It seems to be a trend that fashion and art are converging, at least for Hong Kong shoes label Pedder Red. For its Autumn/Winter 2013/14 collection, Pedder Red collaborates with Dutch artist Diederik Verbakel who’s known for his “obsession with women”. Diederik joins Pedder Red in celebrating women’s confidence and independence by creating a series of handmade paintings. The result is the “Women” exhibition that features bold tribal prints, bright paints and ink, all painted by plain hands (without brushes).
The artwork features faces of different women while the eyes are hidden and painted with bold tribal prints in bright hues that exude both toughness and femininity.
The exhibition and press preview was held at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Central, this has been one of my favorite galleries so far. Curious about Diederik’s “obsession with women” theme for this exhibition, I quickly had an interview with him to know more about his obsessions behind.
Interview with Diederik Verbakel
J = Jin
D = Diederik
J: Is there any particular part of the body or personalities in women that intrigue your obsession with them?
D: Yes, a lot. But the part I like the most is the strong, independent and confident traits in a woman. They make women particularly attractive.
J: I noticed you use plenty of tribal print and bold colors in your artwork, why?
D: I always use black and white, blue and red. Black and white is a simple color-scheme and it makes a statement in every outfit. Blue and red give positiveness to an art piece as bright colors denotes happiness. Tribal prints because I love travelling around the world and one day I just tried to paint some tribal prints on my artwork and I have been in love with it since then. Mixing tribal prints and bold colors together make my works more prominent and also exude the confidence in women who want to stand out from the crowd.
J: You have designed a special Capsule Collection (black and white shoes and clutches) for Pedder Red’s AW 2013/14 collection, how do you like it?
D: I love black and white. All the shoes and clutches in the Capsule Collection and hand-painted by me, I love the bold black lines as they always make the shoes an clutches more fun and statement-looking. However, the Capsule Collection is not for sale! The rest of the Pedder Red collection for this season is all comfortable and chic items and you can wear them to work as well as for evening. That’s what a smart and confident woman would do – buying fashion items that you can use from day to night.
J: What’s the art tool that you can’t live without? And what you have learned the most from your studying at the Fashion Design Academy of Arnhem (Artez)?
D: I love using my hands and fingers to paint on different materials, like wall, leather, shoes, cup, glasses and plates. What I have learned the most from Artez isn’t the skills, but the open mindset. My teachers and classmates all encourage each other to travel around and learn new skills. Since then I was travelling a lot. I especially like India because from there I learnt a handful of handcrafted painting skills that make my works more genuine and original.
J: How do you feel about the fashion scene in the Netherlands and how do you compare with that in Hong Kong?
D: The Dutch fashion is very denim-oriented as there are many renowned denim brands there, like G-Star, Scotch & Soda, Denham and Blue Blood. The whole fashion culture in the Netherlands is quite relaxing and casual. In Hong Kong, as there are many international brands having stores here, the style is more international. You can see people mixing Japanese style with lots of labeling with European style where a clean shape is emphasized.
J: Where is the place in Hong Kong that inspires you the most?
D: Definitely Hollywood Road. There are many galleries and interesting shops and boutiques there. I’m completely inspired.
J: Same as me!
In his statement of the company mission, “every art piece had a soul and unique stories behind every fashion pieces”. I ask him what is the “story” behind, he says, “the story is simple, it’s the process of finding your inspiration and musings during your journey around the world”.
Looks of Pedder Red’s AW 2013/14 Collection
As the collaboration with Diederik Verbakel suggests, this season’s Pedder Red collection is all about modern women’s femininity and confidence.
The Main Collection features a mixture of androgynous and feminine styles. The floral and pointed sexy heels exude a modern lady’s femininity. The biker and combat style boots made up some grunge queen vibes. The monochrome loafers are more relaxed choices with a touch of “dandy mystery”. There are also hi-lo sneakers for the sporty chic women too.
The Fashion Collection represents the pure essence of the quintessential Pedder Red woman — who is confident, modern, fashionable. Pedder Red’s “Identidy” signature line debuting this season features 20 pieces of key fashion styles in simple and elegant colors of black and white, with a touch of silver.