Tulip Mania at St-W Store Amsterdam

'The emotion and interaction of the viewer on my work is a source of inspiration,' says Dutch designer and St-W 103 cover artist Hilde Koenders.

'The emotion and interaction of the viewer on my work is a source of inspiration,' says Dutch designer and St-W 103 cover artist . The centrepiece of Koenders' Tulip Mania series is the distinctive shape of the tulip petal. The designer's work uses recognisable elements such as movement, transparency, humour and colour.

Koenders began working with tulips during a colour experiment. She tested the absorption of various flower species and the tulip proved to present the most vivid results. With the addition of pigmented water, the veins of the petal become visible, offering a fine and very sharp structure. The rich symbolism and history of this typical Dutch flower solidified Koenders' selection of the tulip as her muse. Taking place during the 17th century in the , the period of Tulip Mania is an example of how speculation and greed led to tulip bulb's artificial inflation and subsequent crash.

Koenders’ Tulip Mania series consists of portraits formed with the petals which appear almost human. She consciously chose to work with human expressions in an attempt to give a face to the unique time in history. 'I love the contrast between the euphoria and the downfall of the tulip mania; contradictions excite me.'

Hilde Koenders works between the worlds of international fashion, environment and arts. Koenders' interdisciplinary method finds its origin at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, where she graduated with honours in 2005. After graduation, the cross-disciplinary designer collaborated on various projects with like-minded 'Renaissance minds' including Belgian fashion designer Walter van Beirendonck and trend analyst Lidewij Edelkoort. Koenders was also part of the team that made an indispensable contribution to the theme, concept and design of ten editions of the most important event in the Dutch fashion world: the Modefabriek in Amsterdam.



The Tulip Mania exhibition opens at the St-W Store on  at Herengracht 178 in Amsterdam and runs until the end of March. The St-W Store pop-up shop will close its doors at the Herengracht location on 29 March (more info here) and open at a new, third location in the near future.

St-W store

Open Tuesday through Sunday
11.00 until 18.00 / free entrance
+31 (0)20 764 0990

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St-W 103

Colour is something of a design enigma. Few know exactly how to apply it; many don't dare to try. For some it comes 'naturally' so it's only 'natural' that nature is the go-to source for inspiration. As materials innovation-and-technology specialist Natsai Audrey Chieza says: 'We've always borrowed from nature to dye and colour material artefacts, and that will not change.' What already is changing is the way we borrow from nature.

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