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Multi-coloured stripes, checks and blocks of colour: welcome to the universe of Liselore Frowijn.

Long before Frowijn has designed a garment she has already decided upon the fabric and the print. And she prefers to make them herself. How? Frowijn: ‘In my case by drawing and painting on fabrics’. Frowijn installed a capsule collection of her work in the Temporary Fashion Museum including an orange lycra bodysuit with a jarring pattern drawn with permanent markers. ‘But I also screen print fabrics, I paint silk with textile paints, I crotchet, knit and embroider.’ A jacket in the display seemed to have been the victim of a graffiti bomb and a silk skirt was skilfully embroidered and covered with sparkling sequins resembling fish scales. ‘I also like to cut patterns from plastic sheets or silk and apply them to other fabrics.’ Frowijn’s most recent designs have been very geometric. 

Boiling hot

Just as she builds up her materials layer by layer, the same is true of her individual outfits, which she calls ‘collages’. This creates curious oppositions in Frowijn’s clothes. ‘I like to use beautiful materials such as silk.’ It combines luxury and comfort. It looks as wearable as a Japanese kimono or an Indian salwar kameez. But her collage outfits might also include cat suits, knitted dresses and double jackets: they look boiling hot. Frowijn: ‘Yes, I saw the early work as a way of establishing a recognisable signature. Now my collections are becoming more wearable and saleable.’ And that’s essential now that the Liselore Frowijn label is in the shops: a long-cherished dream, in the footsteps of Dries van Noten. ‘But it takes a few seasons before you realise the development.’

Aside from the issue of physical comfort, a Frowijn outfit transforms you into a bird of paradise. ‘Ha ha, yes, whether or not you feel comfortable in a Frowijn is another matter. But I think women feel beautiful in my clothes: self-assured, powerful or just relaxed. It adds something to their state of mind.’ What then?

‘Optimism? You don’t have to delude yourself but you certainly shouldn’t forget to dream a little. And it gives you energy to face up to doing the things you were putting off.’

A Frowijn is not for lazing around or watching movies on the sofa. ‘No, it’s more like a kick up the backside.’ Do you need that yourself? ‘Well, I certainly have days when I just can’t be bothered. I prefer the days when I’m really productive. I really enjoy it when I can make the most of a day. That’s the feeling I want to give people with my clothes.’ 

Tamar Stelling

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Temporary Fashion Museum
Guus Beumer
Maureen Mooren

This project is part of the programme track Things and Materials and the folder Material innovation.

Fashion has quietly renewed the very idea of renewal by constantly selling the past as a future, thereby framing current reality. This contrasts sharply with the idea that renewal always stems from technological innovation.