AP ¬ Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp ¬ Fashion Department

Marthe De Buck

(Belgium) [email protected]


The Koi, a decorative fish which originated in China and later introduced in Japan, isn't just credited for its sheer beauty. This special kind of carp was bred as a gift of vanity for the royals because of its beautiful color patterns, and quickly turned into a popular symbol of hope and courage. It wasn't long before legends were spread about the perseverance of this magical creature.

For Marthe De Buck's master collection the Koi was her main source of inspiration, its beauty and its mythological elements seemed like the perfect combination. The colors and the way how the scales puzzle together combined with its gracious movements were Marthe's main inspiration, she thinks of them as aquatic jewels. She solved this in a technical manner, the scales puzzle together and form a pattern, the drawings of these patterns were transformed into oval facets which form a print. The buttons were molded in colored plexi marble which are used both functionally and decoratively.

A few of her pieces are completely fabricated in chain mail. She discovered this cold material last year and it reminded her immediately of the sensuality of the skin of a fish. These ideas found their origins when she went to Japan a couple of years ago. The unique Japanese way of life quickly grew on her and she fell in love with the aesthetics which she found poetic, but not without its gruesomeness. This cultural contrast reminded her of the artist Lucio Fontana, an Argentinian abstract artist who was especially known for his minimalistic art in which he sliced monochrome colored canvases to create chaos in something that is essentially monotonous. Many of her garments are built up asymetrical, trying to create perfection through imperfections.

She deeply loves pure forms and geometric lining and tries to find a certain purity and balance in her designs, which correlates with the Japanese mindset. Legends say the Koi only swims upstream until it reaches its final destination, which reminds her of the path she had to follow the last four years. This last year was a road in which she sought clarity.

"Lucid Swim" isn't just the name of her collection or a reference to the transparent materials that were used, it's also the purity of mind she wants to achieve.

Catwalk pictures