Wednesday 22 November 2023

Recap - 15th edition FASHIONCLASH Festival

photo Mitch van Schijndel

15th edition of the international FASHIONCLASH Festival took 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.
During the festival the work of more than 100 designers, artists and makers from more than 30 different countries were presented. Participants are a diverse mix in age, the youngest 8 and the oldest 70+, background and experience.

Opening program, Friday November 17

The festival opened on Friday evening with the New Fashion Narratives exhibition at Bureau Europa in the Sphinxkwartier. During the opening there was a performance by Tevin Blancheville, who recently graduated from the KABK in The Hague. He presented his project FODDER 22, with which he seeks to change your perception and inform you how geopolitical competition have been dividing communities worldwide with propaganda and disinformation.
Tevin Blancheville_ FODDER 22 performance
photo Laura Knipsael

Fynnandmathis, a duo consisting of Fynn Herlinghaus (Germany) and Mathis Hadji (France) also created a happening during the opening. For Fynnandmathis, fashion it is not an industry-governed business, but a cultural phenomenon that arises from people and their daily clothing behavior. By styling existing clothing and working closely with communities, they create events where fashion works as a tool that enables exchange and empowerment. During the opening they photographed the visitors in a spontaneously created catwalk, and then shared the images in the exhibition as part of their work.

For the opening, I had the privilage to wear work by Annalie van Doorn from her graduation project 'Aprés nous, le deluge' inspired by her grandmother’s extravagance, who felt the need to keep up her appearance. It’s centered around the psychological influence of social status, aligned with the abundance of contrast in our values and the irony of its expressions. Abstract drawings converted to innovative shapes are the core of Annalie’s work and are implemented in silhouette and print. The collection is almost entirely made out of waste material.

wearing Annalie van Doorn

Subsequently, on Friday evening at Lumière Cinema there was a focus on fashion films with the visible of five finalists chosen by the jury. Cristian Velasco won the Kaltblut Magazine award with the film RETAZOS and the film 'HUM (we/us)' by Little Shilpa and Ashim Ahluwalia won the FASHIONCLASH Festival 2023 Fashion Film Award worth 1000 euros.
The judging panel consisted of Mira Postolache, Sam Bassett, Odunayo Ojo, Sofia Tchkonia and Marcel Schlutt.

During the opening of the film The Leap, a fashion film emerged from a development process made possible by the Meester Koetsier Foundation. The Leap is an own production of FASHIONCLASH and is a film by 5 makers who made a film under the supervision of FASHIONCLASH and filmmaker Daniel van Hauten. With The Leap, 'A dress leads to the reminiscing of a memory' Amber Rozema, Solar Vlaar, Yana Engelbrecht, Jelena Bondt and Damiano Bodei expressed a mutual fascination for intergenerational and family relations through a fashion film narrative.

FASHIONCLASH Festival is all about discovering, stimulating and co-shaping current developments in fashion and disclosing 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 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 co-creative program is reflected in various program components that arise from different development processes in which the participants are guided in their artistic development, production and entrepreneurship. For some participants, the festival is a first introduction to fashion, which was visible in the participatory campaign project that was visible throughout the city but also in the exhibition at the third floor of Centre Ceramique.

The festival has not one main venue, but the town as the festival heart, with locations such as Bureau Europa in the Sphinxkwartier where New Fashion Narratives exhibition was placed or local initiatives such as S.A.C concept store where you could see and buy work by Floris Wamelink A.k.a. Flowed, Underdog Collective and OUR SHIFT.

During the festival weekend there are events that happen only once such as performance program The Clash House and the Afterparty and a number of continuous and free activities such as the exhibition in the garden of Marres with work by André Konings, Roumans, UGO WOATZI and TIM VAN DER PLAS.
Ugo Woatzi at Marres

At The Green Elephant there is an installation of OUR SHIFT, an activistic fashion brand, fighting against old fashion in order to change it. They are creating a responsible and better alternative to what exists now while building a community of fashion firefighters with whom they can stop the burning issue of landfilling clothes and incineration. They presented their latest project DON'T TRASH TENTS, THANKS, based on upcyling of tents left at a music festival.

"Have you ever seen the festival camp areas, after people leave? It is breathtaking, in the worst way possible. Your eyes cannot believe it, it is like a battlefield... people leave tents of 1300 Euros, just because they don't want to carry them, since they are too “tired". OUR SHIFT is trying to change the mentality of these people and raises awareness about this issue. From the broken and abundant tents that cannot be just packed, they are creating clothes, bags and an exhibition."

OUR SHIFT installation at The Green Elephant

Limestone Books
, in collaboration with Warehouse, organized a pop-up around the fusion between fashion and publications and on Saturday they hosted an intimate talk with designers and artists Anouk Beckers, Iris de Leeuw and Muslin Brothers.

These small locations are the small pearls of the festival and very symbolic for FASHIONCLASH, which looks for ways to place fashion in a broader artistic discourse and social context.

All images are by Laura Knipsael or Mitch van Schijndel.

André Konings




Bastiaan Reijnen and Azalja van Dijk at Townhouse Hotel

MICHI'M & Max Niereisel

MICHI'M & Max Niereisel

DOMINIK at De Meldkamer

DOMINIK at De Meldkamer

Anouk Beckers at Limestone Books

performance by Muslin Brothers at Limestone Books


S.A.C concept store with work by Floris Wamelink A.k.a. Flowed

S.A.C concept store

S.A.C concept store - Underdog Collective


FC team with alderman Bastiaens for culture in Maastricht and the NFN curators


Faye van der Aa and fashion film by Kaja Grujic at the Fashion Makes Sense exhibition

Fashion Makes Sense exhibition

The Hooooooodie project workshop

Barbara Rozenberg - The Clash House

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