Dirk Vaessen’s London College of Fashion MFA Collection Draws Attention to Abstract Footwear

Labeling his imaginative and viral designs as “restrictive.”

Footwear Fashion
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The London College of Fashion’s annual Master of Fine Arts showcase has been known to launch the careers of aspiring design students. And for 2022, Dirk Vaessen stands out as a graduate to watch.

With a focus on futuristic footwear, the London-based Dutch creator titled his collection “Brave Hendrik’s New Identities,” and presented a monochromatic beige collection of wooden, aluminum and leather shoes. The abstract constructions include a slanted pair of vertical block-heels, an upturned pair of elongated flats, and a geometric-shaped pair of semi-clog wedges.

A collection highlight includes an open-heeled pair of shin-covering foot slides that extend from the instep, all the way up to the knee.

Vaessen released a brand statement for the Brave Hendrik project, sharing insight on his intricate design technique:

“Brave Hendrik’s restrictive footwear artefacts function as therapeutic tools that adjust human posture based on restrictions of joints. It is believed that by choosing the appropriate restriction, a person’s true self can be restored and uncovered from which a new form of physical and metaphysical identification can emerge,” it reads.

Additionally responding to the recent social media reaction to his collection, Vaessen spoke to Women’s Wear Daily, stating: “I am a shoemaker. I know how to make proper shoes. I used completely different techniques with milling, laser cutting and water jet cutting. That’s why they look so abstract.”

Former noteworthy LCF graduates include Thi Phuong Thao Nguyen (MA Menswear), and burgeoning men’s designer Harikrishnan.

Vaessen’s MFA portfolio and previous works can be found on his design website.

Elsewhere in creative footwear, take a first look at the Tom Sachs x NikeCraft “General Purpose” shoe.

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