It's quite unusual to stumble onto a designer like Myrza de Muynck these days. For one thing, the Dutch up-and-comer, who is based in East London, has a genuinely artisanal sensibility; her clothes are all handworked with surreal embroideries that she applies herself. They are calculated to look naive. De Muynck also stands out for her take on the feminine; although she incorporates elements such as ballerina tulle and 1920s-era drop waists, her work consistently subverts conventional categories of female glamour, sexiness, and cool. There's an innocence to de Muynck's designs, but her woman is not an ingenue. Her preferred outfit is a tracksuit.
This collection was a typically sui generis outing for the designer, who debuted her line two years ago. Its key motif was the patch—pieces of fabric with pearl- or seed-beaded evil-eye embroideries, which had been sewn onto garments with a purposefully amateur stitch. Other looks included silk-screened pieces made from towel cotton, and track pants with de Muynck's signature drop-waist banding, and tulle tops with knit sleeves. This was a small collection, but it had a lot of range, and the details were very compelling. The qualm had to do with de Muynck's skirt and dress silhouettes, which could have been a bit more refined, without sacrificing the aesthetic. More generally, it would have been nice to see a few of de Muynck's savvy adaptations of the shell suit, which have been a highlight of previous collections. Really, though, the overarching impression was a designer creating something unique, with limited means. That kind of effort deserves not only praise but industry support.
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