A royal visit, fish scales and rose petals

HRH Princess Benedikte was particularly delighted with experiments in new materials on her tour of Design School Kolding

The bouquet HRH Princess Benedikte received when she arrived at Design School Kolding was a little out of the ordinary. Its creator and flower girl of the day, Marianne Nielsen, is a trained florist but currently studies textile design at Design School Kolding. That floral past shone through clearly. Roses, callas and astilbes were spruced up with fur, yarn and leather scraps from the school’s workshops.

The bouquet was not the only hallmark of design. Students from the 2nd and 3rd years had woven an archway of mason strings by the school entrance. And that where the Princess’ three-hour tour of the school began. After lunching with Kolding Mayor Jørn Pedersen, Design School Curator Anni Nørskov Mørch, Chief of Communications at Koldinghus Nanna Ebert, Assistant Manager at Georg Jensen Damask, Christian Borch and others, Rector Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen led a guided tour from basement to attic.

At the top of the school the Princess met with teachers and students from Fashion and Textiles. In her youth the Princess studied design apparel at Margretheskolen, which is the alma mater of a number of succesful and acclaimed fashion designers, so there was a lot of interest in learning about the fashion of 2018. Now, about half a century later, fashion and textile designers experiment with new sustainable materials like cow stomachs, fish scales and rose petals, which may be transformed into e.g. purses and shoes. The princess was delighted with the materials experiments. And the futuristic fashion scenario was printed not in neon but in 3D, garments printed out made to order and ready to wear – and who knows, perhaps in the future we can all print our own clothes based on designs for our individual bodies. However, good old-fashioned knowledge of shaping and colouring garments is still in vogue. Head of Textiles, Helle Graabæk, made that clear when she presented Adornment and Form studies; dresses, shirts and trousers draped in paper.

The tour also left time to introduce Design School Kolding’s one-of-a-kind MA programme, Design for Play. The programme was organised in collaboration with the LEGO Foundation and LEGO Group and is a world first. Princess Benedikte’s visit lasted three hours and left quite the impression:

- I have always wanted to visit Design School Kolding and now the opportunity finally arose. The students are very talented and I am impressed with the many new materials that are made here, the Princess said.

A damask-covered coffee table rounded off the visit, after which the Princess set course for Copenhagen and a scheduled concert with the Saint Anne’s Girl’s Choir in the Church of the Holy Ghost.