Maartje Dijkstra

COUTURE X-TECHNOLOGY

Maartje graduated in fashion design from ARTEZ (Arnhem), the Netherlands. During her studies she did an internship at Alexander McQueen's company in London, where her interest in Couture developed more. After graduating, she decided not to work for a big fashion house where she would have to create another's work, the designer's story and dream. She chose to start her own Couture X technology studio, to be free in the art of design, to create her own story.

Within her label she designs sculptural fashion collections and accessories, completely hand-crafted, interactive Couture designs and innovative hand (3D) printed textiles.

“In fashion, I believe that innovation starts with imagination”.

The use of sculptural forms originated from the fascination and freedom to alienate the body in a special way using fashion as a tool. Other important sources of inspiration that are crucial to her design process are imagination, electronic music, melancholy and complexity in nature.

In her work as a fashion designer there is less focus on the practical and therefore she has the freedom to create and show possibilities. She is curious about what awaits us and therefore designs with an eye to the future. This way of designing is expressed by integrating technology and craftsmanship into an inseparable whole; creating a unique style.

Her drive allowed Couture to be more innovative. She literally started integrating technology into her work, leading to an experimental environment within her studio and endless possibilities. Addition of technology enriched the viewer's experience such as elements that move within the design, controlled by small motors, parts that fly up from a dress using mini drones. Also think of textiles that light up in a special way. She broadened her ways of expression by developing new, unconventional textiles. They are forms of expression that use technology as a tool. Manual (3D) printing is a term she developed by using a 3Doodler in a non-regular way, creating complex and unique material expressions. The doodler has the same function as a digital 3D printer, using molten (recycled) flexible plastic to build parts, but now controlled by hand in the form of a pen.

Hand-drawn prints and illustrations became a signature element of her label from the start, so this technique fits very well into her way of producing. She learned to master the 3D pen over the years and many new ideas have emerged from that. She began to discover other surfaces such as glittering crystals, antique jewelry, glass, mirrors and much more. Hundreds of tiny, hand-printed traces became a way for her to build a unique 3D design. One design can take up to 1000 hours to build, so very time consuming, but for her it is the most exciting and rewarding part of the design process.