part of the designs has a touchable feel to it, just like with animals. Esther chose a combination of different techniques; Tufting made some desings large and robust, especially when thick felted wool was used and the pattern parts were long-pile tufted. For the woven fabrics a combination of different colors and yarns was used, giving the design a layered look.

*Tufting involves making a pile rug or wall hanging by hand. Tufting machines use pneumatic force to press a U-shaped piece of yarn through a backing fabric. The height of the pile is altered by cutting the yarn shorter or leaving it longer. 

text: Evelien Platteeuw