AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Since graduating from ArtEZ (Institute of the Arts, Arnhem) last year, fashion designer Ratna Ho has become somewhat of a sensation in her homeland the Netherlands. Her graduate collection was chosen to take part in Lichting 2009, Holland’s prestigious annual event illustrating “the best academy graduates of one year in 1 central catwalk show;” and was also featured in Vogue, StyleBubble and Dutch Grazia amongst others. Here Ratna shares her thoughts with FAULT on what it means to be an ‘emerging designer’ in Europe.
FAULT: Your graduate collection was an unsual pairing of pleating and black web detailing against a pastel colour palette. What was your inspiration?
Tribal tattoos and my little pony, the webs were made out of fantasy tights which reminded me of tribals.
FAULT:Who is the ideal Ratna Ho woman?
She has very broad taste when it comes to art, fashion, books etc. She sees the beauty in ordinary things. Her age doesn’t really matter as long she has a young spirit. And above all, she is fierce.
FAULT: What are you working on at the moment?
At this moment I am working on a new collection and a project for Amnesty International.
FAULT: Which fashion designers do you admire?
Balenciaga, Christopher Kane and Ann Demeulemeester
FAULT: Do you feel there is enough support for emerging designers?
Yes and no, because of course I am thankful for everything what happened to me, lots of press attention, exhibitions etc but in the end when the attention is gone you have to do it by yourself. I have the idea that in the Netherlands they keep supporting the same designers every year, not really the new, renewing ones. If this would happen, the Amsterdam Fashion Week would become a lot more interesting, for both the viewers and designers. Therefore I think that the young designer contests like the Frans Molenaar Prize and Lichting are much more fun and inspiring and it’s not really a surprise that these shows are the most exciting shows of the fashion week.
FAULT: What advice would you give to other emerging designers?
Be yourself, don’t become arrogant. And think really good before you make decisions.
Interview By: Roshannah Bagley