Category: Reflections Page 1 of 6

State of Fashion

Freelance fashion researcher Renee van der Hoek, MA Fashion Curation Alumni, talks about her experience working on the fashion exhibition the State of Fashion 2018.

This year marks my 5th year as a freelance fashion researcher and early career curator since graduating with distinction from MA Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion in 2013, a course that provided me with skills and laid the foundation for my current practice.

Dressed female mannequins on raised platform in an industrial space. State of Fashion 2018.

The New Imaginations theme showed work of game changers such as Iris van Herpen and VIN+OMI. Image: Eva Broekema

Since then I’ve had the opportunity to write for independent fashion magazines such as Press & Fold and Monument, whilst also working as fashion researcher on several  exhibitions here in the Netherlands. The last major exhibition I worked on and still continue to work for the platform itself is State of Fashion. This time last year I got the opportunity to work as the assistant curator at State of Fashion alongside curator José Teunissen (besides her work as an independent fashion curator she’s the Dean of the School of Design and Technology at London College of Fashion (UAL) and Professor of Fashion Theory).

Three dressed mannequin torsos on white plinths with large white cubes as background

The Interdisciplinary approaches theme showed new and innovative materials such as pineapple leather and AlgaeFabrics. Image: Eva Broekema

State of Fashion

To briefly introduce State of Fashion, it’s the successor of the critically acclaimed Arnhem Mode Biennale (2005-2013) and was created to perpetuate its international reputation. State of Fashion is a platform that literally investigates the ‘state of fashion’ and addresses current topics that must be on the agenda of designers and companies, as well as NGOs, researchers, educational institutions and governments.  State of Fashion serves as a ‘safe space for dangerous ideas’. We want to inspire, unleash discussions and provide a stage for the disrupters and changemakers within the industry and beyond. Together we focus on the power of collaboration to create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive industry.

Large industrial space housing numerous dressed mannequins on plinths and white cubes. State of Fashion 2018.

Image: Eva Broekema

The first edition of State of Fashion, dubbed searching for the new luxury, took place from June 1st until July 22nd. For the exhibition narrative José Teunissen started a quest for a sustainable future for the fashion industry.  When I joined the team José had formed the framework of the exhibition, dividing it into 5 themes: New Imaginations, The Product and the Maker in the Spotlight, New business Models, Fashion Design for a Better World and Interdisciplinary Approaches. At that time the actual objects to illustrate the narrative had yet to be chosen. I had the opportunity to closely work together with José on the realisation of the exhibition. This process was a significant learning experience for me as I felt José and the team trusted me and gave me every opportunity to contribute and leave my mark. All the hard work resulted in an exhibition in which we displayed the work of around 50 designers, brands, projects, and initiatives. All focused on possible solutions to change the industry for the better, from innovative materials, transparent business models to designers shaking up the system. Working on this exhibition also changed my own patterns as a consumer as I can honestly say I’m brainwashed by all the facts I’ve learned when researching for and writing the exhibition texts and catalogue

Two women seated on stage talking to an audience. State of Fashion 2018.

Bethany Williams and me on stage during our 9th whataboutery, discussing the power of collaboration and social responsibility. Image: Getty Images

Whataboutery

Since the exhibition in Arnhem closed we have had the opportunity to go on ‘tour’ to continue the search for the new luxury by organising events and talks, our so-called ‘Whataboutery’.  This series of talks aims to open up the conversation on the challenges that are part of producing sustainable and honest fashion as every potential solution raises new questions: ‘but what about…?’.

So what’s next? At State of Fashion we continue to spread our message and including audiences by organising or participating in talks, events and other exciting opportunities. Please visit Stateoffashion.org to see what we’re doing next or read our digital catalogue of the exhibition in Arnhem here.

Find out more about MA Fashion Curation

Read more posts from MA Fashion Curation students and alumni

 

Objects of a Passion

On Tuesday 13 November 2018, Professor Amy de la Haye gave a Professorial Platform Lecture entitled Objects of a Passion: Curating, Writing and Teaching as Practice 2014-18.  The lecture was organised by themes which had inspired her over the course of her practice.  As a Curator, Writer and Co-Director, alongside Judith Clark, of Centre for Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion, Amy also teaches on the MA Fashion Curation.

A recording of the lecture is available on Youtube.

Read the accompanying interactive leaflet Objects of a Passion

Read more about Professor Amy de la Haye’s research here

Read more about the MA Fashion Curation course

The Cloud Project

This summer, I was invited to take part in The Cloud Project with the Tim Yip Studio which was the closing event for London’s South Bank Centre’s three year long China Changing festival  and the result of a year long collaboration between the South Bank and the Chinese-based Tim Yip Studio. A film and stage art director, costume designer and visual artist, Yip is particularly well known for his Academy Award winning work on Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) but works prolifically for stage and film productions, dance companies, art exhibitions and fashion collaborations.

Models and performers in extravagant costume perform on a catwalk. A Performance of The Cloud Project with the Tim Yip Studio in the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London

The Cloud Project with the Tim Yip Studio at the South Bank Centre

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Eckhaus Latta: Possessed

Eckhaus Latta was established in 2011 by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta is a US-based bi-coastal, collaborative creative practice. Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is the duo’s exhibition and first solo venture, debuting at the Whitney Museum of American Art in August 2018.

Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta met as students at Rhode Island School of Design. They set up Eckhaus Latta in 2011 and the brand, based in Los Angeles and New York and known for collaborations with artists, musicians and designers, reflects an increasing trend for practices that operate between the worlds of fashion and art.

Four colour projections displayed in Eckhaus LattaL Posessed exhibition space leaning against the wall containing a photograph close up of a women's face, a full length shot of a woman, a torso and head shot of a women and a foot in a sock standing on a ball.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed. View of installation. Image © Jeff Horsley

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SpiceUp Review

As the field of fashion curation rapidly expands past the walls of the museum and gallery and into corporate headquarters and shopfronts, it has now conquered a new frontier; the Islington Business Design Centre in London. A space more commonly known for trade shows and recruitment events, for three steamy weeks this summer the location played host to the exhibition SpiceUp. Subtitled “An Exhibition About The Spice Girls” (lest there be any confusion about the subject of the show), this exhibit was an exercise in curatorial agony and visitor ecstasy.

The Spice Girls were a group of five British women, who auditioned to become a pop group in 1994, and ended up becoming a cultural zeitgeist. SpiceUp has been curated without any affiliation with the group or their management, and is a testament to their lasting legacy. Spread over two floors in a side wing of the former Royal Agricultural Hall, there is no context provided for the location, other than the assumption that there are surely few venues in London built to accommodate such a massive assemblage of clothing, ephemera and merchandise, that would also avail themselves for hire to a member of the public. And so SpiceUp curator Alan Smith-Allison is – albeit one who is responsible for collecting the bulk of the objects on display, and owner of the largest collection of Spice Girls memorabilia on earth. A former charity worker turned exhibition maker, Smith-Allison has collected anything and everything Spice Girls-related since 2007, and in curating and staging this exhibit himself, also brought in loaned objects from fellow fans.

The result is almost overwhelming. With over 7000 pieces of ephemera on display, the exhibition reveals how deeply the public travelled into the mercantile heart of darkness in the Spice era. For the purposes of this review, however, my focus is on the dress and its display

Spice Girls memorabilia on display at SpiceUp.  Photo Cyana Madsen 2018 web

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The T-shirt: curating its narrative

Video interview with Jenna Rossi-Camus

By: Annabel Hoyng – van der Meijden, MA Fashion Curation

16 April 2018

How do you create a fashion exhibition with t-shirts? For curator Jenna Rossi-Camus, it’s all about 21st century style curating: “The keyword is conversation”. Watch the video to find out more.

About

London’s Fashion and Textile Museum’s current exhibition T-SHIRT: CULT – CULTURE – SUBVERSION tells the story of the most affordable and popular item of clothing on the planet. The exhibition looks at how t-shirts are both personal and universal communicators.

More info

T-SHIRT: CULT – CULTURE – SUBVERSION: from 9 February 2018 – 6 May 2018. For more information see the website of the Fashion and Textile Museum.

Click for a profile of Jenna Rossi Camus

Read more about Jenna’s research

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