Monday 4 February 2013

The Sims and Jacob Kok present Paradise collection

The Sims and Jacob Kok  present: 
A Virtual and Physical Fashion Show

Text and images by Igor Vrebac

During the 18th edition of the Amsterdam Fashion Week (AFW), I was for the first time in my life an observer at a fashion show, which I have always found a fascinating happening. On behalf of BRANKOPOPOVICBLOG I got the opportunity to attend Jacob Kok show. I was a bit anxious and nervous at the same time. The reason was my scepticism towards the fashion world and its underestimated inspiring effect on me as an actor/theatre maker. But luckily, the opposite happened and I came home all excited and inspired.

Jacob Kok (winner of Project Catwalk 2011) presented his collection, called ‘Paradise’, which is in first case presented as a virtual fashion show. The audience is part of a projected video that shows the creations on a youthful and mysterious model. The video exists of a real life catwalk show images alternated with a digital version, called the ‘The Sims world’. Its rhythmical editing is merged with a futuristic and playful music tune. With this, for me renewed setting, Kok creates answers on his questions such as How do we dress when we present ourselves digitally? And are there other opportunities to create a new fashion image in the digital domain?’ Indeed, ‘Paradise’ suggests that via internet new possibilities arise. There is simply less responsibility towards creativity; you don’t have boundaries, only free fantasies. Jacob Kok: “Digital techniques inspire me to think further than the physical opportunities. I find it exciting to present my fashion show together with The Sims via a video."

Beside his digital version, there is also a physical ‘catwalk’ where you can catch an extensive glimpse of his colourful creations. This part is the most inspiring of the evening. He dresses figures with one of his designs; the rest of the figure is ‘naked’. As audience, you are free to take your time, position and follow an order of watching the ‘Paradise’. It is like making your own short film. In movies, the director takes you on his tour by cutting the shots and moving the camera on a manner he wants. By blinking and walking around Kok’s creations, you become your own director of a personal screenplay; your eyes are the camera and your legs the dolly. This ‘personal film’ idea I like a lot. It has first of all a connection with Kok’s previous shown video, which is obviously directed and catchy. But second of all I wondered if I could do this with my audience as well? My question to answer would be something like: What is needed, as a theatre maker, to let my audience make their own ‘personal film’, without having to move them out of their seat? Of course, theatre is another kind of medium, but therefore not less challenging to translate this ‘personal film’ idea towards my discipline.
With this discovery, I should probably see more fashion shows. But I think the art is to find shows that are not only inspiring by just what the designers show; fashion show should have another form that fits the collection. Having said that, Jacob Kok show is the perfect example. In this way fashion has more layers for me to interpret and to incorporate into my own work. But of course, this is subjectively spoken.

Website Jacob Kok:
Website The Sims:

Check out the virtual show of Jacob Kok here:

Paradise AW13/14 from Jacob Kok on Vimeo.

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