Meet Maarten Van Der Horst | The ‘tropical-loving’ designer

Maarten Van Der Horst

Maarten Van Der Horst

As if the world of fashion isn’t colourful enough, this new & upcoming designer has shed a new ray of sunshine on the industry. Meet Maarten Van Der Horst the designer with the ‘party beach fun’ aesthetic.

Maarten was born to an Indonesian mother, and a Dutch father, and was brought up in the Netherlands. His interest in design began from an early age. He studied at Artez school of art, during that time he also interned with Chloé while in Paris. He felt that his internship had equipped him “enough to do his own thing”. Shortly afterwards he moved to London and graduated from his MA Womenswear course from Central Saint Martins. He then launched his debut collection for SS12, and has not looked back since. He is continuing to showcase his work under Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East. In June he debuted his new unisex line during  the first ever Menswear Fashion Week, London Collections: Men with a static presentation.

What’s striking about Maarten’s designs is that they are effortlessly chic and fun, his signature creations  incorporates the use of intricately embroidered nylon materials with vivid and unusual tropical prints that are conventionally used for Hawaiian shirts. The line gushes with bold light-hearted fun which still focusses on detailed tailoring and flattering silhouettes. The designer enjoys experimenting with masculine/feminine clash, boxy cuts used to exude the sharp boyish elements as well complimenting the female figure. Maarten has forged a gallery of unexpected designs created with bold prints and colours, “its all about surprises and having fun doing it” he admits.

It may be all fun, games and bright colours on the catwalk, but behind the scenes, the designer puts a great amount of thought and research into all of his designs. His inspiration stems from the 60s and 70s, admiring the excitement and freedom that encapsulated that era. In an interview he also named Madonna’s ‘Fever’ performed in 1993 as an inspiration for his previous AW12 collection. “We do spend a lot of time in the library researching but I find that the best ideas come to me when I’m in a boring meeting and my mind wanders off.”

Maarten describes the ideal MDVH client, as someone who is “gutsy” and he expresses his love for tomboys. Since the launch of his unisex second line, he feels the ease and comfort of a garment is essential as well as style – picture a girl wearing her boyfriend’s oversized print shirt as a dress. His second line is at more affordable prices ranging between £80-£110 in hope of reaching out to a different audience with no compromises on his hip style. This new collection is characterised with oversized sweaters and heavy metal-inspired t-shirts, “I’ve always wanted to be a rockstar”, he commented when asked what inspired these designs.

For a relatively new designer he has certainly been busy! His fiery Hawaiian prints have set the catwalk ablaze making him one of the hottest and most sought after designers in London. His collection in Topshop was a popular capsule of crazy cool tropical prints, which has earned him a place in Selfridges, he has even gone on to design a limited edition watch for Casio’s G-shock collection.

MVDH Topshop collection

MVDH Topshop collection

We are now all anticipating the launch of his online shop which he says is currently under way, and its fair to say that we can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve!

So for now, Aloha!

Written by Naomi Muhammad


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