David Laport is seen as the biggest fashion promise in the Netherlands and opened the Amsterdam Fashion Week this year. A conversation with the young 'Zeeuw', who brings back his roots in his global work.
'It is fantastic that there is so much attention and interest in my work, but not everything goes automatically. My last collection, for example, was more wearable than people are used to. I know in advance that this is criticized; I consciously take that risk. Once you hit and the once you don't. "
"I do not have big examples. That is my Zeeland sobriety. There are people I admire, such as fashion designers as Alexander McQueen and Raf Simons. I get inspiration from art, nature and movement. In the latter you can think of dance, but also the wind or nature that cause things to shift and sag. I want to capture that movement. My clothes are always photographed outside, on the beach or in the countryside. I like that contrast between nature and glamour. For my last collection I looked at the flowers of the photographers Karl Blossfeldt and Irving Penn: if you look at flowers, you can see that there is often a frayed edge. That rawness intrigues me. '
“I do not have big examples. That is because of my 'Zeeuwse' sobriety”David Laport
'Until my nineteenth year I lived in Goes. I was very creative, I got that from my grandmother. I was always busy, especially with fabrics, old clothing, curtains and a sewing machine. Museums, music and theater were important in our family. When I went to the Theater School, after a year I was referred to theater design; Acting behind the scenes fitted better with me. In the four years that I studied, I did internships with film, television and photographer Erwin Olaf. That way I came into contact with people, movement and costumes. I wanted to delve deeper into people and clothing and opted for fashion training at the academy in The Hague. '
"Yes, in many ways. At the academy I made a piece of clothing for which I was inspired by the Axel costume, with gigantic shoulders and lots of volume. A dress from my first collection is now in the Klederdrachtmuseum in Amsterdam, surrounded by the Zeeland caps. The same folding technique was used for both the caps and the dress. I can work very hard, I think that is a typical touch from people of Zeeland. My mother can do that too. Furthermore, I do not think too much about what I do. I just do it and occasionally I dedicate time to reflect on what I'm doing. My work is much praised, but I do not let myself get carried away by it too much. '
'I often work seventy hours a week. I live and work in the heart of Amsterdam and receive many invitations for galas, openings and premieres. I like that, but sometimes it is better not to go into everything. If I want to relax, I go to Zeeland. It may sound crazy, but Zeeland has fresh air, you notice that immediately when you get off the train. I always want to go to the beach and the water when I am in Zeeland, to the North Sea beach or the Banjaard beach. '
'The Netherlands is a denim country. That is not bad at all. There is enough room for me, but for what we do the Dutch market is still too small. That would be different in a country like Italy. There are now plans for New York and there is interest from major stores in London and Hong Kong. '