N: Hey Tim ! If today were the first day of school and everyone had to briefly introduce themselves, what would you say when it's your turn?
T: Hello everyone, I am so happy to be here with all of you.
I'm Tim Stolte, and I've been fortunate to learn from some amazing mentors and experiences, from my early days at the AMD Akademie Mode und Design to my time at the Fashion Department in Antwerp.
I've been on a journey to refine my skills and explore the art of design. I believe in the power of craftsmanship to convey stories and emotions through clothing. Looking ahead, I hope to continue learning and growing with the dream of someday establishing a fashion label that reflects my values.
N: "Island of Luxury" is the name of your latest collection. What's the inspiration behind this title?
T: "Island of Luxury" is a collection that emerged from the question: How do an object, objectophilia, and objectification relate to each other? Inspired by themes from the movies "Titane" and "Crash," I explored the concept of being sexually attracted to inanimate objects and its connection to the objectification of women in 1950s and '60s fashion.
In this collection, I allowed women to occupy space by creating car design-inspired shapes that are both comfortable and lightweight to wear.
These shapes embrace the body while also extending it in various ways. I drew inspiration from classic mid-century couture silhouettes, incorporated street maps of my hometown for embroidery, repurposed car advertisement slogans, and reimagined old shapes using new materials.
Moreover, I prioritized the wearer as the ultimate starting point. As a result, I created 12 silhouettes that not only extend the body but also enhance the wearer's strength, beauty, and self-belief.
N: Describe the quintessential "Timsto" girl for us. Who is she, what does she do for a living, where does she go to party at night, and who is she dating?
T: I think she is the girl that knows who she is, and that’s what makes her hot. Basically, Alex Consani. A girl who is out there, who is working hard, making that coin, knows how to put herself together but does it for herself and not just for others.
She isn't scared to attract attention. She can be silly, delusional, completely deranged in public and just enjoying herself, and has no problem showing it. She is kind. She is strong because she knows her weaknesses and embraces them.
N: I've seen some standout pieces in your collection that have this intricate, almost sculptural construction. Can you tell us a bit more about the techniques you employed to bring them to life?
T: I had a technical fashion education already before I came to Antwerp, so I am quite comfortable with pattern making but also with draping.
For the conceptual pieces of the collection, it was important to me to make them lightweight and easy to put on to be in line with the collection's underlying theme and purpose. Most of the sculptural pieces were directly inspired by car engine parts, so I often started with a 2D pattern and then adapted it as soon as I had the first three-dimensional toile on the model.
N: Your designs give off this "retro-future" vibe to me. I can catch glimpses of futuristic elements combined with nods to the '60s and '90s, reminding me of those classic space-age movies. Can you share more about these influences? What are your references?
T: On my digital boards, on which I just always combine what interests me, one can find a lot of mid-century couture and general fashion references of that time. I am really attracted to this time of dressing as I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s when growing up and alwayswas getting lost in her closet or old pictures in an album looking back in time.
What attracts me about that time of dressing is the dramatic, exuberant, and craftsmanship side of it .
When it comes to couture or when it comes to retro-futuristic designers like Courrèges or Cardin, what attracts me the most is the cleanness and sharpness of their work.
As mentioned before, the movie 'Titane' was one of my points of inspiration. I think if you look at the movie on just a surface level, there is something really futuristic about it... and I guess yes... that also seeped into the collection.
Another point of reference was Italian Futurism from the 1910s in relation to how they saw cars, machines, and the future.
N: Thank you so much Tim! Now that you have graduated, is there a specific memory from your journey as a fashion student you think will stay with you forever? What's on the horizon for you?
T: I actually just finished my Master's Degree. I just started my first internship as a Design Assistant at Louis Vuitton in Paris. I think something that will stay with me from my education in Antwerp is the realization that the thing that will drive you forward is a true and honest passion and not your ego. Nobody is going to hire you just for your portfolio.