Each decade there are only a handful of designers, whose influences are felt nationwide. In the 70's and early 80's Carla Maria Fong Leng Tsang was that designer in the Netherlands.
Her designs were sometimes unique artworks and other times, equally unique couture pieces, produced a mere three times. Although her prices could reach tens of thousands of guilders a pop, Fong Leng explains that several months work went into each piece, making them actually very reasonably priced.
Fong Leng: "Although I know that Dutch people easily find things to be too expensive"
Her feisty personality quickly became apparent during the launch of her monograph published by Jonge Honden, as she quickly corrected fashion lecturer (and Dutch fashion expert) José Teunissen and was met by ample giggles from the fashion-celebrity-filled crowd.
When questioned on her opinion of Dutch fashion today, Fong Leng encouraged young designers to work hard and follow their hearts, and said to be excited to see some of the shows.
With her opinion about the Dutch shopping streets on the other hand, she expressed a slither of dismay.
Fong Leng: "In my time, the PC Hooftstraat was much more exciting, there were small unique shops showcasing individuals' skills. The shops now make me lose my appetite, although you can get an excellent lunch on the PC."
Although she isn't visible in brick and mortar on Holland's most exclusive shopping street, her major influence on designers today is still apparent, with tributes and acknowledgement from designers with the likes of Francisco van Benthum and Viktor & Rolf.