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Hellen van Rees shortlisted for LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize

Showcasing her new autumn/winter 2014 collection during Paris Fashion Week later this month, we catch up with LVMH shortlist Hellen van Rees.

By Katie Dominy / 13-02-2014 featured Hellen van Rees twelve months ago and we are pleased to see the designer picking up appreciation around Europe. Being shortlisted for the LVMH award means the possibility of a €300, 000 prize and mentoring by LVMH over a twelve month period. 

Meanwhile, until the results are known towards the ends of May, lets take a look at van Rees’ new collection entitled Out of the Blue. Developing on her signature style of reworking yarns, van Rees has for next winter created a graduated colour effect in peacock blues and greens alongside a more sober colouration in silvery greys and black. The collection itself features a mix of grungy elements and constructivism in the garments and textures, juxtaposing rawness and geometric, clear lines

We asked van Rees about the influences for the new collection.

“It mainly just happened. I had some bits and pieces of yarn that fell on the floor that looked quite nice as a textile, so that's how the ruching technique developed. The rest is added as contrasts and are further developments of my techniques.”

The designer has also worked with a traditional embroidered quilted fabric called ‘nakshi kantha’ from Bangladesh, using a fair trade supplier that helps women in impoverished regions of the country. 

We asked van Rees how she discovered the embroidery. “It is quite a coincidence because it is a very small fabric supplier that happens to be based in Hengelo, the small town I happen to live in. We met through a mutual friend and started working together.”

Back to the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize – What will winning the prize mean to you? How would you spend the prize money? 

“I'm already so happy to be shortlisted and to do the presentation in a few weeks. Winning would mean such a step forward in the development of my label. I could expand my studio and so work on a more professional level, expand the brand presence etc. The prize is also a year of support and guidance from LVMH, so mostly I'd just listen really carefully to their advise and benefit from their expertise and decide, based on their opinion, what is the best thing for me going forward.”

Hellen van Rees shows in Paris with Fashion Scout from February 28 to March 04 at 23 Rue du Roi de Sicile, Paris 75004

Images: A/W 2014 Hellen van Rees, photography Kim Buckard