Graduating from Stedelijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Sint Niklaas in 2012, Van Der Borght came to prominence last October when he won the Première Vision Grand Prix at the 35th international Hyères Festival. His designs were compelling to Jonathan Anderson, President of the Jury, who praised Van der Borght’s ability to create a “new type of form, new type of shape, new type of commitment to a silhouette.” He founded his eponymous label the following year, utilising unconventional materials in his work, spawning creations from the wonderlands in his mind.
Van der Borght Autumn/Winter 2021 collection entitled “7 ways to be TVDB” was developed on his initial Hyères contribution, featuring tailored two-piece suits emblazoned with comic-style illustrations, macramé garments, and faux. The mosaic of sequins, tinsel, and beads was fused with the alternative use of cable ties and cords, probing the “concepts of normality, contemporary rituals and queer,” as Van der Borght suggests.
Despite fashion momentarily transitioning into the virtual – somewhat threatening the tactility of garments from designers like Tom Van der Borght – he does not fear this Orwellian age, viewing this as an opportunity for designers to elucidate the many facets of a singular garment. “I think standing still is the biggest threat to mankind, to the fashion system,” Van der Borght continues, “fashion can now be more performative, it is seen in more depth.” Surrendering to the grey doesn’t seem likely for Van der Borght, who envisions a radiant future for his brand, where he continues to celebrate individuality and raise the questions many fear to approach.