Photographer Elisabeth de Vires shot eight mini-series on 35mm film inspired by the vibrant personalities of fresh Dutch faces wearing young design. The second item in this series was shot with Britt @ Micha Models, wearing Anouk Beckers. Anouk graduated in July 2017 from TxT and Fashion Department at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam with the series is “A GARMENT TO UNRAVEL”. Selected pieces:
#4 (half of a denim overall)
#11 (part of a denim jacket)
#41 (half of jeans )
IMPRINT: Where did you graduate and what was your graduation collection about?
Anouk Beckers: I graduated in July 2017 from TxT and Fashion Department Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam with the series is “A GARMENT TO UNRAVEL”. I prefer to call it a series, not a collection because it’s an ongoing project, it doesn’t depent on seasons.
I developed the main idea for this graduation series during my exchange a Pratt Institute Brooklyn, two years ago. This school was very traditional, compared to the way of working at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where you have a lot of freedom. The way of teaching there was very strict. At Pratt, they have the big fashion houses as examples. These are driven by trends and produce collection after collection at such a high pace. As a response to this manner of designing, I decided to find an alternative way of working.
A GARMENT TO UNRAVEL came to life from questioning our current fashion system. I asked myself: “how do I make fashion without directly joining the rules and rhythms of the fast fashion industry?”.
A GARMENT TO UNRAVEL came to life from questioning our current fashion system. I asked myself: “how do I make fashion without directly joining the rules and rhythms of the fast fashion industry?”. The series is a modular system for garments; regarding clothes as unfinished objects. These pieces become textile fragments, and this system offers a new perspective on looking at clothing. There is no anticipation of how the garment will look. The garments are allowing the wearer to communicate by building and playing with different pieces, what they can be, or become. This system is challenging you to become your own fashion designer or collector of pieces. There are 46 pieces in total. Every garment piece has its own number (#) that is not linked to any season but relates to the order of when the item was made, which is an ongoing process. Pieces can be added to the system at any time. By adding over time, more options and combinations are being created.
Rethinking the fashion system and creating a different way of communicating with our clothes is important to me. I like to present my garments in different looks; but this is just an example of how they can be worn, I’m not saying this way is the right way, the way of wearing these garments should be an open question. So instead of saying: Britt is wearing look 3 of my collection, I prefer saying Britt is wearing #4, #11 and #41. This way, the focus shifts from the total look to a combination of garments. It’s variable and dependent on what people create. During my graduation I invited people to create these different combinations. The whole documentation is visible on my Instagram page: @anouksbeckers.
IMPRINT: What can you tell us about these pieces?
A: They are pieces of the series A GARMENT TO UNRAVEL. The pieces you see are archetypes, which is the way I design a lot of my garments, as a fashion statement. When you see my garments, you recognize it as a piece of something. Details that make you think of a suit or jeans and relate to garments and wearable pieces. The shapes and materials are linked to archetypal designs that are wearable in different ways, while playing with the borders of recognition, but without the garments just being a piece of textile.
Without the garments just being a pieces of textile, the shapes and materials are linked to archetypal designs that are wearable in different ways, while playing with the borders of recognition.
IMPRINT: What inspires you to make your designs?
A: The biggest inspiration for me, when making my designs, was to try and find a solution for my own struggle with fashion. By creating my own system and a way of working where I can show my perspective on garments and what fashion can be. This all started by questioning our idea of a garment.
I’m critical towards the current fashion system; I think it is quite uptight and hard to change. On the other hand, it’s a source of inspiration for me as well. It’s a love-hate relationship. Luckily, more and more people question ‘fast fashion’ , and many designers present an alternative. I aim to create fluidity within fashion by breaking the boundaries of a garment. Instead of seeing a garment as a static object, I believe it can change in form and identity.
I needed to create a system for myself wherein I feel free to question and play with fashion. Doing research and asking questions on what I see and do, instead of feeling restricted by certain rules. Creating an environment where the hierarchy between a maker and a wearer is questioned. As a maker, I am highly depending on what the wearer creates. That’s why the interacting with the people wearing my clothes is so important to me. They keep on surprising and inspiring me!
IMPRINT: In what way do you relate your work to sustainable fashion?
A: An important part of sustainable fashion is finding an alternative for the fast fashion system. Fast fashion is creating trends and seasonrelated garments. When trends are changing and seasons shift, we end up with this waste of the garments we don’t want to wear any longer.
By breaking up a garment into pieces, the pieces are able to grow together with the environment. Different combinations make different objects all the time. This way of dealing with fashion it is not related to a certain season and when you are done with a combination, you just change it into something new. It stays interesting over time while trends are constantly shifting. It is made to change.
The system needs itself in order to create new pieces.. Their existence is dependent on the combinations you make with them. If I would add 3 new pieces to the existing system right now, it would change all the possibilities of combinations. That’s a sustainable way of wearing, in my opinion.
Photography by Elisabeth de Vires @elisabethdevires
Styling by Elise Verhoeven @eliseverhoevenfashion @ Pim Thomassen Agency
Hair & make-up by Elise Langenhuisen @eliselangenhuisen
Lay-out design by Roi Oosterbeek @roi.ai
Hair & make-up assistance by Bobbie Jongejans @bobbiesophie
Styling assistance by Lisa Hartjes