Want/Need: Dusen Dusen
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Photography by Photos Courtesy of Dusen Dusen
As much as we love our solid staples, we also have a major weakness for patterns…especially those of the quirkier variety. And that’s where Dusen Dusen comes in, a Brooklyn-based brand started in 2010 that specializes in made-ya-look prints, amongst other elements.
“They’re clothes for the girl who likes to have fun when she’s getting dressed,” says designer Ellen Van Dusen. “Simple, wearable silhouettes with bold, graphic prints.” Sartorially, that translates to button-up shift dresses embellished with fruit, overalls and jumpsuits, easy skater silhouettes studded with oversized geometric shapes, and much more.
“I have loved making clothes since middle school,” Dusen, who has since logged in internships at Proenza Schouler and Norma Kamali, explains of her beginnings. “I used to go to thrift stores and buy reeeeally big t-shirts and turn them into dresses, skirts, tote bags, you name it. I eventually realized that if I started with fabric (instead of something that was already a garment) I could make exactly what I wanted to wear, which is what I ended up doing all through high school.”
At Tufts University Dusen studied all things visual, including art history, graphic design, neuroscience of vision, and visual anthropology, and funneled that knowledge into a thesis collection of about 10 dresses.
“I worked in a costume shop, which was really my only formal [fashion] training, all the while making a lot of clothes for myself,” she says. “Once I moved to New York I would get a ton of compliments on the street about what I was wearing, and eventually decided to try to make the clothes for other people, too. I feel so lucky that it has worked out the way that it has!”
So, what’s up next for the inventive designer? “I am working on a collection of textile-based home goods. Stay tuned!”
We think our hearts just skipped a beat.
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