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High-fashion handwork

Recent graduate, and Dutch menswear designer, Hanna ter Meulen talks tailoring.

By Katie Dominy /asdf 06-12-2010

Royal College of Art menswear graduate Hanna ter Meulen revisits tailoring in her graduate collection entitled A. Psycho.

Hanna ter Meulen studied fashion at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts - boasting alumni such as Viktor & Rolf and Lucas Ossendrijver - before finishing her studies this summer with an MA in Fashion Menswear at the Royal College of Art in London.

Hanna ter Meulen’s graduate collection was entitled A.Psycho, a reference to the book and thriller movie American Psycho, which she had fallen in love with. “I started researching that period; the early 1990s, the late 1980s, and Versace and Armani clothing. The soft tailoring and shapes of that period became the silhouette for my collection.”

“At the same time I developed many handworked textile techniques that could be used in the designs; using the techniques to shape rather than applied as decoration. So, for example, basket weaving a jacket together.” Ter Meulen uses luxurious classic fabrics, such as tweeds, heavy wools, cashmere and flannels, as well as more dressy materials for shirtings, such as organza and washed silks.

The designer’s handworked details include hand-smocking an entire coat, using the technique to add shape to the waistline. Other garments are constructed from patchworked panels with no seams, and some pieces are made and shaped completely using latticework techniques.

We asked for a description of Ter Meulen's menswear muse. “The man I design for is not a young kid from East London; he is a more mature man who is stylish, creative and maybe a bit eccentric, someone who is able to appreciate the handwork and detailing of the garments I create. He doesn't have to wear my clothes head to toe, but I like the fact he can slot my pieces into his existing wardrobe - which is well balanced with beautiful pieces. I want to make clothes that men want to wear no matter what.”

And her thoughts on trends in menswear?  “No more skinny jeans! I think the fit will become more relaxed, but sharply tailored nonetheless, with colour blocking set to be an important trend.”

Hanna ter Meulen was recently selected as a fashion finalist of the ITS (Internattional Talent Support) #Nine Awards which were held this summer in Trieste, Italy. She tells us about the experience. “It was great! I had a fantastic time and met some amazing people while making some good contacts. I even had a 15 minute personal chat with Viktor from Viktor & Rolf. Of course, it was hard work too, as we were instructed to make an outfit for Diesel beforehand and the preparations included a lot of work. During the stay there are many interviews and presentations, so it’s not all fun and games, but definitely worth it.”

Hanna ter Meulen is currently working with British heritage brand Aquascutum on its menswear collection which Ter Meulen describes as “a great brand to work for. I really like what Joanna Sykes (the new creative director) is doing with the brand, it connects well with my own personal work.” One thing is for certain,  in the future, fashion will be hearing a lot more from this talented menswear designer.

Main image photo: Brendan&Brendan
Other images top to bottom: 1. photo: Louise te Poele 2.,3.,4. photos: Brendan&Brendan
5. photo: RCA

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