Gerrit Rietveld Academie Fashion Show 2023

Gerrit Rietveld Academie

Education | Fashion & Textile

Report by Branko Popovic, Artistic Director FASHIONCLASH

The annual fashion show of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy’s fashion department took place on Friday 23 June in Amsterdam. Students from across the department showed their work. In the reception area, there were installations and films by some first- and second-year students.

In the show space, there were a number of chairs placed on the catwalk with models already seated waiting. These were from Bepa Vera Lelie’s graduation project The Waiting Room’. The show then started with a dynamic presentation by first-year and second-year students; in both years, both interesting proposals and fledgling experiments.

Finally, it was the graduates’ turn, and The Waiting Room collection by Bepa came further to life. This was followed by an outfit inspired by strawberry, a heart-shaped top, and several more creations through which Sophie Huizinga explores the role food plays in fashion and, in particular, the tension between the two.

Fleur van Heezik created a surreal world of her own with both costumes and sets with which she took the audience into a cinematic world linked to her childhood and 1970s vintage children’s TV shows. The cleverly made costumes and set pieces were literally driven onto the catwalk. Part of her project is also a film for which these were the set pieces.

Tom Huijben also drew inspiration from growing up, but differently, exploring what it was like growing up on a farm in the south of the Netherlands, which in his own words was “an alienating experience” even before he knew he was queer.

With the project “Does the Michelin Man Eat Burek?”, Emma Milicevic explored the complexities of bi-cultural identity and how pop culture influences our memories, creating a sense of belonging.

Ruben Janssen’s project is an investigation of evolution, examined through the prism of biology, calculations and a poetic personal narrative; on a smaller scale, the idea of family is placed as a microscopic fractal image.

Hanne Haug Johne mixed queers from the past and present with trolls from Norwegian folklore in a performance in which costumes, fashion and vocal improvisation depict a space between reality and fiction.

Collection by Jakob Hodel is a tapestry that attempts to reveal and document our modern version of the medieval tournament: football. In particular, the Bayeux tapestry, which tells the story of a holy war and mixes it with ancient Greek fables, served as inspiration.

The show showcased a diverse pallet of projects exploring the role of fashion in its broadest sense. Mostly performative presentations were strong in statement an effective in their performance. The projects are personal, questioning, materially and immaterially driven and innovative in the respectful connection between tradition and innovation.

Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Bepa Vera Lelie
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Bepa Vera Lelie
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion – first-year and second-year students
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion – first-year and second-year students
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Sophie Huizinga
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Fleur van Heezik
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Tom Huijben
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Emma Milicevic
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Ruben Janssen
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Hanne Haug Johne
Gerrit Rietveld Fashion Graduation – Jakob Hodel

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