Pauline van Dongen

Her Philosophy

Pauline van Dongen researches the body in a technologically textured space.
After graduating from ArtEZ, Academy of the Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands, she started her own womenswear label in 2010. Pauline operates a meticulous research of the behaviour of experimental and high-tech materials, combining new technologies with traditional techniques to constantly renovate craftsmanship. Working closely with companies from the field of science and innovation, Pauline aims to merge fashion and technology giving life to scientific creations.

Her Collections

Starting from an unorganized state of matter, something fluid, moving and formless, this collection emerged from a concept of trans-spatiality and the interest in the manipulation of space. Playing with disorientating perception within a domain that is highly structured and increasingly generative.

Arrangement and repetition are substituted by designs originating from an amorphous state, their clean surface interrupted by folds and lines. Intentional distortion as if being in a transformative state is expressed through waves and rippling patterns appearing on the surface. Interferencing mesh layers and knitted textures revealing hidden fragmented shapes and colors when changing vantage point.

Human habitat is technology. The contemporary artificial landscape and liquid architecture suggest a definitive reconfiguration of what is considered human nature. Our lives are permeated by a technologically textured world in a process of Mimesis: the representation of our constructed environment and visual appearance of things. This collection formulates an aesthetic of technology through the mean of a rational element made irrational: geometry. Laser engraved neoprene synthesizes hyperbolic surfaces, electrical wire connects adjacent leather components and solid shapes result in abstract fluid volumes. As measurement of space, geometry embodies human cultural articulations. It is a symbol of a technologically altered environment which is built upon and which exists by way of people.

The Oloid was developed in 1929 by the sculptor and mechanical engineer Paul Schatz. Made up of two circles, this body convincingly proves that dynamic surfaces may achieve perfect harmony in shape and design.

The visual abstraction discovered in nature’s eroded appearance captures the strength of two powerful elements, air and water, and their impact on the surroundings. Kinetic Landscape reproduces the seemingly unremarkable changes in nature, which only become visible after many centuries, perhaps millennia. The garments recreate lines and undulations that mark the deterioration of the earth’s surface. These unusual shapes and structures have been translated into a collection that combines a fluid form language with abstract constructed shapes, graphic lines and smooth curves with striking materials around the body.

Body versus Space. Morphogenesis analyses the relationship between the body and its surroundings, attempting to distort and rearrange its outlines. With Antony Gormley as main inspiration, the body is encapsulated in the space in a negative hollow shape, which penetrates the garment in a new void. Is the body still the content and the clothes the container, or is it the other way round? This collection explores the void between the body and the garment with fabric as a starting point. Synthetic crin and buntal emphasize this space. Alienating shapes and capsules floating around the body are turned into clothes becoming organic sculptures. Metal knitwear and the contrast between dark shades and bright tops create a sharp, minimalistic feel. As part of the collection Morphogenesis, a 3D printed shoe design has been developed in collaboration with Dutch company Freedom Of Creation. The technique of 3D printing translates the sculptural feel of the garments into a rigid form in polyamide. The result is an innovative shoe, which gives a futuristic look and feel to the collection.

Vertigo researches the definition of shape in relation to a body and its surroundings, the space. The main inspiration comes from the minimalist shapes and smooth surfaces of the artists Barbara Hepworth and Anish Kapoor. The majority of Kapoor’s artworks have an enormous physical presence and reflective effect that forces an instant readjustment of the viewer to his environment.
This idea has been translated into a dialogue between the upper part of the shoe and the sole, which completely swallows it. A clear contrast between the rigid aspect of the wooden sole in combination with the fluid aspect of the upper and the sharp edges amplify the dialogue between the two parts of the shoe.