The magical concept of shapeshifting must be deeply ingrained into our psyche, as it is a popular theme in myths and fairy tales, in shamanism and witchcraft, in religious texts and science fiction, in the arts and culminating in our modern ‘makeability’ cultus.
What is this fleshy vessel, this body, that has to somehow fit in with the prescriptions of fashion? What does fashion do with our shape and with our concept of self? Which part of our identity is expressed through fashion?
The New Order of Fashion team perceives an increasing desire to alter not solely our digital selves, but also our actual physical form. By bending gender and appreciating beauty in diversity, and through our fitness fanaticism, cosmetic surgery, and biohacking, the human form is altered to that of a cyborg. A surprising number of young designers are researching new expressions of identity as an answer to a fast changing and multidimensional living environment, considering the increasing influence of technology, migration issues and climate change. Something is at stake, we are changing. Fashion offers an endless toolbox of silhouettes, expressions, associations and identifications. In the end, the magician who changes our appearance is us!
Modebelofte 2018 shows the forefront of young fashion designers who strive towards more autonomy, imagination, and experimentation in how we express the complexities of our advanced self-identity. They answer to an essential need of humans to transform. They are Shape Shifters!
Modebelofte 2018 is supported by Stichting Cultuur Eindhoven, Brabant C, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie and the Dutch Design Foundation.
New Order of Fashion is sponsored by Fontys ArtCoDe, Sting, Havep, Philips, Mansveld Expotech, Heijmans, Air Design Studio Erik van Dongen, Mediamarkt Ekkersrijt, Jeger - Allround Painting, Professional Painting and Kunstofshop.nl.
Special thanks to Hoax Amsterdam, Bart Hess, Erik van Dongen.
For press requests please contact us at: [email protected]
After a successful first run of the Modebelofte fellowship in 2017, New Order of Fashion proudly presents two new fellowships!
Leading leather manufacturer ECCO Leather will collaborate with New Order of Fashion superforce Kira Goodey. Goodey will explore the possibilities of APPARITION, ECCO’s Leather's groundbreaking transparant
TRANSPARENT & FLEXIBLE: A NEW CLASS OF LEATHER
After years of studying ancient techniques and parchment leathers, ECCO Leather outranked the past. Transparent leather used to be unmanageable hard and nonresistant to water, but APPARITION is the first soft and transparent cow skin leather with lasting pliability, which protects from moist. Made from full grain bovine material, this range with spectral qualities comes in two substances. The gradations of softness vary, while at every degree this leather will move and mould. It’s truly alive.
KIRA GOODEY TALKS APPARATION
I wanted to work with the translucent qualities and unctuous texture of the material to create couture pieces that enhance the natural beauty and variation of this artisanal leather. It feels, looks and behaves unlike any
leather I have previously worked with which made it both fascinating and challenging to create shoes out of. Much of the final outcome was dictated by what the leather wanted to do naturally. For instance the ruffled florets are simple circles sewn in two places and left to fall naturally and the colour way was dictated by which dyes would be absorbed by the leather.
ABOUT ECCO LEATHER
ECCO Leather develops highly progressive leather qualities for some of the industry’s most iconic contemporary designers and brands. With a main tanning facility in the Netherlands, ECCO Leather also operates award-winning facilities across Europe, Southeast Asia and the Far East. ECCO Leather’s production network is characterised by clean, secure and flexible operations scaled to suit growing customer needs while ensuring seamless communication with customer-designated finished-goods manufacturers.
After a successful first run of the Modebelofte fellowship in 2017, New Order of Fashion proudly presents two new fellowships!
New Order of Fashion superduo AnoukXVera (Anouk van de Sande and Vera de Pont) will work together with Kobe, internationally acclaimed for their outstanding interior textiles. Van de Sande and de Pont will research a crossover between interior design and fashion items.
KOBE is a world wide interior textiles brand based in Valkenswaard in the Netherlands.
The company’s in-house research and development and styling department with their passion for interior design and textiles, always seek for innovation and the development of outstanding, high quality products. For over 35 years the company has played a prominent role in the world of interior, design and lifestyle. KOBE’s highly valued products are being distributed world wide in more than 50 countries, and are being used by interior design professionals and consumers alike. Their motivation to engage in this Fellowship collaboration is to explore how interior and fashion can fuse in a combined creative expression.
AnoukxVera is a fashion design duo focussed on on-demand sportswear and visual storytelling. Anouk van de Sande and Vera de Pont did research a crossover between interior design and fashion items. Feeling inspired by the many expressive and layered KOBE fabrics, AnoukxVera transported the fabrics from the walls and chairs closer to the human body to become tiny surrealistic homes without a roof. This fusion of living and wearing is explored in three suits. The suits emphasise an exploration of the senses, as seen for example in the multicoloured pallet suit and the sofa suit, and touch upon modular or flexible garment concepts. Use your garment like a curtain or become a sofa.
Inhabited by a small human, this tiny transportable house represents a fusion of living and wearing. Shrunken down to body-sized elements, it’s parts drape for bad weather or swallow you like a sofa. It can suddenly change, expand or shrink. Travel, float and drape.
Experience the world of a few of the SHAPE SHIFTERS, on Saturday October 20 and Sunday October 21, who are part of this year’s Modebelofte exhibition.
We have a conversation with the young talents and explore the 'back-end' processes of their practice and how they shape this process;
What inspires them and how do they work?
What does their offline workplace (studio), and their online workplace (desktop, telephone) look like?
Which techniques and materials do they work with, and which collaborations do they seek out?
How do they relate to the (fashion) world, which values are important to them, and how do they move forward?
The SHAPE SHIFTERS IN CONVERSATION series is compiled by Lenn Cox (fashion curator and co-founder of Shift) and hosted by Mo Veld (fashion writer and educator), Grietje Schepers (designer and Modebelofte fellowship director), Rolien Zonneveld (i-D Netherlands) and Lenn Cox.
12.00 - 12.30 Axel Backlund
13.00 - 13.30 Juha Vehmaanperä
14.00 - 14.30 Marie Sloth Rousing
15.00 - 15.30 Kira Goodey, Vera de Pont & Anouk van de Sande
12.00 - 12.30 Paolo Carzana & Savanah Avery
13.00 - 13.30 Studio PMS
14.00 - 14.30 Stina Randestad
15.00 - 15.30 Sinéad O’Dwyer
A musician and performer herself, Lieselot Elzinga’s work is all about the stage. On stage, everything needs to be bigger, over the top. “I want to give the collection’s audience the same experience and feeling that you have during a live performance, something that brings the whole audience together and takes them all to the same place of joy and imagination.” The shapes in her graduation collection BABY’S BERSERK, as well as her prints, are clear and exaggerated, so that they are easy to read and convey unmistakable emotions. Lieselot also wanted to play with the audience’s expectations by, for instance, showing classically feminine silhouettes with weird distortions or creating very ladylike characters using not so ladylike materials such as PVC tape. “I want to promote weirdness and excitement in fashion. Make people feel something.”
Paolo Carzana’s graduation collection is a personal protest against the abuse of power. THE BOY YOU STOLE is his utopia, an inverted world inhabited and protected by his “monstrous characters”. Working with military references, the hand tools of craftsmen and traditional outerwear, a subversion of existing menswear codes emerge into enormous, elevated silhouettes and otherworldly extensions of the body. Tree-shrub waxing and the hand dyeing of found historical linen, vintage French toile and hessian (burlap) is reinvented, contrasting with innovative pineapple, bamboo and banana textiles, all in place of unsustainable modern equivalents. Avoiding all digital processes of today and refusing animal products, the handcrafted collection grew from initially working solely with brown paper to the creation of the imagined shapes, oversized scale and proportions.
Inspired by ‘chavs’ (young lower-class British men) and French collage artist Pascal Marlin, Juha Vehmaanperä addresses the hetero-normative male stereotype. “In our society masculinity is often defined by straight male culture. It is not seen as an attribute for gay people because homosexuals are described to be more feminine than straight males. In a male-dominated world ‘feminine’ is seen as submissive, weak and sensitive whereas ‘masculine’ is dominant and insensitive.” Juha’s satirical collection MASCUCLINICALLY TESTED reminds us that gender doesn't define our personal preferences of self- expression. Dressing the “intergalactic space fantasy jocks” in bulky and hairy, hyper-masculine looks with “Christmas tree like decorations”, Juha focused on handmade knitwear and crochet pieces mixed with knitted jacquards and sportswear materials.
Matilda Söderberg’s graduation project THE POTATO OF THE MIND depicts the idea of our neoliberal economy as being so pervasive that it perpetuates our entire perception of life. “Aided by social media and the ‘culture industry’, we start to value human emotions, experiences and creativity through a ‘productivist’ filter. This commodification of real life eventually alienates us from our actual life experience.” By outlining visual elements that we find desirable or common in everyday fashion, Matilda seeks to expose the social structures that surround us on a daily basis, and eventually also constitute the ideology of western materialism. She kept a ‘naïve’ approach to materials, which include wood, cardboard, found objects and leftovers from the workshop, and created a short film about how she interacted with them.
“NOESKWAM is the name of a garbage patch floating in the middle of the sea. Its residents have claimed the ‘island’ to create their own utopia on it. This new society shows the importance of playful elements in everyday life. Their only resource is the waste and plastic that washes ashore. They make everything out of found materials, from everyday objects to clothing. Everything is considered a precious material, as waste is their only resource and plastic lasts forever.” Inspired by the theory of the ‘Homo Ludens’ - the playing human - by Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, Alicia Minnaard envisions us as a recycling species happily creating whatever it is we need from nothing but waste, most importantly plastics.
The title of River Renjie Wang’s collection BEING HEALTHY IS PRIORITIZED FOR THE REVOLUTION refers to a popular slogan during the Chinese Communist revolution. “In my collection I frame the body as a site of rebellion, using clothing to challenge a culture of material wealth and temptation, surveillance and control. Through confrontation and intervention I attempted to ‘re-humanise’ the anonymous, to regain that which has been abandoned during China’s social development.” Using, as an artist would say, ‘mixed media’, Renjie created a futuristic Chinese look inspired by ancient as well as modern Chinese elements, which he considers to be rather similar.
Savanah Avery’s unisex collection MOTHERWOMB depicts our earth in a distant future as a desiccated desert land, the only survivors are a tribe of bugs who dance for rain. Loud bells and abrupt wooden clogs convey euphoric movement. Her personal photo archive of African landscapes informed the deep tones of colour acquired by natural dyes. The majority of fabrics are hand woven and knitted to imitate furs with the application of plant fibers such as tencel, bamboo and banana. This pays homage to the traditional craftsmanship of the nomadic tribes of the Sahara; specifically the Tuareg people who naturally hand dye their clothing. The completely plant based collection energetically applies luxury to sustainable design whilst satirically addressing our ignorance; reminding us that insects are likely to survive us.
Stefan Kartchev graduation project addresses the attitude and emotions of Eastern Europeans desperate for some faith in a better future. His AMBIVALENCE collection explores Bulgarian orthodox religious vestments, which he translated into layered silhouettes. The traditional heritage reference is interfered by speedwear and motorcycle gear, creating a futuristic look. Prints feature sarcastic and despairing traditional expressions in a cheap advertising aesthetic. Worn-down advertising banners, street surroundings and motorcycle covers with their faded colours informed the collection’s ominous atmosphere as well as some volumes and cuts. In this dusty palette, iridescent and metallic materials are the sparkles that represent hope. “Important for me is that the viewer dives in this mood and understands the clothes on an emotional level.”
A BUNCH OF MOTHERFUCKERS is based on a Swedish subculture called ‘Raggare’, which is inspired by mid-century American ‘greasers’ with their hot rod cars and rockabilly tastes. “My work is intended to be a modernisation of the clothing, exploring the Raggare subculture and developing it, however without losing its attitude”, says Axel Backlund who also allowed influences from other related subcultures to blend in with the typical blue-collar wardrobe. Subculture-related painting techniques such as graffiti, airbrush and action painting merge in with the visual language of Raggare in prints that “sweep across the outfits, connecting garments.” The high flag with typical Raggare symbols attached to one of the looks expresses the pride of being part of this culture.
Chien Hsiang Hung pictures a dark, dystopian scene of our planet 100 years from now, when water levels have risen due to global warming and the oceans have swallowed our urbanised civilisation. “The remaining human beings are forced to move to the highest place on earth, the Himalayas, and live with Tibetans. But still, our greed and disrespect for nature destroy the last place on earth.” For THE EXCITEMENT OF DESPERATION Chien merged traditional Tibetan silhouettes with functional mountaineering outfits. The colours are taken from Francis Bacon’s paintings; “I sense pure darkness, anger and violence from his paintings, I can’t feel happiness, and that is precisely the point I want to make with my collection.”
Marie Sloth Rousing’s TRANSFORMABLE WARDROBE is a conceptual fashion collection, questioning our future wardrobe and investigating “what is more than clothing?”. How much control do we want to have in contrast to surrounding products, including our wardrobe? The collection incorporates objects from everyday life into the context of clothing so they can transform from one shape to another. Throughout the process Marie used a lot of full size testing, learning how her samples transformed from one shape to the other, leading her to ever more specific designs. The project tries to challenge our expectations about clothing and what we want it to be. “The products that surround us affect our behaviour, so ultimately, the products we create end up creating us!”
Stina Randestad’s graduation collection HYBRIDS explores expressive material combinations through fabric manipulation and a generative methodology, aiming for a bang. “I wanted to see how I could make materials meet and what happened when they did. During a process of free material exploration, I stumbled upon two fabric manipulation techniques: laser cutting mesh and combining stretchy with stiff materials. These techniques not only helped me to merge materials in an interesting way, they also ‘shapeshifted’ the material from being 2D to 3D, which generated expression, movement and an ability to transform. Hybrids is also an example of how a shift in a design process, such as putting material development first, can lead to new ideas and unexpected results.” Computer-generated prints, by merging the codes of generic prints, complete the idea.
IN PURSUIT OF TACTILITY is an exploration into what fashion design could become in the digital world. “What if we can change the way we consume fashion by digitizing the design and production process? Design digitally, exhibit digitally, purchase digitally, and eventually produce in a digital manner; this process will challenge and mitigate overproduction and overconsumption, urgent issues that the fashion industry needs to address.” For this Puck, Merle and Suzanne worked closely together with a team of experts, seeking for the opportunities and possibilities of 3D photography, animation, virtual reality and soundscaping. With this interdisciplinary project group Studio PMS set out to ‘redefine’ tactility, of which it will present several aspects in the Modebelofte exhibition.
The silhouettes of Anna Dorian’s collection represent the different stages of melting ice, referring to the issue of climate change, which is something we will inevitably be facing. “I decided to strongly expose this issue.” Anna drew inspiration from the 80’s club theme, which is her preferred reference in any design process, though this collection is driven by videos and pictures of melting of ice and its consequences to our planet earth. A main feature is her use of graphics, which were translated through the use of digital printing, Jacquard piqué, fur intarsia and cord manipulation. “Fashion is not superficial, but is a key agent through which we read our reality. It can send positive political messages such as the urgency to address climate change.“
For her Masters project FACEFACADE Emma Wessel created an autonomous scenario, which serves as inspiration for the optical market. She always works with existing forms and hijacks the designs of others to reshape them and give them new meaning. In doing so she created six optical designs based on six different characters: Acid Princess, Hedon, Bambino, (un)Object, Creator and Retrophilliac, that are all alter egos of herself. All characters have in common that they are imaginative and playful; they can transform their current state of mind in a second to match their mood. They are seeking for good experiences, engaging in fantasy and have a naivety that makes it possible for them to wonder.
Pierre-Louis Auvray has a thing about 80’s wrestler figures and female bodybuilders. “I think it is amazing what they do with their bodies because they are looking outside of the conventionally beautiful and owning it.” His collection MEDIEVAL WRESTLING addresses the way we perceive other bodies and what we make of it. “There is a sort of objectification in this process as the body becomes the garment and is capitalized. I think it relates strongly to the theme shapeshifting because once the wearer puts on this garment, they turn into something radically different in appearance.” To create the muscular shapes Pierre used a lot of different foams, and once he found the right technique he covered the structure with thin latex layers to give it a smooth look.
Lingfeng Zhu based his graduation collection on his fieldwork research into ‘displaced people’, whom he encountered in the streets of London. “A topic that is unfortunately very evident in contemporary society, and I hope I treat this sensitive subject with respect.” With his designs Lingfeng wants to show us what a homeless person needs from garments, namely a warm and secure environment. “Some of the waterproof fabrics I used are inspired by the humid environments where displaced people tend to live out of necessity. I used the texture of velboa fabric because I wish their world to be warm, soft and cozy.” The bright, eye-catching colors he selected from the many photos he took should attract peoples' attention in a positive way.
Yuting Zhu took her experience of living alone abroad for many years as the starting point for her graduation project. ”I always kept my spiritual motivation that inspired me to maintain my enthusiasm for life and dreams. Movies that inspired me in my childhood were adventure films like The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Mary Poppins. With this collection, I wanted to create my own fantasy adventure story about people like me, with a ‘spirit of explorers’, who suddenly find themselves wrapped into a journey, heading to a mysterious surreal utopian tribe.” Her FINDING NEVERLAND collection, which features elaborate prints of distorted figures and silhouettes with asymmetrical structures, reminds us of our childlike imaginations of who we actually wanted to be.
Drawn to the fringes of society, Floyd Hogan remembered something Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead once said: “There are things in this world that are really weird and there are people who are concerned with them.” Hence, for her collection, she looked into the “fabulously strange and intensely serious world of extreme masculinity”, trying to unpack what society has constructed as the norm: think: G.I. Joe and the likes. Throughout her collection the highs and lows of these intense, hyper aggressive, steroid and testosterone fueled bodies is discussed through a morphing of size and shape across the looks. Created in crisp sportswear and utility bomber materials, the forms ripple and catch the light imitating the male body in competition. Floyd Hogan recently started out at Nike as NSW Mens Footwear Material Designer.
Fascinated by our commodity culture and US currency in particular, Kota Okuda set out to deconstruct and redefine what is value and the meaning of creation, envisioning a “Duchampian” clash between high and low value. “Throughout the dismantling - literally exchanging - and factorizing process of design elements from coin, bank note, credit card, wallet, pouch, clip stuffs, I was enjoining the journey of creative transformation. My collection redefines the American currency by commodifying its value in an alchemistic system of dress.” With her background in jewellery design and crafty aestheticism Kota took a product design approach, mixing hard and soft materials - paper, metal, leather, acrylic - and playing with actual size versus the ‘life size’ dictated by the human body.
Sinéad O’Dwyer’s graduation project is based on the idea of wearing a body on a body, as an analogy of how we wear garments cut to fit a body that is not our own. “I developed this idea by life-casting friends to create molds of their bodies that I then used to make silicone shells. I then pushed this technique much further to encapsulate compressed silk lingerie within the silicone, resulting in rippling, sinuous prints embedded beneath the skin, giving voice to the idea of the body shaping the garment as opposed to the garment shaping the body.” The use of lingerie reflects her continued obsession with the intimacy and delicacy of the human form, reflected in soft fabrics and finishings. The title 23:19:26 refers to the sizes of her muse’s body.