mphvs by Martijn van Strien

Martijn van Strien launches experimental fashion label with laser-cut garments

Dutch Design Week 2014: Rotterdam designer Martijn van Strien has launched his own fashion brand with a collection of unisex garments that are laser cut into shapes based on architectural structures.

Martijn van Strien designed the Contradictions collection as the first from his label mphvs, which went on show at the weekend as part of Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

A year after debuting his Design Academy Eindhoven graduate fashion collection made of heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin, this latest collection is created from the same material and is "inspired by a man who travels the edges of his existence".

"The cuts and patterns reflect his journey and originated in the buildings, bridges and other man-made structures he passed," said Van Strien.

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

The seams are welded together, forming sharp outlines around the angular shoulders and straight silhouettes, which are offset with rounded necklines.

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

Shin-length coats have zips up the chest that are left open towards the floor.

Sleeveless items in different length can be worn as dresses or vests, mixed and matched with shorts and skirts.

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

Shapes are cut out from the material to create patterns across sections of the monochrome clothes.

These include grids of squares, rectangles, triangles and diamonds, as well as more random forms, which expose different areas of skin.

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

"The shapes are inspired by architecture," the designer said. "They're kept simple and square because the main focus is on the material."

Removing large sections makes the heavy material more lightweight and flexible. "The goal was to add different qualities to one piece of material to eliminate the need to use different materials in one garment," said Van Strien.

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

Each design is shaped using a laser cutter, which makes it easier to produce the pieces in custom sizes so they fit the wearer exactly. Bespoke patterns, altered shapes and other requirements can also be implemented easily.

"Taking a parallel path to the opportunities 3D-printing brings to product design, this technique makes one-of-a-kind, custom garments possible to exactly fit the consumer's size and demands – a 21st century approach to haute couture," the designer said.

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

Van Strien, who also previously designed flamboyant ruffled clothing and accessories for a fabled medieval land, wanted to make all the garments in the Contradictions collection suitable for both men and women.

"It's a 'unisex' collection because I don't believe in the difference between men and women," he said. "Physically there doesn't have to be much difference, so also what they wear can be similar."

mphvs by Martijn van Strien

The garments are on display next door to the Modebelofte exhibition, Stratumseind 34-36, during Dutch Design Week until 26 October.