Kaat Tilley autumn—winter 1998—99.

Kaat Tilley comes from Brussels, has roots in Mechelen, and studied at the Antwerp Fashion Academy. She has been designing since 1983 in a highly personal style. Behind every Kaat Tilley garment there’s a complete story, that of every woman. She seeks to express symbolically every stage in a woman’s life, with all its ups and downs.

In 1989 she opened her own boutique in the prestigious Koningsgalerij in Brussels. Her unusual wedding and party dresses, with the name Black Lines, were the great eye-catchers. Her hazy, fairy-tale silhouettes fired the imagination. The original and specific mood of this collection is repeated in her ready-to-wear ladies’ collection Inner & Earthings.

Kaat Tilley designs have few straight lines; everything is soft and fluid. Her personal, complicated pattern studies result in almost unreal, irregular yet structured shapes. The dresses and skirts are always long, and consist of layer upon layer of light, fine knits, which produce slender outlines. Piping, embroidery, smocking and little pieces of knitwear at the wrists, elbows, hips, waist, shoulder curves, back panels and hems accentuate the curves. They emphasise the feminine shape, whilst making for a slender figure. Not that her clothes are intended for slim women only. The different layers, the asymmetry, the ribbons and the turn-ups achieve different silhouettes. 

The Escape line is cheaper in execution and material, made mainly from jersey. It is easy to combine with the Inner & Earthings line. Kaat Tilley has also been making Frederiek —  a collection for little girls — since 1994.

1997 was the first year in which she held a show during the Paris prêt-a-porter week. 

This week’s Anniversary-issue cover, “Brooklyn’s Eustace,” is by Simon Greiner, a thirty-one-year-old reader originally from Sydney, Australia, who submitted it through our 2013 Eustace Tilley Contest. Here, Greiner, who now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, talks about the inspiration for his cover, plus see a slideshow of all of the 2013 Eustace Tilley finalists: http://nyr.kr/VyjBCX

A first: The idea for this week’s cover, “Loading…”, came from one of our readers, Brett Culbert, a thirty-year-old landscape historian. Culbert’s original image, a blurred Eustace with a loading icon in place of the butterfly, is one of the twelve Eustace Tilley Contest winners for 2012. His idea was modified into the final cover design. Although the winning entries have been showcased in the magazine before, this marks the first time that a reader’s submission inspired the cover.

The other 2012 contest winners include Cristian Gomez, an art director who put Eustace in a window in the Chrysler building. Next, we have five-time finalist Gary Amaro; his entry this year riffs on Picasso. David Urban imagines a Eustace with white earbud headphones. A California-based graphic designer, Ray Dougela, has Eustace coping with the economic situation. Kevin Scalzo reinvents Nancy and Sluggo. Alma Mitchell was born in Miles City, Montana and is ninety-nine years old. Here is her Eustace. View a slideshow of all of the 2012 winners.