Rosalie Boonstra designs couture from her own apartment

On the cover of Vogue, in photos by the iconic photographer Bastiaan Woudt and in the bodies of many celebrities: The 25-year-old Rosalie Boonstra is only just around the corner, but already designs couture that speaks to you. Bazaar spoke to the young designer about her fast-flying career.

Rosalie Boonstra: ‘Not everyone is aware of how much work goes into a dress’

If you take a look at Rosalie Boonstra’s (colorful!) Instagram page, you’ll see a lot of stunning designs. Couture piece after couture piece, the body of celebrity after celebrity. Publications in the biggest magazines are also mentioned. Anyone who sees all this would not believe that the designer is only 25 years old and that she sees just two years ago as the starting point of her career. She and her designs already look like they could join the list of Dutch couturiers – all from her own apartment in Arnhem.

IN no time a lot of celebrities and stylists walked away with your designs. What was the starting point for your career as a fashion designer?

‘Just two years ago, at the end of the summer, I had a collaboration with an international photographer. She wanted to borrow a dress and photograph it in Antwerp. Anyone who works in the fashion world knows that this does not necessarily mean a release. I never dared to dream that it would eventually become my first major publication, in Ukrainian Vogue. From that moment, more and more stylists and photographers found my designs and the ball started rolling. But perhaps even more important? It was time for me to stop doubting myself as an artistic person. I knew from then on: there is appreciation for what I do.’

Janis Ann

After that publication in Ukrainian Vogue, many other magazines and publications followed. What achievement are you most proud of?

‘In addition to the magazine work, there will soon be TV. I participate in the program Am I wearing something from you?, which I competed with two other designers for. Within 4 days we had to design the evening dress for Maxime Meiland’s wedding. I am not only proud of the final product, but also of the process that finally becomes visible. Few people know what goes on in a studio and only see fun, cheerful dresses on Instagram. Not everyone realizes how much work goes into a design. It’s not just the manufacturing process and sewing, it’s thinking about every detail. I really like showing this to a big audience – it shows what I have to offer.’

Tell us about that process!

‘In the case of the shoot, I was immediately excited and felt an emotional connection with my design. Although I’ve made many pieces over the last year where I felt that feeling, it’s not always the case. Sometimes you make something that makes you less happy, but those designs are also an important part of the process. Mistakes lead you to ideas that are unexpectedly very good. Sometimes design is just trying, trying, trying.’

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Speaking of trying.. when did you first come across the sewing machine? Where does that love come from?

‘My mother sewed the cutest clothes for me and my sister. I try to forget that I once secretly took her sewing machine upstairs and accidentally broke it. I only got my first real experience when I was 16 and the fashion tailoring course started. Thanks to my curiosity, I quickly picked it up, and 10 years later here we are.’

From zero experience to doing couture, it only took you 10 years! What dreams might have come true when I talk to you again in 10 years?

Can I dream big? Then I want to work for international! Big artists dress up for their performances, album covers, photoshoots… And of course have their own shop. I always have ideas for the future. But if I can continue to work with inspiring women, learn from each other and grow together, then I’ll be happy.’

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