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“Unconscious came a beauty” - May Swenson (1913 – 1989) Unconscious came a beauty to my wrist and stopped my pencil, merged its shadow profile with my hand's ghost on the page: Red Spotted Purple or else Mourning Cloak, paired thin-as-paper wings, near black, were edged on the seam side poppy orange, shone in the sun. as were its spots. I sat arrested, for its soot-haired body's worm shone in the sun. It bent its tongue long as a leg black on my skin and clung without my feeling, while its tomb-stained duplicate parts of a window opened. And then I moved. from: The New Yorker 22 june 1968 Winde Rienstra’s latest collection (her fourth for Amsterdam Fashion Week) has a starkly darker tone than what we’ve previously come to expect of her designs. After a period of contemplation on abrupt life changes, she found herself inspired by the Mexican Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) as well as the old Japanese era of samurai and geisha. Vanished worlds with strong cultural connections to death, in which our move into the after-life could be seen as a renewal, for both those who pass over and those left behind. In Winde’s vision of mourning as a transitional phase, which gives form to this collection, we can see a reference to the larger shifts in our existence as well. The natural course of our earthly life, in which every culmination is a turning point and marks a new beginning, as darkness is followed by light. We all roam these border areas from time to time before finding our new direction. As in Japanese jisei (death poems), Winde searches for shapes and forms which express the lament illustrating our wandering and roaming of these border areas. In effect, Winde brings us her modern architectural vestments and creates through this collection a poem to death. As usual, Rienstra’s collection is designed with an astounding composition of techniques and materials. This time felt and wool are the foundation fabrics of this collection. They are used, of course, in conjunction with Winde’s trademark wood, which here is found in an assortment of colors and types. In addition, she has created shoes from bamboo and tie-wraps, used video-tape as ribbon, and designed the wooden necklaces and sequins which highlight her hand-crocheted dresses.
About the Designer
Winde is based in Utrecht, Netherlands. She studied at Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht and graduated in 2009. Her collections are produced in Netherlands.
Fashion designer Winde Rienstra (Echten, 1981) studied at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). Rienstra’s designs have created a furore within a relatively short time. Her work is situated at the boundaries of fashion, art and architecture. Central to her work is her feel for materials. She has a particular fondness for wood and the patterns that you can read in the grain: for here these are a reflection of both the grotesqueness and the beauty of life. Rienstra’s fascination with spatial structures around the human body has led to a recurring play with three-dimensionality. Each of the resulting spatial designs is a new opportunity to allow the materials to shine like jewelry around the human body. Her feeling for handwork, craft and detail is the motor that drives her fashion designs. Rienstra uses modern technologies such as laser cutting in her work and she is not afraid to experiment with materials that are not conventionally used in fashion design.