Tijme Veldt

“I always had this plan of making chairs for a living…”

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Looking at his graduation collection, it’s not difficult to imagine what Tijme Veldt’s Tumblr page looks like: a saccharine pink amalgamation of glittery gifs, glitchy comics and cotton-candy fashion. Glamcult visited the young fashion designer in his Amsterdam atelier for an insight into his work: “My collection represents the in-between of reality and the colourful dream world that’s my own.”

“I always had this plan of making chairs for a living…” Tijme Veldt is clearly not the type of talent who’s always been obsessed with making fashion his territory. In fact, he can’t even be described as a designer who’s really into clothes: “I don’t think I would’ve gone into fashion if it wasn’t for the Gerrit Rietveld Academie,” he confesses. “When we had to explore each discipline in the first year of art school, I discovered that I wanted to go into fashion because all my projects were body-related. At the fashion department I somehow got enough time and freedom to find my own way, and to translate my ideas into fashion.”

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According to Veldt’s frantic website, his dazzling graduation collection tells the story of a boy who loses his grip on the distinction between the nocturnal and diurnal. Seeing the designer’s own pink attire, Glamcult figured this character could easily be Veldt himself. “It could be, but I guess it could be anyone,” he counters. “Rosa Supernova is the visualization of someone who doesn’t want to choose between his dream world, the one he is living in by night, and the reality he is living by day. It represents the in-between of reality and the colourful dream world that’s my own.” As for his fascination with pink, he explains, “It was just there at some point!” Pink also stands for practical, however: “I was trying to organize the chaos in my way of working on the collection. Pink was the solution, the colour that connected everything.”

Somewhat unexpectedly, Veldt’s room at WOW Amsterdam, a hostel and temporary home for young art professionals, is light and very white. Although we’re pretty sure the home / atelier wasn’t as tidy a day before our visit, the designer explains: “My room is anything but surreal. It’s quite small so I can’t collect too much stuff, as I’m quite messy myself. I used to have a lot of plants but a lot of them died, that’s a bit of a pity. I daydream a lot though. I think that’s why I have these days where nothing comes out of my hands. I’m really bad with timing!”

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The surreal worlds that inspire Veldt are almost completely the product of his imagination. Yet there are visible links to elements within and without fashion. The face-altering masks worn by the models for the Rosa Supernova show reflect direct influences of iconic labels such as Junya Watanabe and Comme des Garçons, for example. “In fashion, my foremost role model would definitely be Rei Kawakubo,” the designer confirms. “She’s found the perfect balance between the creative and the commercial. I also find her way of dealing with the human body and sexuality very interesting. Outside fashion—and this is a bit of a cliché answer—my parents are a big inspiration. They taught me how to fight for what I really want; I have always seen them fight for that themselves. But also, they’ve shown me how important it is to enjoy what you fight for.”

Based on the beaming looks of Veldt’s poppy graduation collection, Glamcult wondered whether music plays a role in his design process. “I do listen to a lot of music when I design. I’m not picky though—I’m kind of a slutty listener. At the moment I listen to a lot of Arca, 18+, Neocamp and Easter, but I love Kylie, Britney and Beyoncé too. Oh, and I love Fatima Al Qadiri! I guess my work doesn’t really have one soundtrack.” Much like his favourite artists and graduation collection, Veldt’s favourite comic-book character is dark and seductive. “I have an obsession with Poison Ivy. Just because she’s crazy sexy.”

Now that Veldt has graduated and fashion is officially his game, designing chairs has faded from his vision. “I regret that sometimes, but never for longer than 15 minutes. At the moment I really enjoy making clothes, but my plan has never been to do fashion for the rest of my life. Maybe in ten years I’ll finally be making chairs!” Whatever it is that he makes, Veldt creates for the escapists among us. “I design for the people that believe in my dreams, but more importantly, for the ones that want to let my dreams mingle with their own—and show them to the rest of the world.”

By Leendert Sonnevelt

Photography: Iris Wenander

www.tijme.com