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Social Design at the Temporary Fashion Museum

The collection of Eva Maria Hatschek

What is a better way to spend a saturday than the opening of the Temporary Fashion Museum? Another exhibition my sister did project management for. I have to say, it took some effort (the A16 to Rotterdam was closed and Ms. Navigation was unable to give me a decent detour) but it was an afternoon well spent.

Fleece or Freak?

Did you know that one fleece sweater contains the same amount of plastic as many plastic bottles? That’s a whole new approach to recycling, don’t you think. The exhibition of Conny Groenewegen made me aware of this. Thousands (8kg I heard my sister mention) of fleece sweaters were cut into one piece, tied together and used as one big thread to create a new piece of fabric. Recycling at large. It got me thinking about fashion and recycling.

the amount of clothes that gets thrown away

the amount of clothes that gets thrown away illustrated


Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum, who organized “Hacked”, also thought of that. This exhibition told the story of how large fashion stores such as H&M and Zara, run their logistics so smooth and at large, that the local designers cannot compete with them on pricing or timing.

7 ways independent fashion designers can compete with fast-fashion retailers… and survive the future:

1. Raise authentic awareness around your brand/ 2. Combine forces/3. Provide exceptional value beyond the product/4. Work outside of the traditional fashion calendar/5. Create an emotional bond/6. Be innovative/7. Be nimble
– Sumeera Rasul

Brand VSVB used this thought in a positive way. They buy leftovers from large retailers, and recycle them at whole. New sweaters are made from the textile, or pieces still exist but get extra accessories or are used half. They even keep the original labels in tact, but add their own label to them. Not just the pieces were very nice (I just lóved the shoes), they add a new niche in the spectrum of recycling fabrics / buying vintage clothes / designer collection. I love buying unique vintage pieces, and like to shop at the mentioned retailers too because of their pricing. So this is a great in-between.

Posters at the Hacked exhibition

Posters at the Hacked exhibition

The closet of Eva Maria Hatschek

What to do with your time and money if you’ve married a rich Swiss industrial? Eva Maria Hatschek spent it on couture. Each piece of clothing she wore, was custom designed for her, by legends such as Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurant. The Temporary Fashion museum shows some of her pieces. It’s like browsing through a highly expensive vintage store, and a lovely addition to the collection.

Some pieces from Eva's closet

Some pieces from Eva’s closet

The Temporary Fashion museum also speaks of the history of Dutch fashion design; where the catwalk evolved from the dining room to the audience on the streets, and later the clubs. It gives a podium to the icon items of fashion: the red lipstick, high heel, white shirt and black dress. One of the nicest things of this exhibition is that besides watching (they also show pieces of the 2015 collections) you can also join (make your own piece), buy (get the piece you like) and discuss (many interactive talks in the auditorium). But the bést thing of it all, I have to say, was simply looking at all the guests. Fashion people create their own statement. I saw a gentlemen with his nose painted, wearing briefs and a cape. Or ladies in expensive designer clothes, and students that seemed to have spend much time and effort on their own dresses.

Since I haven’t married a Swiss industrial, or have become one yet, I’ll stick to my blend of main street fashion combined with vintage pieces and a designer touch here and there. But I did get inspired – and need to find out where to get those lovely VSVB shoes!

Do visit the Temporary Fashion museum; open till may 2016. It is an afternoon well spent.

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1 Comment

  1. J.O.Z says

    What a lovely article. See also the article in NRC last friday september 20th. Greetings, Jan Oege

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