Fashionclash#11 – All photos by Pasarella Photography! Introducing Berend Brus – a fashion designer who is inspired by people who create their own reality and driven by his need to converse about societal issues. Even though his work touches upon serious subjects and carries significant weight, it is always accompanied by a wink and a great sense of humour. We had a chat with the young designer talking about his collecion: I haven’t started yet!
KALTBLUT: Fashion – Makes Sense ?? What does this means to you?
For me this means being conscious about the fashion you consume. It means valuing the clothing you own, not buying something for one wear and throwing it away. That’s why I only produce small quantities at one time and prefer to make bespoke pieces. Fashion has to makes sense, it’s such a personal way of expression, that it has to fit how you feel, who you want to be or how you want to present yourself.
KALTBLUT: Hello. Welcome to KALTBLUT. Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
I wanted to present new work, and I felt like FASHIONCLASH festival is a perfect platform for young and more conceptual designers.
KALTBLUT: Can you tell us something about the collection you presented at the FASHIONCLASH Festival 2019? What was your inspiration?
The collection ‘I haven’t started yet’ is inspired by a journey of rebellion, coming from kicking against social norms. The invention of the nuclear family strengthened the need to fight for freedom of expression that deviated from social norms. A continuos clash between the free spirits with the government-preferred suburban bliss.
We have to evaluate the norms and values of the mould that we were created in, and decide for ourselves what holds value, and what parts we want to burn down. The persistent exchange between these two camps has been the inspiration for my new collection.
KALTBLUT: What kind of material did you used for the collection?
I used a combination of cotton, wool, fringe and leather. I like a ‘practical’ fabric like canvas, but with the literal flair of fringe. Or the thoughness of leather with all its references, but in soft colors.
KALTBLUT: What challenges did you face during the design process?
One of the challenges was moving my studio in the middle of the proces of the collection! But being in the Wasserij, an innovative fashion hub in the north of Rotterdam is a big positive change. I love the vibrancy of the city, and being surrounded by likeminded people is amazing.
Because my costume design work influences my fashion design it was a bit of a challenge to keep this collection out of the cowboy feel. But the rest of the process went smoothly. This is my first collection after graduating, and it was amazing to be able to do my process without being pulled into different directions. Balance is also a challenge, in my work I want to create a balance visually and conceptually. I love my final look, but by styling it with pants and flat shoes it feels like balanced ‘mens’wear, instead of a dressup party. Gender isn’t the subject, freedom is!
KALTBLUT: How would you describe your self and your work?
I would describe my work as a way to start a dialogue. About societal expectations, norms about gender, sexuality or ‘the way it’s suppose to be’. I like to play around with these elements, without making too heavy. I love fashion and clothing as a way to communicate, I get a lot of joy out of it, I hope other people experience the same thing!
KALTBLUT: What would you say that is the biggest influence to your design process?
The conversations with and the experiences of the people I meet are the biggest influence on my work. Also (iconic) people who create their own reality and world inspire me a lot, someone like Amanda Lepore. People who take the liberty instead of asking for it.The attitude and guts of people who dare to be completely them self’s is always the biggest influencer of my work.
KALTBLUT: If you had not become a fashion designer, what would you do instead?
When I started I didn’t need a plan B, until now I’m very fortunate I can say, I don’t need one, and honestly, I don’t have one.
KALTBLUT: Who’s your dream client?
Billy Porter!! No doubt about it. Fabulous, does his own thing. Billy, if you read this, call me.
KALTBLUT: What was the first item you have ever designed? And who was the lucky one to get it?
The first thing I ever made was a pair of jeans. Those don’t exist anymore, I used the fabric for patchwork for my queer collection.
KALTBLUT: What can we expect from you in near future?
A lot more joyful fashions! And there are some collaborations in the works, but I’ll have to get back to you about those.