Looking back at Dutch Design Week 2018
The magical concept of shapeshifting must be deeply ingrained into our psyche, as it is a popular theme in myths and fairy tales, in shamanism and witchcraft, in religious texts and science fiction, in the arts and culminating in our modern ‘makeability’ cultus.
What is this fleshy vessel, this body, that has to somehow fit in with the prescriptions of fashion? What does fashion do with our shape and with our concept of self? Which part of our identity is expressed through fashion?
The New Order of Fashion team perceives an increasing desire to alter not solely our digital selves, but also our actual physical form. By bending gender and appreciating beauty in diversity, and through our fitness fanaticism, cosmetic surgery, and biohacking, the human form is altered to that of a cyborg. A surprising number of young designers are researching new expressions of identity as an answer to a fast changing and multidimensional living environment, considering the increasing influence of technology, migration issues and climate change. Something is at stake, we are changing. Fashion offers an endless toolbox of silhouettes, expressions, associations and identifications. In the end, the magician who changes our appearance is us!
Modebelofte 2018 showed the forefront of young fashion designers who strive towards more autonomy, imagination, and experimentation in how we express the complexities of our advanced self-identity. They answer to an essential need of humans to transform. They are Shape Shifters!
Photos: Iris Rijskamp