Kurt van Velzen

A Melbourne fashion designer who makes a mean pesto sauce and believes "trends are for the anxious".

Can you tell us your name, age, and a little bit about yourselves? (e.g where you are from, what you study, do, love, hate etc)

"Ahh I hate this question, I never know what to say. My name is Kurt, I'm 22, I'm from the eastern burbs of Melbourne and I'm currently studying a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) (Honours) at RMIT. I love long plackets and french cuffs, and gorge seams in dramatic jacket lapels. I also love Tim Tams and trips to the beach in summer with my friends. 

I hate pretentious anti-fashion, fashion people, and the level of rejection within the fashion industry that has practically become a parody. I detest avid followers of 'trends' who collage all of these 'trends' together in a confusing mismatch. I recently heard a good quote which went "trends are for the anxious". I hate tomatoes, ice cream and people that don't indicate when driving".

Tell us a little bit more about your creative work?

"My design work has reached the point where I can follow my own methodology; The Interactive Garment. The Interactive Garment is an item of clothing that is designed, pattern made and constructed to be worn in different ways, like in the form of another garment. This crosses the sociological boarder of gender while encouraging a childish exploration of dress and presentation.  Besides my own work, I also have a soft spot for tailoring - in particular, a tailored Jacket with attention to the shoulder line, lapel shape and silhouette. I can also make a mean pesto sauce (no great accomplishment as its only 4 ingredients)."

What made you want to study fashion design?

"Alexander McQueen's 2010 collection 'Plato's Atlantis'. I was 14 when I saw that collection and was so moved that I started drawing fashion sketches (they were awful). I never really touched a sewing machine before studying fashion design. I was more of a drawer and painter but have since shifted those energies towards making and sewing. I still hold onto my love of drawing and it is one of my favourite ways to reconnect with life... when I have time."

Can you tell us about your latest body of work?

"My latest body of work was an extension of The Interactive Garment, except this time I fixated on looking into gendered clothing. This started with denims, pin stripes, floral and leopard prints. As the print development advanced I shifted focus solely on leopard print. The final prints were shown in two main forms; hand techniques and digital prints.

The hand techniques emulated leopard spots through the use of carved potato stamps and spray painting. I spray painted white fabric a soft orange, with abstract larger spots spray painted on top. The digital prints were scanned fabric swatches which I then edited in photoshop. This entire process aimed to subvert the idea of gendered clothing, as seen in archetypal leopard print. My graduate collection The Interactive Garment was shown at Session Runway."

How do you see your work developing after completing your graduate collection?

"I plan on continuing my studies and investigation of The Interactive Garment through a Masters degree. I have recently discovered a previously unnoticed approach, of solely looking into the pattern making process, which examines The Interactive Garment by emulating archetypal, readable clothes - clothes that can transform into other archetypal readable clothing. This method is perhaps more understated and potentially more clear? Watch this space!"

Follow Kurt on instagram here @__kurtvanvelzen

You can also see more of Kurt's graduate collection on Session Runway.

Photos courtesy of Kurt van Velzen.

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