Get inspired by... Tom De Poortere

People Get inspired by... Tom De Poortere

1 augustus 2013

Blog - Essentiel Antwerp 

Essentiel: Tom, in your function as Art Director at Essentiel, I think everyone is dying to hear your opinion on the new Fall Winter 2013 collection! What inspired you as a general idea for this collection?

Tom: Funnily enough we never start with a preconceived concept or mood board. This is something that grows during the creative process. Everybody in our team contributes and draws from their own personal interests… For me it was more influenced by some new exciting hip hop acts like Kendrick LLamar, Travis Scott and Sasha Go Hard and the emerging new streetwear brands… I guess in the end the collection got a more “urban” feel, very downtown New York. It has a certain grown-up aesthetic whilst keeping an edgy vibe.


Essentiel: This collection strikes me as a very sober one, compared to the SS13 collection, but also to FW12. Does this represent a sort of ‘back to Essentiel basics’ statement: cut, print and luxury fabrics gaining in importance again?

Tom: We always start the collection as a reaction to the previous collections. We felt we pushed the combination of colors to the limit and we wanted to make it more sober. We literally were a bit oversaturated from all the color schemes. So suddenly we had to find another approach to create the typical Essentiel mood, and we did that with fabrics and textures. And to put this all in value, we experimented with new cuts and volumes.


Essentiel: I see a lot of bordeaux, blue and yellow coming back, next to the classic winter colors such as black and grey. As red, blue and yellow are the basic colors (I couldn’t help but think of Mondriaan), I couldn’t help but wonder whether this is another back to basics statement?

Tom: I guess it was… We had to inject some colors in the collection and we felt the most natural was going back to basics… Of course we tweaked it so the colors became more warm for winter.


Essentiel: Are the playful print t-shirts and girly accessories a counterweight to the elegant, serious cuts and fabrics in this collection? How did you conceive this contrast?

Tom: YES! At one point we were afraid we were becoming TOO SERIOUS, hahaha, so again we started reacting against what we were doing.  When we are working on the accessories we deliberately don’t try to blend it in in the main collection, we just start doing whatever we like and that contrast in the end is what gives our collection that extra zest… Sometimes we even surprise ourselves. As for the t-shirts, they are a great way of injecting some humor in the collection and for us a great opportunity to let ourselves go….


Essentiel: Finally, can you tell us what is your favorite piece from the men’s and women’s collection FW13 and how you would style it?

Tom: For the men’s collection it is definitely the jogging trousers: M-ALOVER. It has great details that takes it beyond the normal casual sweatpants, and styled with a classic white shirt and woolen blazer it makes for a great look…

In the women’s collection it is most definitely our gold coated neoprene skater skirt FRECKLE. The material gives it a surprising edge and you can style it anyway you want. Dressed down with sneakers and a cool t-shirt or dressed up with your favorite heels and a dressy top.


Thanks for the interview, Tom!