Gwen van den Eijnde (born January 22, 1981) is a Franco-Dutch designer working in the disciplines of fashion, fine art and theatre. Through his expressive, avant-garde clothing and costume designs, he creates captivating characters and tells enthralling stories that stretch the imagination.
A professor at prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), van den Eijnde’s multi-layered approach is informed by his deep knowledge of fashion history and theory; his work is a commentary on the peculiarities of life, often finding subversive humour and fantasy rooted in fact.
He has studied and worked with some of the most esteemed practitioners in his field, including artist Edith Dekyndt in the Atelier Textile of the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg, costume designer Olivier Bériot, choreographer Robyn Orlin, and the revered Hermès atelier, Petit h.
He has worked at some of the world’s most respected institutions including Robert Wilson’s International Summer Program for performance arts at the Watermill Center in New York, the Opera National de Paris, and was artist in residence at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and at the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. Before joining the faculty at RISD, he was visiting professor at the Fashion department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and Head of Textile Design at the Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin in Mulhouse.
Awards include the 2016 Cultural Prize of the Alexander Clavel Stiftung in Riehen/Basel and the 2010 Audience Award for the best costume design from Luzerner Theater. Recipient of many notable grants and residencies, he has travelled extensively developing his practice, from studying traditional kimono design and embroidery in Kyoto and Fukuyama, to baroque dance in Cambridge, and stage wigs and make-up in Paris and Strasbourg.
Van den Eijnde is currently an Andrew Mellon Fellow in the Costume and Textiles department of the RISD Museum in Rhode Island, USA.