Through her time at Tufts, Van Dusen established costumes for the university’s theater department, which ready her for internships both throughout and soon after school with the vogue brand names Norma Kamali and Proenza Schouler, and a postgraduation work in the studio of the designer Mary Meyer. All the while, Van Dusen was generating her own bright, sample-centric garments — which she’d been carrying out considering that higher university — on the facet. 

“I would go to cloth or vintage outlets and test to obtain large bolts of cloth,” she suggests. “I would make samples, acquire preorders from suppliers, and then create the collection 6 months later on.” Duo NYC, a boutique in New York’s East Village promoting curated classic outfits and unbiased designers, was an early supporter of Van Dusen’s samples and placed a assortment purchase.

Just a number of several years after going to New York, Van Dusen started out Dusen Dusen, her own womenswear line, but she swiftly turned disenchanted with the dictates of the output method and with the have to have to adhere to a rigid seasonal assortment cycle. “I didn’t seriously really feel at household within just the fashion sector,” she says. “I was far more interested in dresses than capital-‘F’ trend, and the scene was by no means superappealing to me.” Alternatively, her persistent fascination in the fundamentals of shade and sample led her to start off building her own prints, partly mainly because of the problems inherent in performing with the limited quantities of the classic lifeless-stock fabrics she preferred.

As she moved absent from manufacturing garments (she nevertheless will make them “very at times,” she states) and towards textiles, Van Dusen turned frustrated by the relative deficiency of awareness currently being paid out to specific locations of domestic design and style, this sort of as bedding. “It just felt like this massive neglected group,” she states. “So I was like, ‘Well, if no one particular else is gonna do it, I’m gonna have to.’” The brand name expanded to contain Dusen Dusen Household, a line of textiles and property components that includes towels, pillows, kitchen textiles and, of program, bedding. This sort of a reorientation also opened up appealing creative difficulties: “It was an prospect to consider about prints on a more substantial, uninterrupted scale.”

That her daring hues and geometric patterns — huge stripes, cursive squiggles, ’60s flower prints — have an insistent childlike excellent and would not always be out of position in a playroom aren’t perceived as demerits in Van Dusen’s universe. Yet again, it all goes back to our primitive psychology: Kids “are drawn to daring shapes and daring hues for the reason that it is the way we’re wired to exist,” she says. “It’s a serious shame that there’s not substantially in the environment for grown ups which is supercolorful and enjoyable. I feel there is a way to do color that is advanced and wise.”

When selecting hues throughout the structure approach, Van Dusen takes advantage of an artist’s shade wheel and a healthful dose of instinct to hit on combinations of shades that will make every sing. “On the style and design finish it can be an endless sea of revision,” she claims. “I’m frequently tweaking right until I experience like it’s finalized, but at times I have an idea and it just is effective right absent.”

Her playful, contrast-hefty tactic stands out in a style landscape characterized by social-media mood boards entire of muted, monochromatic minimalism, which may perhaps be just one motive Van Dusen’s pieces have become cult favorites between celebs like Lena Dunham, Tavi Gevinson and Jessica Williams. But her wares’ appeal has also gone extensively mainstream, as evidenced by her recent collaborations with massive-scale merchants: with the household furniture brand name Dims on a wood chair with the luggage and vacation-equipment maker Arlo Skye on a suitcase assortment and with Uniqlo and Keds on apparel.

Which poses the concern: How does Van Dusen alter her course of action when partnering with a corporate big? “I have to reorient myself about their client,” she suggests, “and I come across it to be a genuinely enjoyable mental problem. They want my vision and my aesthetic, but it has to be via their eyes.”

Up next is a whimsical assortment of kitchenware — a saltshaker, a pepper grinder with interchangeable “outfits,” a kitchen timer with a facial area — as properly as a new set of boldly patterned towels in neutral tones.

Van Dusen’s lack of formal design and style schooling has allowed her to protect what she phone calls her “naïve design” aesthetic, and to keep a certain spontaneity in just her method she generally results in “on impulse, instead of as a result of this belabored approach, the way matters are usually created,” she states. Hers is a maximalist vision by means of which the quotidian becomes a form of statement and playfulness a type of chromotherapy. “I’m not super trend-pushed I have constantly had my same sort of aesthetic. If you seem at anything I created in 2010, it looks the very same,” she states. “Obviously, I have evolved, but I have constantly been drawn to poppy hues and designs and as substantially things on the wall as you can match — within an organizational method.”