Fong-Leng NL

  • Author(s):
    Karin Schacknat
  • Published:
    februari 2010
  • Size:
    paperback 12.2 x 16.4
  • Pages:
  • Illustration:
    100 full-colour afbeeldingen
  • Design:
    Mariola Lopez
  • Language:
  • ISBN:
  • Print/edition:
€ 18,50

‘Fong-Leng is the first Dutch designer to incorporate sex in her clothing in a tasteful way,’ wrote Erna van den Berg on 15 November 1974 in de Volkskrant in response to Fong-Leng’s spectacular show in the Van Gogh Museum the previous day. Not only were the clothes extravagant, but the entire show, which featured dancing and swinging models, was a real happening. And Fong-Leng herself was a genuine diva. In the always down-to-earth, sober fashion that dominated the Netherlands back then, when C & A and Peek & Cloppenburg were the arbiters of taste, this was a minor revolution. It was through Fong-Leng that the Dutch world of art and culture first came in direct contact with fashion. The Dutch custodians of fashion found her creations so original and innovative that they immediately began making their purchases at Studio Fong-Leng. In 1973 the Centraal Museum bought the ‘Straalmantel’ for ten thousand guilders, an event so extraordinary that it received extensive press attention.
Although the work of Fong-Leng did have international resonance, her merit lay primarily in the fact that she made the Netherlands fashion-conscious. For the first time people began to realise that the Netherlands, too, could produce idiosyncratic and creative fashion talent. In the eighties, when Berry Brun, her indispensable right-hand man, began teaching design in the fashion department of the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, he passed on something of Fong-Leng’s mentality to a younger generation. Viktor & Rolf, Saskia van Drimmelen, Michiel Keuper and Francisco van Benthum were all taught by him. Later these designers often told the press that they regarded Fong-Leng as a source of inspiration. In Viktor & Rolf’s 2003 summer collection Flowers, the twosome launched a series of flower creations that were clearly inspired by Fong-Leng. The fact that they were presented by dancing Mathilde Willink look-alikes was a clear indication that the entire collection was an ode to Fong-Leng.


Also available in the English edition