t is a surprise then to meet the girl behind this explosion of colour. The polkadots are still there, but they’re all black this time. There is only one pop of colour in her outfit, the matte red lips she nervously bites as she shies away from the microphone I impolitely push in her face. But it didn’t take long to find that extravagant side we all saw in Brewer Street.
After doing a BA in Fashion at ArtEZ, the Academy of Art in Arnhem (The Netherlands), Henriëtte knew she wanted to continue in textiles: “For my final collection, I instinctively made all the fabrics myself and the silhouettes were quite simple, so I realized I have a big love for textiles.” Luckily, she won the G-Star RAW Talent Award at Amsterdam Fashion Week. The prizemoney gave her the opportunity to study textiles at Central Saint Martins.
From the beginning, Henriëtte was sure her designs would involve a lot of texture. “I was browsing in Liberty, looking for interesting fabrics. Even though I saw some beautiful prints, they were all digital and flat. I wanted to do something that seems to grow out of your body, like a garden. Something that seems alive.” Inspired by the way advertisements in the subway look after they’ve been shredded and torn apart, Henriëtte decided to work with paper to get that sense of volume.
She developed a technique where she could print paper on stretch fabric. By pulling the fabric underneath, the paper on top starts tearing, like flaked wallpaper or the bark of a birch tree. Another technique was to simply hold the fabric under water until the colour washed away. All of her samples look luxurious, yet faded and damaged.