What Essentiel Antwerp Wears: Lotte

Style What Essentiel Antwerp Wears: Lotte

26 december 2019

What Essentiel Antwerp Wears

Lotte Lijnen


If you follow us on Instagram, you already know that the Essentiel Antwerp offices are dipped in color. From the pink walls in our showroom to the fashion choices our staff makes.

To give you a better idea of #LifeAtEssentielAntwerp and the people that live it, we decided to give you a monthly look into the different jobs, fashion styles, and personalities that walk around those pink walls.


In our last ‘What Essentiel Antwerp Wears’ of 2019, Assistant Designer Lotte Lijnen unravels her job and personal style for us.

“Working in the fashion industry, showing who you are and what your personal style and vision entails is sort of part of the job. I’m always conscious about how I dress, what I portray, and I try to make it look fun and interesting. I don’t feel pressure to do so, it comes naturally.”




Before we dive deeper into your personal style, it’s probably worth it to give us a better understanding of your specific job as Assistant Designer at Essentiel Antwerp.

“I’m the Assistant Designer for the woven and print part of the collection, which means that I get to work very closely with Inge (Onsea) and Tom (Depoortere). The starting point for a new collection often is the new developments that are available in fabrics and colors. From there, we start selecting our vision for the season, and the design process starts. One of my tasks is to channel all the information. Ordering the fabrics and colors we decide on, translating each design into the correct size, keeping track of all of the adaptions… In the end, all of these steps translate into the samples that get created for the showroom to start the sale season. In short, I would consider myself a bit as the funnel for the woven and print department that makes sense of all of the information chaos.”


Sounds exciting! How did you land your position on the team?

“That’s a long story. [Laughs]. I actually studied to be an art historian, so my professional career is one of detours. [Laughs]. However, my interest in fashion was there from the start. Even at university, I specialized in fashion and prints. After graduating, I worked at the fashion museum where I got my first taste for the industry, even though that was still very theoretical. I realized I wanted to be able to create, so I went on to study for two extra years. At one point, I landed an internship at Essentiel Antwerp, and not long after, a function opened up, but in production support. I got scared that I wouldn’t be able to pursue my creative passion, so I left Essentiel Antwerp for another opportunity. Then, the Assistant Designer position at Essentiel Antwerp opened up, the one I always knew would be the perfect translation of my passion. They contacted me, and I returned without hesitation! [Laughs].”


Detours or not, you landed your dream job. Are your days now what you expected them to be?

“Yes, but like everyone working in fashion, there’s no such thing as a typical day. [Laughs]. I love the fact that this job continues to keep you on your toes. It’s essential to stay informed, to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. To me, that last part goes beyond clothing trends. It’s about what’s going on in the world and translate that into what we do. Aside from that, I love that I get to work so closely with Inge and Tom. They are so different, but they complete each other professionally. The fact that I get to work in such close proximity to their creative energy, knowledge, and passion is the best education. I’m still learning something new every day.”




You said you aim to make your own looks fun and interesting, but how would you describe your personal style?

“Tomboy probably sums it up best. Masculine inspiration is the common thread within my outfits. But I’m also a very intuitive dresser. I don’t really plan my outfits, I’ll wake up and decide that I want to look like: arty or sexy or whatever. My ‘uniform’ exists of sneakers and jeans, but I can interpret that in a myriad of ways. It will never be a pair of skinny jeans and a tee, for example, I prefer something more out there. I also like to play with contrasting proportions like an oversized coat and slim-fitting bodysuit.”


Since your style evolves from your intuition, do you still look for inspiration?

“Yes, of course. Personally, I like to look at runway shows, especially to see how they style their looks. When I spot a silhouette I love, my mind already starts thinking of how I can reinterpret it for myself. Sometimes I’ll go scouring a vintage shop to find unique pieces. Aside from that, I find a lot of inspiration through art. The specific color combinations of a painting, for example, can easily translate into color combinations for an outfit.”


Has your personal style evolved since you started working at Essentiel Antwerp?

“Definitely. I used to be the typical fashion girl with a black uniform. [Laughs]. When you start working here, you get challenged to embrace color, prints, and femininity. It’s all so contagious here that you can’t help but find those styles slither into your own closet. [Laughs]. I love finding a way to merge that vision with my own idea of color, style, and proportion.”




You seem to have a pretty good grasp of your personal aesthetic. Do you have a style secret?

“I think it’s important to know and understand your own body. That way, you’ll automatically know what works for you and dress accordingly. I also think it’s important to distance yourself from certain trends. If you know something isn’t suited for your body type, take a pass and go for another trend. When you feel good in what you wear, this radiates to those around you, which is way more important in my opinion than keeping up with the latest hype.”


Good advice! What’s the best piece of advice you ever received yourself?

“To slow down. [Laughs]. I’m trying to keep that in mind, because everything goes so fast, especially in fashion. I constantly receive new stimuli that need to be processed. I work hard, but I want to live hard, as well. Because of that, I sometimes surpass myself, it becomes too much. It’s important to take a step back every now and again. To slow down, enjoy the moment and think about everything that’s going on.”


Is that the advice you would pass on to people who want to work in the fashion industry?

“I would say to be passionate. A lot of the clichés about fashion are true. It’s hard work, and you need to be flexible. So without passion, you won’t last long. Plus, it will show in your work. If your heart isn’t in it, that shows. It’s also important to find your own voice. There’s so much coming at you... You need to be able to trust and rely on your own instincts.”


Items worn by Lotte


Army green quilted down jacket

Black turtleneck top with script-print

Two-tone cotton high-waisted jeans

Light blue faux fur coat

Black rhinestone-embellished cotton T-shirt

Black cotton-blend flared jeans

Black beanie with 'Fury' embroidery


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