Friday, 8 September 2023

The First Exhibition – 20 Years of Contemporary Fashion Evolution

The First Exhibition
20 years of contemporary fashion evolution

The First Exhibition – 20 Years of Contemporary Fashion Evolution is a journey into the untold history of contemporary fashion over the past two decades and a glimpse into our future. Guest curator is Olivier Saillard, renowned fashion historian and former Director of the Palais Galliera in Paris.

ITS Arcademy’s inaugural exhibition explores the early creative genius of some of the most exciting fashion, accessories and jewellery designers on the international scene, many of which are now well known within the industry – like Balenciaga’s Demna, Bottega Veneta’s Matthieu Blazy or trailblazer Richard Quinn, – recipient of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design.

ITS Arcademy Part creative Archive and part Academy, ITS Arcademy – Museum of Art in Fashion is the first museum of contemporary fashion in Italy and the first entirely dedicated to the most contemporary forms and expressions of our age – experimental, radical, artistic. It is a forward-thinking cultural destination, with a developing programme of exhibitions, events, projects and educational experiences aimed at fostering creativity.

The ITS Arcademy permanent collection is unique in the world and has been built over the 20 editions of ITS Contest, one of the foremost international fashion competitions. ITS Arcademy preserves the early works of some of the most talented international fashion and accessory designers, many of whom are now well known. Among the notable ITS Contest alumni whose works are now part of the permanent Collection are Matthieu Blazy, Creative Director of Bottega Veneta; Demna, Creative Director of Balenciaga; winner of Queen Elizabeth II’s inaugural Design Award Richard Quinn; Nicolas Di Felice, Artistic Director of Maison Courrèges; up-and-coming duo Chopova Lowena.

more information:

Wednesday, 19 July 2023

Seville 2023 by PASARELLA

Fashion Family reuntion 2023 in Seville, beautifully captured by Mike van der Ent / Pasarella photography.

The trip feautured an excursion to Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas.

Wednesday, 5 July 2023

HKU Exposure exhibition and show

Berber Struiksma
HKU Fashion Design Graduation show 2023

The opening of the HKU Exposure, the annual graduation event, took place on June 28 with a performative fashion show. Exactly at 16:16, also the title of the show, Kay Lambertius Ettema opened the event with an all-black collection followed by two dancing models from Farah Sahupala. Further on in the show, dancing was brought back by Jentl Rietdijk, who based her collection on research into the connection between her grandmother's old house and her life in Tallinn.

Similar to other academies, HKU students worked with upcycling, sustainability themes and created new forms with existing clothing and textiles. All symbolic of the recurring search for new fluid worlds where personal stories are connected to social themes. Mostly hopeful approaches to bring synergy and harmony to the world through fashion.

To play with the autonomy of fashion, Berber Struiksma created her own fairy tale with characters based on stories she found in second-hand books. Rosa Damen makes new compositions of found objects and materials. Marvin Beekman also played with waste and probably his project literally WA(I)ST.

In the search for new worlds, André Konings took the most innovative approach by mixing digital and physical and creating a fluid world. “The collection is a series of looks that represent liminal Spaces that are in line with me. As someone who is half Dutch/half Philipino, floating in between genders and sexuality. I find myself not completely one thing. Being in the gray area can be quite stressfull and uncertain.”
Another innovative approach was proposed by Roxy van Kemenade where digital and physical lives meet. With this 'phygital' collection, Roxy explores a way to make a digital embodiment more tangible.

With Camping Couture, Senne Roeper explored how to connect the pretentious fashion world with the simple and earthy camping life. This research is symbolic to his own life, on the one hand growing up on an island where he lived with people who don't care about fashion and on the other hand studying fashion in a city, where people usually have no idea what it is like to live in nature and outdoors.
Emma Pastoor found inspiration in the techno rave scene that is unknown to many people and that is why there is often a negative image of this community. With her collection, Emma wants to show the other side of this scene where openness to each other and freedom are central.

After the show, the exhibition officially opened where the work of the entire design department was on display, including an impressive textile artwork based on the slavery past that Marleen van der Eerden & Joëlle Wagteveld made in collaboration with Peggy Bouva. There was also an installation by product designer Mathilde Hanneuse who made a series of conceptual accessories. For the show she worked together with Alain Albert Meijnhard van Schor.

Mathilde Hanneuse

There was much more to see.  Take a look at the pictures below for some impressions.

IG @hkufashiondesign

Thursday, 29 June 2023

15th editon FASHIONCLASH Festival

photo Laura Knipsael
15th edition of the international and interdisciplinary FASHIONCLASH Festival will take place from 17 - 19 November 2023 in Maastricht (The Netherlands). 

During this three-day festival, a new generation of designers and performing artists from all over the world are given the opportunity to show their work to a broad (inter)national audience. The program with an exhibition, performances, talks, workshops and fashion film screenings, showcases projects that explore, contextualize and celebrate contemporary fashion culture. FASHIONCLASH Festival is all about discovering, stimulating and co-shaping current developments in fashion and opening up these developments to a wide audience. Participants of the festival belong to a generation of designers and artists who explore and question the boundaries of their discipline. With their works they move between the transdisciplinary domains of fashion, social design and visual arts.

The multi-voiced festival program is a composite selection from the proposals submitted through various open calls and from the projects initiated by FASHIONCLASH itself that are being developed in co-production with various organizations and makers. For FASHIONCLASH, the annual festival is a vehicle for disclosing the results of all projects and talent development trajectories that happen throughout the year program.

The program includes a.o.:
- The Clash House, performance program
- Fashion Film Program, with awards and premiere of a FASHIONCLASH film production powered by Meester Koetsier Foundation
- New Fashion Narratives exhibition at Bureau Europa
- Fashion Makes Sense, with presentations and workshops of participation projects such as campaign project, The Hooooooodie Project, Who cares what you wear? etc.
- Afterparty with performances

Wednesday, 28 June 2023

Gerrit Rietveld Academie Fashion Show 2023

The annual fashion show of the fashion department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy took place on Friday 23 June in Amsterdam. Students from the whole fashion department showed their work. In the reception area there were installations and films by a number of first and second year students. 

In the show room there were a number of chairs placed on the catwalk with models already seated and waiting. These were from Bepa Vera Lelie's graduation project The Waiting Room. Then the show started with a dynamic presentation from the first and second year students; in both years interesting proposals as well as early experiments. 

Eventually, it was the turn of the graduates, and The Waiting Room collection by Bepa came to life. This was followed by an outfit inspired by strawberry, a heart-shaped top, and a number of other creations with which Sophie Huizinga investigated the role of food in fashion and, in particular, the tension between the two.
Fleur van Heezik created a surrealistic world of her own with both costumes and sets, taking the audience into a cinematographic world linked to her childhood and the 1970s vintage children's TV shows. The well-made costumes and set pieces were literally wheeled onto the catwalk. Part of her project is also a film for which these were the set pieces. Tom Huijben was also inspired by his growing up, but in a different way, he researched what it was like to grow up on a farm in the south of the Netherlands, which in his own words was 'an alienating experience' even before he knew he was queer.
With the project 'Does the Michelin Man Eat Burek?' Emma Milicevic explored the complexities of a bi-cultural identity and how pop culture influences our memories and thus creates a sense of belonging. Ruben Janssen's project is an investigation into evolution, examined through the prisms of biology, computation and a poetic personal story; on a smaller scale, the idea of ​​family is placed as a microscopic fractal image. Hanne Haug Johne mixed queers from past and present with trolls from Norwegian folklore in a performance in which costumes, fashion and vocal improvisation represent a space between reality and fiction.

Collection by Jakob Hodel is a tapestry that attempts to reveal and document our modern version of the medieval tournament: football. In particular, the Bayeux tapestry, which tells the story of a holy war and mixes it with ancient Greek fables, served as inspiration.

The show showcased a diverse palette of projects exploring the role of fashion in the broadest sense of the word. Mostly performative presentations were strong in pronunciation and effective in their performance. The projects are personal, questioning, materially and immaterially driven and innovative in the respectful connection between tradition and innovation. 


Saturday, 17 June 2023


Annalie van Doorn
EXPOSED / the FASHION SHOW took place on Saturday 10 June at Olympic Stakepark in The Hague. 

Exposed is the annual presentation of the Fashion and Textile department of KABK - Royal Academy of Art The Hague, showcasing the work of all classes, from the first investigative steps of the freshmen, to the distinct and personal collections of the fourth-year students. This year for the first time without the work of textile students, which will be presented in September. 

Keep an Eye Textile & Fashion Scholarship was awarded to textile student Xiaoyu Wen after the show.

As usual, the fashion collections from the KABK are rich in material development and form research. In the graduation year, the different qualities came together well in the nine highly varied proposals. The show started off strong with Jose Marie Sta. Iglesia inspired by Imelda Marcos, then Tevin Blancheville showed a statement based on the geopolitical struggle that is divisive worldwide with propaganda, Casey Hefferon emphasized the importance of playing with a playful sports collection that originated from a method of playing with the clay. Youngshik Yoon made a performative statement with his Political Shamanism project and Dayna Nooy did so by using waste and cheap materials with an empowering cast of models to make it a party on stage.
Towards the end, the dancing returned, but in a very different way by Louise Noordam who showed a rich collection inspired by her happy childhood memories, which ended abruptly with the battle against autoimmune diagnosis of eczema. With this collection she retrieves the vulnerable open-mindedness of her younger self, to empower her current self.
Annalie van Doorn honored the closing of the show with 'Après Nous, Le Déluge' (After me, let the flood come). Inspired by her grandmother's strong character and extravagance. What drives her to keep up with her looks? What drives humanity to want to look good? Against the background of the issues of the day, the contrasts of the world and the ironic nature of man that despite everything is looking for self-expression as a way to survive perhaps?
With these questions and in a positive mood, you leave the fashion show, which is a strong translation of the current generation of designers in which the personal stories and struggles are placed in a broader social context.

Graduating Fashion Class 2023: Tevin Blancheville, Annalie van Doorn, Athena Eleftheriou, Casey Hefferon, Louise Noordam, Youngshik Yoon, Danya Nooy, Jose Marie Sta. Iglesia and Di Wang. 

More information and images from the collections:  IG @kabk_textile_and_fashion

Rijksakademie Open Studios 2023

Miloš Trakilović
The Rijksakademie opened its doors from 2 – 4 and 8 – 11 June for the annual Open Studios. 

48 national and international artists shared their artistic practice and presented what has emerged from a period of experimentation, research and the production of new work. For two weeks, all corridors and rooms in the building buzz with creativity, with an extensive program of performances, films and talks in addition to the versatile studio presentations. Visitors get the opportunity to delve into the various practices and ideas developed by the artists that push the boundaries of what contemporary art can be and do.  

Resident artists 2022/2023 Noor Abed, Tewa Barnosa, Cihad Caner, Yun Choi, Jacky Connolly, Timo Demollin, Vince Donders, Ali Eslami, Mandy Franca, Juan Arturo García, Rajyashri Goody, Lisette de Greeuw, Ola Hassanain, Winnie Herbstein, Abul Hisham, Hsu Che-Yu, Katarina Jazbec, Kahee Jeong, Annelies Kamen, Ayşen Kaptanoğlu, Zeynep Kayan, Tom K Kemp, Susanne Khalil Yusef, Karel van Laere, Reyhan Lál, Benjamin Li, Fiona Lutjenhuis, Vibeke Mascini, Zauri Matikashvili, Jota Mombaça, Shaun Motsi, Rossella Nisio, Ai Ozaki, Natalia Papaeva, Amol K Patil, Peng Zuqiang, Moe Satt, Selma Selman, Mikołaj Sobczak, eva susova, Danae Tapia, Fransix Tenda Lomba, Martin Toloku, Miloš Trakilović, Daniel Vorthuys, Agnes Waruguru, Peng Zhang, en gastresident Vita Buivid. Andere recente gastresidents, Julia Janssen, Aram Lee, Woong Yong Kim ans Taiki Sakpisit.

This year, the artistic coordination of the Open Studios is in the hands of Rijksakademie advisors Metahaven.

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Juni Fashion Month Arnhem kicks off with opening at Museum Arnhem

During the June Fashion Month Arnhem (2 June to 2 July 2023), Fashion + Design Festival Arnhem, together with Museum Arnhem, Rozet, State of Fashion and various partners, designers and entrepreneurs, will show the socially connecting power of fashion and design.

On Friday 2 June there was a private opening in Museum Arnhem with which the exhibition 'Between Borders' exhibition was opened. The ArtEZ graduation fashion show also took place at Musis on this day. This edition was dedicated to the now 65th generation of graduates, celebrating the long tradition of fashion in Arnhem.  

Tussen Grenzen (Between Borders)
Between Borders is an exhibition about migration, being welcome somewhere, feeling at home and living between two worlds. The first part of 'Between Borders' shows body-related designs, such as fashion and jewellery, by 19 designers living in the Netherlands with a migration background. 

In Between Borders you can admire work by Armia Yousefi, Branko Popovic, Chequita Nahar, David Paulus, Denzel Veerkamp, ​​Fleuri la Belle, Garcia Bello, Kalkidan Hoex, Karim Adduchi, Lisa Konno, Loïs Brandsen, Luisa Kuschel, Marcos Kueh, Maja Simišić , Mehdi Mashayekhi, Murat Akbas, Xhosa, Yinka Buutfeld, Zyanya Emperor. 

A documentary has been made especially for this exhibition in which 9 designers talk about their personal stories and perspectives that together show how complex migration narratives are and invites the viewer to look beyond the drama to its power and celebration. In any case, the exhibition shows the work of the makers who were given the freedom to show what they want; and so a dialogue has arisen which, as the documentary shows, does not happen very often at all.  

Teaser of the documentary by Elisabetta Agyeiwaa

Between Borders can be seen until October 22, 2023. Between Borders consists of two parts. From June 3, young fashion and jewelery designers living in the Netherlands will show work about living and working between two worlds. From 15 July, (inter)national artists and people from Arnhem will also share their personal experiences with borders and migration.

More information: borders

Monday, 29 May 2023

On the Road featured in Between Borders exhibition

Between Borders - Migration, power and boundless imagination
3 June - 22 October 2023

With the exhibition Between Borders, Museum Arnhem offers different perspectives on contemporary migration. The museum invites visitors to delve into personal stories about migration. These are stories by visual artists, designers and the public itself. The experience of migration, recognition and empathy is central to this.

Several pieces from the On the Road collection are soon on show at Museum Arnhem.
'On the Road' is inspired by immigrants and nomads. It is about the double meaning of being on the road, out of necessity or for pleasure. It's about free people, without a country. But at the same time people who are attached to their origins.

more information:

All images are by Kris Micallef

Monday, 22 May 2023

Tussen Grenzen - Museum Arnhem

Yinka Buutfeld
Between Borders - Migration, power and boundless imagination
3 June - 22 October 2023

With the exhibition Between Borders, Museum Arnhem offers different perspectives on contemporary migration. The museum invites visitors to delve into personal stories about migration. These are stories by visual artists, designers and the public itself. The experience of migration, recognition and empathy is central to this.

All over the world, people move across borders for all kinds of reasons. In the 21st century, more people than ever migrate for all kinds of political, economic and environmental reasons. At the same time, travelling is increasingly difficult for a great many people. How difficult, or easy, it is, is often determined by your passport. Which countries welcome you and which do not? And when you are in another country, when do you feel at home? In the exhibition Between borders, artists, fashion and jewellery designers, and Arnhemmers alike share their answers to those questions.

Between borders consists of two parts. From 3 June, young fashion and jewellery designers living in the Netherlands will show work about living and working between two worlds. From 15 July, (inter)national artists and Arnhemmers will also share their personal experiences with borders and migration.

Branko Popovic_photo Kris Micallef
Migration and fashion
The first part of Between Borders opens on June 3. It shows body-related design, such as fashion and jewelry, by 19 designers living in the Netherlands with a migration background. Migration has long been a topical subject in the fashion world, especially with young makers such as Armia Yousefi, Lisa Konno and Denzel Veerkamp. Interest in this theme is also increasing in the jewelery industry. This becomes visible in the work of designers such as Luisa Kuschel, Kalkidan Hoex and Fleuri la Belle, who graduated from ArtEZ. The exhibition focuses on the personal stories of the makers and their experiences as designers in the Netherlands. Seven of them made new work especially for Between Borders. In addition, filmmaker Elisabetta Agyeiwaa is making a documentary in which nine participating designers have their say.

The month of June is fashion month in Arnhem. In Arnhem, various partners (State of Fashion, ArtEZ, Fashion + Design Festival Arnhem (FDFA), Rijn IJssel and Museum Arnhem) work together in the field of fashion. Museum Arnhem and FDFA have joined forces to choose eight makers who are affiliated with the city of Arnhem. Their work is shown in Between Borders.

Participating artists and designers:
Abdulrazaq Awofeso, Ala' Albaba, Armia Yousefi, Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi, Avantia Damberg, Berni Searle, Branko Popovic, Chequita Nahar, Daniela Ortiz, David Paulus, Denzel Veerkamp, Desiree Dolron, Domenique Himmelsbach de Vries, Fleuri la Belle, Fransje Killaars, GARCIA BELLO, Heba Y. Amin, Judith Westerveld, Kalkidan Hoex, Karim Adduchi, Laura Samsom-Rous, Lida Abdul, Lisa Konno, Loïs Brandsen, Luisa Kuschel, Marc Bijl, Marcos Kueh, Maja Simišić, Mehdi Mashayekhi, Meschac Gaba, Mirthe Dokter, Murat Akbas, Oussama Tabti, Paulo Nazareth, Raafat Ballan, Reena Saini Kallat, Roshini Kempadoo, Sara Blokland, Sawangwongse Yawnghwe, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Susanne Khalil Yusef, Tintin Wulia, Tjong Ang, Umut Yasat, Wallen Mapondera, Xhosa, Yinka Buutfeld, Yuchen Li, Zyanya 



More info


Thursday, 18 May 2023

Zlin Design Week 2023

award ceremony performance

The Zlin Design Week festival took place from 3 to 10 May. The programme of the ninth editions of the festival introduced visitors to universal design principles at various locations in Zlín. Build around the theme of “Design for All” the programme focus was inclusivity in design. This years edition contained Best in Design Competition exhibition, Fashion Show of young designers, parties, award show, a conference and so on. 

Like last yeas I have been invited to take part in the jury panel of Best in Design competition. In addition, I took part in a panel by Design CANTEEN. Together with Jeffrey Heiligers from 1m2 Collective the conversation involved inclusivity in festivals.

The Design for All exhibition offered an overview of how universal design involves our lives, with several examples of specific solutions.
“Our intention was to see the exhibition as a place where a clothing designer, a furniture company owner, an urban architect, and a local cultural enthusiast can meet, and the projects on display can pass on something to each of them – a reflection on the value of design in our lives, on what a universal and inclusive approach brings to us, a spark for debate about the possible barriers we all commonly encounter. We are very pleased that the curators Thea Urdal and Herman Greng Billett from Norway and the duo of Slovak architects Tomáš Tholt and Danica Pišteková have been involved in the preparation,”
says festival director Jitka Smolíková.
The exhibition was set in building 61 of the former Bata industrial complex.

Best in Design Competition for Young Designers

Zlin Design Week supports new talents who want to discover and develop new paths for design and they do so with the “Best in Design” competition for creatives under 30. The finalists of the fourteenth edition of the competition were exhibited at the G18 Gallery. The exhibition provided a space for connecting clothing, visual communication, and industrial solutions, products, and services.
The work of the finalists and winners across the past years of the “Best in Design” competition is presented in a Fashion show set in the unusual space of the Tomas Bata Memorial in Zlín. The Fashion show with respect to the Tomas Bata Memorial will take place on 10 May, preceded by a programme of discussions and workshops related to the universal design and inclusive fashion festival theme.


Winners of Best in Design competition 2023 are:
Fashion Design category winner is Marija Petraityte from Lithuania. In the fashion category second and third place was taken by Katarína Mydliarová and Jana Vaterková.
Michal Zmek won third place in the Product & Industrial Design category, the second place went to Timea Kepová and the first place to Zuzanna Wójcik.
Tereza Vašková placed third in the Service Design category, Alina Karl took the second place and the winner of this category was Matêj Malecha.
In the Communication category, co-creators Tim Stange and Fabian Meyer shared the third place, Julie Ditetová won the second place and the winner was Adrián Gubrica with impressive Mariupol Memoirial project.
And the overall winner of the entire Best in Design competition is none other than Zuzanna Wójcik!

More about the competition:

Accompanying programme

The ZDW festival creates a platform for young designers, professionals, and the public to meet. Special installations were places in public spaces throughout Zlín, prepared in cooperation with festival partners and other designers. Visitors could broaden their horizons during discussions on the podcast platform “Design CANTEEN” or during guided tours.
Various workshops gave design lovers the space to involve their own creativity, while at the one-day design market, they can buy something from the offer of selected Czech and Slovak brands in a Pop-up Shop.
At the same time, other exhibitions are taking place in Zlín and its surroundings, such as Inspiration: Le Corbusier at Zlín Castle, which presents the ideas of the great 20th-century architect and the work of Czech and foreign designers who are inspired by modernism and brutalism of the last century. 

Zlin Design Week
Zlin Design Week is a week-long design festival where everyone can find inspiration. Through the festival, we are creating for the ninth time a platform for presentation, expression, sharing, unexpected connections, and meeting young designers with professionals. We support young talents and bring fresh air to the design field. The project was created in 2015 at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at Tomas Bata University in Zlín thanks to the interdisciplinary collaboration of design, marketing, photography, and audiovisual. 

Sunday, 14 May 2023

Global Design Graduate Show 2023

Arts Thread announced the launch of Global Design Graduate Show 2023, with GUCCI returning as the exclusive sponsor for their fourth consecutive year. Launching at the same time is the Global Design Graduate Shows virtual gallery & stories on Google Arts & Culture, who through our relationship with Gucci, have agreed to support the initiative. Please see below links to the Global Design Graduate Show area on Google Arts & Culture. 


Just like previous years, Arts Thread will showcase all of the finest end-of-year work from all creative students graduating this year in every art & design category, such as visual communication, film, fashion, textiles, interior, architecture, visual arts, contemporary craft, industrial & product design and more. 


Last year's Global Design Graduate Show was a huge success with 5489 entries representing 117 countries from 439 higher education institutions, surpassing the previous year's achievement. There was a combined editorial and social reach of 23 million. Over the last 3 years hundreds have gained employment or launched their own brands thanks to this proactive initiative - making it the only global showcase of graduating artists & designers worldwide.


This year sees Arts Threads Global Design Graduate Show partner with Google Arts & Culture GA&C to create an area on the GA&C site showcasing the success stories of previous Global Design Graduate Show winners as well as a virtual gallery for the winners from 2022. The collaboration with Google Arts and Culture means that studentswork will reach a further audience which can help launch their independent businesses or gain employment within the creative industries.

Saturday, 22 April 2023

Rewire Festival 2023

Kelela_ Jan Rijk
12th edition of the annual international festival for adventurous music

From Thursday April 6 to April 8 various locations in the Dutch city of The Hague unravelled a multi-sensorial and interdisciplinary adventure around the art of sound. Completely blank I entered the already 12th edition (why was I never there before?) with more than 200 activities including 25 world premieres

In addition to the overwhelming line-up, with the context program Inter/Relations the packed program ‘explored how recognizing fluid boundaries between humans, nature, and technology, and establishing connections between times and territories are fundamental for contemporary and experimental music and sound practices.'

It is precisely this fluidity of narratives, worlds, disciplines and approaches that was embodied and felt throughout the entire program and performances I attended. The power of imagination, driven by the affective power of art, which was omnipresent in most of the presentations, literally enlarged your world or transported it momentarily to other dimensions. From sacred sensations, queerness and fetishism to post-human speculations and cultural diversity, and so on, a new world in which there is room for many worlds unfolded in churches, culture houses, music temples, public spaces or inside your imagination.

The great thing about the program, which is characterized by many crossover collaborations, is that, despite your taste, the whole of the experience gives room to appreciate everything on its own quality. Although highly innovative, the craftsmanship of sound artistry was also very tangible. 

Patti Smith & Soundwalk Collective_photo Parcifal_Werkman

Still, nothing beats like Patti Smith; in collaboration with the Soundwalk Collective, who, with her contribution of the inexhaustible intrinsic engagement and hope, wired the themes of the festival and proposals of the artists all together to a convincing immaterial values of art. Never before has the sublime and complex meaning of Easter been so clear to me.

Sunday, 2 April 2023

Workwear exhibition the Nieuwe Instituut

Workwear, ‘A Different Kind of Fashion Exhibition’ at Het Nieuwe Instituut

From 26 March 2023, Rotterdam based Het Nieuwe Instituut pays tribute to functional fashion with the Workwear exhibition. Originally designed as protection and support for labourers while they performed heavy tasks, workwear became a potent working-class symbol, and today its presence on the street and catwalk cannot be ignored.

Some clothes need no description: a number like M-65, G1 or 501 is enough to summon images of, respectively, a field jacket, flight jacket or denim classic. Migrating from the army base, airfield or factory, such garments became widely worn fashion items. Designers like Massimo Osti and Helmut Lang transformed them into staples of boutiques worldwide; fashion pioneers like Elsa Schiaparelli and Yohji Yamamoto turned them into luxury couture.

With the Workwear exhibition, the Nieuwe Instituut delves into the world of functional fashion for the first time. London-based curator Eldina Begic became fascinated by work clothing and fashion’s social role during her PhD research. While most fashion reinforces notions of individuality or social status, work clothing does precisely the opposite: it radiates equality and solidarity. According to Begic, workwear therefore represents a utopian ideal. The Workwear exhibition, then, is a different kind of fashion exhibition. It celebrates the history, functionality and impact of clothing originally designed for working people but that is now worn by everyone and inspires countless fashion designers worldwide.

Says curator Eldina Begic: “I think this is an important exhibition, because the utopian qualities of workwear offer a blueprint for a different kind of fashion – clothing that stands for durability and solidarity. Above all, the exhibition celebrates the inspiring and empowering quality of these clothes, which is often overlooked. And the show is full of surprises in the way it connects workwear to radical ideas in art, design and politics.”

Says Aric Chen, General and Artistic Director of Nieuwe Instituut: “We’re pleased to present this exhibition that shows how functional design has helped shape the social and cultural dimensions of fashion and, in following, our societies and cultures themselves. Workwear brings up questions around class, labour, solidarity and equality—while also revealing the beauty, ingenuity and creativity to be found in the utilitarian.”

The exhibition

Begic has selected dozens of vintage classics, current looks and futuristic experiments for Workwear. Among the items on display are tabi boots (popularised by fashion house Maison Martin Margiela), Lygia Clark’s participatory ’therapy’ jumpsuits and masks, the ‘Flexicap’ by Maria Blaisse, items from Helmut Lang’s Stellar Collection, overalls by Yohji Yamamoto, the 11-person Red Coat rain suit by Nicola L, a jumpsuit by London vintage collectors Vintage Showroom, and the ‘space suit’ with zip-off legs worn by members of the Dutch Provo movement. There are also jumpsuits by the Italian futurist Thayaht and by designer Aleksander Rodchenko, theatre costumes by avant-garde designers Stepanova and Popova, X-rays of Neil Armstrong’s moon landing suit and a Bonne Suit by Amsterdam designer Bonne Reijn.

The pieces are displayed on wooden mannequins within an exhibition design by Rotterdam-based studio Cookies, Collin Keys and Edward Zammit. The wooden panels with the cut-outs from the mannequin parts are being reused as panels for the accompanying texts. The exhibition’s graphic design is by Isabelle Vaverka.

In addition, especially for the exhibition, two Rotterdammers have created new works exploring the future of workwear. Designer Sam Cruden of custom jeans brand C.Cruden presents an installation focusing on the life cycle of indigo jeans. Spoken word artist Elten Kiene has written a workwear manifesto in the context of the exhibition. Families with children can explore Workwear by taking part in a free Family Expedition. 

Bonne Suits x Nieuwe Instituut
Bonne Reijn of fashion label Bonne Suits made a limited edition Bonne Suits x Nieuwe Instituut jacket in an exclusive green color especially for Workwear. The jacket, of which there are only 100 copies, will be available for the first time during the opening. 


For the festive opening on Saturday evening, the Nieuwe Instituut transformed its arcade behind the building into an enormous catwalk.
The Wearwork fashion show has been curated for the occasion by designer Ninamounah of the eponymous fashion label. About three hundred visitors witnessed the work of up-and-coming labels Hardeman, Kaam Kari LA, Schepers Bosman, Das Leben am Haverkamp, HEH, Pablo Salvador Willemars and Camiel Fortgens, who each designed a number of items that represented their personal interpretation of workwear.

In addition, especially for the exhibition, two Rotterdammers have created new works exploring the future of workwear. Designer Sam Cruden of custom jeans brand C.Cruden presents an installation focusing on the life cycle of a pair of jeans. Spoken word artist Elten Kiene has written a workwear manifesto in the context of the exhibition.

The Workwear the exhibition can be visited until 10 September 2023 in Gallery 2 of the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. For more information, please visit

source text: Het Nieuwe Instituut
Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Táctica Sintáctica - Marres

Táctica Sintáctica 

Touching With Your eyes, Seeing With Your Hands

9 Mar 2023 — 28 May 2023, Marres Maastricht 

The exhibition Táctica Sintáctica subverts museum rules in order to provide space to the body. Art works are scattered in the rooms, some partly hidden, others can only be viewed when visitors are willing to squat, climb or kneel down. The artist Diego Bianchi takes every opportunity to awaken, surprise and touch the visitors.
For this exhibition, he transforms together with the poet and curator Mariano Mayer a selection of art works from the Museo CA2M Collection and the ARCO Foundation Collection (Spain). The selection includes work by David Hockney, Julia Spínola, Bruce Talamon, Dan Flavin, Dora García, Jimmie Durham, Günther Förg, Zoe Leonard, Joachim Koester, and many others. They insert new works and frame them in a new strategy (táctica) of loose ends (sintáctica). By reframing the collections, they also displace the identity and sensuality of the bodies around them. Táctica Sintáctica thus invites visitors to move and play to discover infinite perspectives. The radical question is: what movements and identities are hidden and reflected in art exhibitions? And what does the body want?

Táctica Sintáctica started in 2022 as part of the series Dubbing the Voice of the Museo Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid. In this series, artists are invited to provide new perspectives on the collections. Through disruptions, unforeseen interpretations and new ways of speaking, artists open up collections for new productions. To re-load and design Táctica Sintáctica in Marres marks the second phase of this opening-up process. Here, the exhibition offers not a perspective on an anchored collection but instead a group show unmoored from institutional history and memory. 

Diego Bianchi and Mariano Mayer:
“It all started as a game. We wanted to build an entire landscape of works within a museum. One composed of heterodox elements, rising high and piled on top of each other, able to serve as a critique of the clinicality and neutrality in which works of art are exhibited. We wanted to take some time to imagine that works were once again things of the world. In doing so, we began to see them as particles circulating, exposed to light or danger. The sensitive bond we re-establish with objects allows us to rediscover our tactility and recollection. To prevent our tactile emotions from becoming a haze that would engulf the works, we needed to release materials that were unfinished, soft, hot, cold, hard, rough. Caressing, massaging, elongating the materials; finding other forms in the repetition, in the touch and feel, in the gestures. Sculptural objects embody a moment in time; they teach us to think with our hands. Our eyes allow us to discover the distance that exists between our body and what we want to touch. They have nothing to do with our visual enjoyment; they merely measure how far from or close to whatever we want to touch we are.”

Táctica Sintáctica is the second in a series of re-loads Marres started in 2020 with the exhibition Codex Subpartum, a new version of an exhibition in which three artists created musical pieces on the basis of the collection of the Sztuki Museum in Lodz, Poland.

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