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Stereopsis by Pauline van Dongen

Exploring the play of light and shadow, Pauline van Dongen showed her three-dimensional creations entitled Stereopsis at Magazijn this weekend.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 26-01-2011

Fashion designer Pauline van Dongen presented her latest collection named Stereopsis at the winterSALON/ in Amsterdam.

As part of the winterSALON/ - A two-week long fashion and cultural event coinciding with Amsterdam International Fashion Week and the Modefabriek - fashion designer Pauline van Dongen presented her Fall/Winter 2011/2012 collection. Featuring laser-cut fabrics, three-dimensional dresses and handmade, perspex heels, the pieces are almost futuristic in look and feel.

Pauline van Dongen (1986) graduated from the Fashion Design course at ArtEZ in 2008 where she developed new fabric printing techniques and ways to process material. The following year the designer began a fashion master at the Fashion Institute Arnhem (FIA) where she was offered a shoe design course, here discovering her love for shoe designing. The perspex heels are part of the Stereopsis collection and are handmade by the designer.

Based on the principal of stereopsis - the way in which our brain perceives depth - Van Dongen's creations explore the idea of light and shadow. By creating three-dimensional shapes this play of light is clearly visible. "Some of the dresses have a sculptural element with a hollow and curved side, the top is illuminated while the bottom is dark," explains Van Dongen. Other pieces feature desert-like undulations or architectural forms, each one a variation on the theme of depth.

There was no ordinary catwalk at the venue, instead models came down a flight of stairs or appeared from a doorway, then took their place on elevated platforms in the space. "The almost architectural forms of the clothing make it necessary for the wearer to be aware of her body and her surroundings," says Van Dongen. This was clearly illustrated through the presentation where the models formed a tableau vivant; moving through the space and allowing the audience to view the collection from all angles.

Various natural materials such as leather, silk and wool are part of the collection, but always used in a challenging way. Van Dongen: "A number of tops are made from laser-cut leather which has been put back together but I also used buntal - a material from the Philippines made from wood fibres. The material is easy to shape and you can create beautiful, three-dimensional forms with it."  Using a material such as buntal also adds to Van Dongen's non-western design aesthetic, in which the woman forms the clothing, not the other way around. Answering the question what it's like to wear 'wooden' clothing the designer replies: "The material forms to the body while you wear it, so it's more comfortable than it looks."

She continues: "I always try and challenge myself through my work, whether that be through pattern and shape or, for instance, material choice."

Click on the images to enlarge

Main image: Stereopisis by Pauline van Dongen
Other images top to bottom: 1.-3. Stereopsis 4. Pauline van Dongen

Photography: Team Peter Stigter

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