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Duran Lantink, the man behind Janelle Monáe’s vagina pants

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Duran Lantink, the man behind Janelle Monáe’s vagina pants 4424

You are probably already familiar with Duran Lantink’s fashion designs, even if his name doesn’t ring a bell. The Amsterdam-based fashion designer is the creator of the infamous vagina trousers worn by Janelle Monáe last year in her music video Pynk.

Despite becoming the most talked-about trousers – and cultural yardsticks of 2018 – the wavy pink pants almost never happened. Lantink was drafted in by the director – his best friend – five days before the shoot was scheduled to start, after the previous wardrobe team left the project. The rest, as they say, is music-video history.

But dismiss him as a shock-tactic attention seeker at your own liability as 32-year-old Lantink is one of the most highly regarded rising stars of his generation, thanks to his redefinition of luxury through a sustainable lens.

“It was a blessing and a curse because I always end up in the ‘vagina pants’ conversation,” he laughs on the phone from Amsterdam, where he was born and is based, admitting to having had some strange email requests since. “But that’s OK because it helped me get where I’m now. People are more conscious about what I am doing, which means I can tell a bigger story about creating sustainable collections.”

For his eponymous brand, he uses designer overstock which he sources directly from charity shops and fashion houses. He then cuts them up – “collages”, as he puts it – and sews them back together to create a unique piece of clothing from several brands. A typical piece of Duran Lantink clothing may contain a vintage Chanel skirt with pieces by Lanvin and a collar from Dior. “I started finding these beautiful and extraordinary pieces that didn’t get sold, which I found very sad. So I thought: why not create a sustainable new collection from things that didn’t get sold? I think it is good to create a circular collection with high-end overstock because there is a lot.”

Currently on the shortlist for the 2019 LVMH Prize – the most prestigious award in the fashion industry – Lantink has a clear idea of what luxury is right now. “For me, it has always been the feeling that someone has really paid attention to your garment; that you are the only one in the world wearing it, and it’s a special feeling. Creating unique pieces out of old stock is the new chic. You’re saying: ‘We won’t buy into new materials any more, we only buy into things that have already existed.’ To give something a longer existence is really interesting.”

The phrase “sustainable” also needs a new definition, he says. “For a long time, it was a dull subject – people found it boring; the colours were off. For me, it needs to be playful and youthful with a fashion-forward look on it – not a different way of fashion, but taking it to another level.”

Buyers like his process. Having already secured stockists including the world-famous Galleries Lafayette, people can’t get enough of his avant garde designs – and that includes the designers whose clothes he has cut up. In the past, such flagrant reappropriation of another fashion house’s product would have instigated lawsuits, but as the sustainable fashion movement is proving – and established houses are learning – it is important to support innovative new processes challenging the norm.f

“I was at the LVMH shortlist event and I ran into Jonathan Anderson, who knew I had cut up a piece of his knitwear. He was super-enthusiastic. He said it’s so much better to do something new with it, otherwise it ends up in landfill. Humberto Leon from Kenzo was very positive about the approach, too. There are even a few brands who are offering me partnerships at the moment,” he adds, without naming names.

This week, Lantink arrives in London for Fashion Revolution Week (FRW) to set up “a clinic” at 50M – the new concept retail shop in Belgravia, London, that supports emerging designers and is interested in new ways to achieve sustainable fashion. He will occupy the retailer’s first designer residency, supported by the British Fashion Council in collaboration with Fashion Open Studio, which is a FRW initiative.

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For the five-day pop-up, he will be offering 10 appointments during which customers can bring in old items, from which he will make two new outfits. “It’s for people to bring in old pieces they don’t wear any more, but which have a nice story. Or things they feel attached to, but which are broken. I create something new where there’s this fresh feeling for their old garments. A lot of people need that at the moment, as they have huge closets, and they don’t do anything with their old pieces – they are just hanging there.”

“Fashion Open Studio is at the forefront of showcasing change, so we want emerging designers such as Duran to see us as an important part of their showcasing future,” says Fashion Revolution’s founder, Orsola de Castro. “It is incredibly important to challenge the status quo, and design new systems as well as sustainable collections. We know that the impact of the fashion industry – culturally, socially and environmentally – is massive, and if we want our clothes to reflect our principles, we need to instigate a generational change towards different practices because the present system is damaging.”

For Lantink, the time is now. “People are finding that you can do playful and fashionable stuff with a sustainable approach and I think that’s a revolution.” This year, he looks likely to become known for a lot more than a pair of pink pants.

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Fashion

From carnations to cat tatts: this week’s fashion trends

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From carnations to cat tatts: this week’s fashion trends 3785

 Going up 

Counting lovers The late Gloria Vanderbilt’s antidote to sleepless nights. Beats sheep.

Reality TV ASMR From Keeping Up With The Kardashians to Drag Race, the biggest bust-ups on telly sound better dubbed with soothing whispers.

Carnations Granny blooms no more, Virgil just put them on his Off/White catwalk – get yours for a snip at Aldi.

The name Joan Collins, yes, but also Alexa Chung’s pre-collection and excellent retail site, Joan The Store.

Wholesome selfies Frank Ocean’s Instagram speciality, according to Man Repeller. See @blonded for details.

Fancy bucket hats The rave classic is suddenly smart. Exclusive at Harrods, Stephen Jones’ £560 Dior hats are complete with logo and net veil. (See also: leopard print, & Other Stories, £27.)Going down

Peanut butter cups Yes they’re great, but have you tried Pret’s Almond Butter Bites? Doisy & Dam’s Nut Butter Cups? Well, then.S

Floaty frills Shirred fabrics are taking over this summer’s dresses and we are here for it.

Cat tatts Faux tattoo sleeves for feline folk are a thing, but are we keen? Purrrhaps not.

Sourdough It’s all about a baguette RN. The summer holiday amnesty on fluffy white bread is a time-honoured tradition. Even tastier: the sequin Fendi baguette bag, reissued this month for its 20th anniversary.

Chamomile Lavender is the calming shrub du jour thanks to Jacquemus’s latest show in Provence. Bees love it, moths hate it. We’re sold.

Your suitcase Luggage is having a moment. See luxury brand Rimowa or Patagonia for an eco take.


Counting lovers The late Gloria Vanderbilt’s antidote to sleepless nights. Beats sheep.

Reality TV ASMR From Keeping Up With The Kardashians to Drag Race, the biggest bust-ups on telly sound better dubbed with soothing whispers.

Carnations Granny blooms no more, Virgil just put them on his Off/White catwalk – get yours for a snip at Aldi.

The name Joan Collins, yes, but also Alexa Chung’s pre-collection and excellent retail site, Joan The Store.

Wholesome selfies Frank Ocean’s Instagram speciality, according to Man Repeller. See @blonded for details.

Fancy bucket hats The rave classic is suddenly smart. Exclusive at Harrods, Stephen Jones’ £560 Dior hats are complete with logo and net veil. (See also: leopard print, & Other Stories

 Read more

Floaty frills Shirred fabrics are taking over this summer’s dresses and we are here for it.

Cat tatts Faux tattoo sleeves for feline folk are a thing, but are we keen? Purrrhaps not.

Sourdough It’s all about a baguette RN. The summer holiday amnesty on fluffy white bread is a time-honoured tradition. Even tastier: the sequin Fendi baguette bag, reissued this month for its 20th anniversary.

Chamomile Lavender is the calming shrub du jour thanks to Jacquemus’s latest show in Provence. Bees love it, moths hate it. We’re sold.

Your suitcase Luggage is having a moment. See luxury brand Rimowa or Patagonia for an eco take.

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Fashion

From Rapunzel-length hair to the demise of double denim: this week’s fashion trends

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From Rapunzel-length hair to the demise of double denim: this week’s fashion trends 1246

All-the-way foundation Pat McGrath takes it right up to the lashline.

Chester-le-Street Riri was spotted there watching the West Indies v Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup.

Mia Wallace We’ll be channelling the Pulp Fiction character thanks to the White Shirt Project in honour of the late Karl Lagerfeld.

Rapunzel Beyoncé, Kiki, Meghan, Adesuwa – all going the distance with their hair this summer.

Gaming Gucci released an arcade game, then Louis Vuitton launched a retro video game. Sega Megadrives ftw.

Technoraks The latest waterproof from Regatta has battery-powered heating.

Going down

Mars bars Thanks to her Youtube channel, we now know Naomi Campbell’schocolate bar of choice is a Twix. If it’s good enough for her…

Double denim The way to match your clothes is by opting for double tie-dyeà la Gigi Hadid.

Hubris One in eight men think they could win a point off Serena Williams. Shotgun the frow if this is ever put to the test.

The Fendi Baguette bag Chloe’s padlocked Paddington is claiming the nostalgic top spot. Style with skinny jeans and ballet flats (also making a return) for maximum authenticity.

Flower crowns See Florence Pugh’s dress in Midsommar: the botanical look should be head-to-toe. But let’s do without the creepy rituals.

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Fashion

The Poofy Dress Trend That’s All Over Instagram Was Actually Inspired by Princess Diana

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The Poofy Dress Trend That’s All Over Instagram Was Actually Inspired by Princess Diana princess diana wedding dress lead

When Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981, her wedding dress was perfectly on-trend. It included many signature details that were popular during that decade — and, apparently, in 2019. Lately, we’ve noticed that dresses similar to Diana’s (albeit, more casual, everyday versions) having been popping up in stores, and there is one brand in particular that’s been leading the charge: Batsheva.

“To be honest, I didn’t particularly care for Princess Diana’s style back then,” founder and designer Batsheva Hay admits when chatting about the royal’s gown via email. “But, her look is so timeless and resonates with me so much more now than it did when I was younger. I love the pictures of her in bike shorts and Harvard sweatshirts. I love the pictures of her in Laura Ashley. There was always something so naive and old, frumpy lady about her at the same time — the big collars, pearl buttons, and baseball caps. It is too perfect.”

In fact, the designer is quick to admit that the royal is a big source of inspiration for the pieces she creates.
“My inspiration is heavily influenced by Princess Diana, Laura Ashley, Upper West Side and Welsh women,” she reveals, before adding how she switches things up to keep the clothing fresh. “There is a general brand DNA that stays the same — because that is essentially my personal style and that does not change from season to season — but I try to show different sides of my style each season.”
Hay is definitely excited that ‘80s styles are making a comeback, but others may find it all to be a bit intimidating. For those folks, the designer has some words of wisdom.
“As with Diana’s style, the ’80s look better now than they did then,” she says. “The experimentation with volume — between shoulder pads, puff sleeves, and ruffles — was such fun, and fun is what getting dressed should be about!”
We definitely agree, which is why we’re ready to add some Batsheva to our closet, ASAP.

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