OSCAM x Modemuze present ‘the new normal’
“In the museum there are five red spaces. We like to call them tiny ‘worlds’. In each of these worlds you will find the work of a designer or brand, a reference to a museum object and a reflection by one of the bloggers from the Modemuze and OSCAM communities.
Together, these elements reflect on questions that are raised by the COVID-19 measures that changed our daily lives almost instantly. Since the lockdown, many socio-political issues have been amplified, from social distancing to the #BlackLivesMatter-movement. As a society, we are asked to find a ‘new normal’. But what does the new normal actually mean?
We’ve asked designers and bloggers to tell us what it is that occupies their mind right now and reflect on these times on a personal, professional, social and global scale through the lens of fashion. You are the last element… so emerge yourself in the expressions and questions of our creative community.”
Maison the Faux
‘Should we confront conformism?’
2020 has been an eventful, turbulent year in many aspects and fashion has definitely not been kept out of the loop. Both fashion labels and consumers have been challenging the rules, social standards and ideas about what is ‘good’ and ‘normal’. From its conception, creative studio Maison the Faux plays with these concepts and goes against the traditional idea of a fashion label: they make human wear, for people of all ages, genders, shapes and colours.
With their 2019 collection MAISON pour MAISON, they explored the idea of being at home – a safe space for self expression that has attracted new meanings during lockdown. They question: why can this space provide the freedom for you to express who you truly are? And why doesn’t this translate so easily to the outside world? Like other examples in fashion history, the home tiara is a prime illustration of what ‘being fabulous at home’ could look and feel like. Maybe this is the time that we could open up and bring a little ‘extra’ to our lives, both in and out of our homes.
Based on a blog-essay by Noukhey Forster. Continue reading on how the new normal could be about empathy and self-expression here.
‘Production in fashion needs to shrink’
Up until the last century, all kinds of textile were so costly that people – rich and poor – generally used them until they no longer could. Sometimes it was even a trend. A one of a kind example is the kashmir evening mantle, made from a prime luxury item in the late 19th century.
Nowadays, textiles and clothing have become cheaper than they have ever been. Replacing is easier than repairing. The fashion industry needs to change from its core and there is a need for strong examples that can guide us in a new direction. Duran Lantink’s signature collage technique combines unsold ‘deadstock’ clothing into new hybrid designs that reconceptualise the value of clothing. Such new aesthetics show us the way to rediscover the time-honoured philosophy of appreciation for what we already have.
Based on a blog-essay by Lianne Mol. Continue reading on how the new normal could be about reusing materials and reducing production here.
‘We need a new (algo)rhythm’
From livestreamed fashion shows to virtual face mask filters: both fashion production and fashion weeks have been hugely impacted by COVID-19. Never before have we seen the rise in importance of digital fashion. While digital fashion might seem a distant dream, a closer look raises key questions that concern the meaning of fashion in all forms. Is something ‘immaterial’ less real because it exists in our imagination?
Objects with spiritual uses, such as the Zār amulet, connect immaterial worlds to our physical space. The fashion-tech house The Fabricant also challenges us to think about the possibilities and meanings of fashion in a digital realm. Both question not only the differences between material and immaterial clothing, between reality and imagination, but also raise some important questions for the future. How should we consider the relationship between virtual and physical fashion?
Based on a blog-essay by Nina Lanke. Continue reading about how the new normal could be about discovering our virtual spaces here.
‘Experience my world!’
The sweatsuit is one of the key pieces of contemporary streetwear. From its origin, it’s worn by all kinds of people, but the way we value it often depends on how the wearer is perceived. Especially in these times, it is essential that we remain critical of concepts in fashion like streetwear. What might be comfortable homewear for one, can be the look of ‘the Other’ for someone else.
Increasingly, streetwear labels communicate these issues through the powerful medium of clothing. A 00s sweatsuit by Johnny Blaze, the label of Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man, challenges us to change our perspective with the print “Xperience my world”. This message can also be deconstructed from L’Uniform by contemporary brand L’Origin3. The grey sweatsuit featured in the campaign The Cleaner celebrates the hard work of African parents in Europe, who’s uniforms we should honour. Now more than ever.
Based on a blog-essay by Louisanne van Hooff. Continue reading more on how the new normal can be about remaining critical of our views on fashion here.
‘Creating shared experiences at a distance’
While social distancing evokes a feeling of separation, we also explore ways of being together through fashion. Here, Karim Adduchi shows pieces in which protection and social distance are examined and questioned, from a haute couture face mask created in the light of COVID-19 to a statement headpiece from his 2017 collection.
Designer Martin Margiela shows a similar sensitivity for the past with his pullover made from reclaimed military socks and instructions on ‘how to make your own’, based on WWII knitting booklets. Reflecting on the impact of war, he focuses on the power of DIY and the shared experience of making. A similar approach to fashion and creation is what drives Karim Adduchi in many other socially oriented projects, even during lockdown. It raises the question: how can we come together through fashion, even when we have to be at a distance?
Based on a blog-essay by Sabine Bolk. Continue reading more on how the new normal can be about reaching out through fashion here.