Shortly after FashionWeek two big news facts reached our ears. Mercedes Benz will no longer be the main sponsor of FashionWeek in Amsterdam (FashionUnited, 2017). To complete the chaos in our heads, TMG has decided to sell the FashionWeek venture after having owned it for just one year (NOS, 2017). This means big changes again for FashionWeek, that has had to adapt more than once before.
For us the big question isn’t who the next sponsor or owner are going to be. We’re more curious to investigate the future of fashion display in the Dutch fashion spectre. The retracting of both Mercedes Benz and TMG might be the perfect opportunity to effectuate radical changes in the concept of FashionWeek. This year, several designers ditched the classic runway performance to display their collections and chose other ways to show their creations. They might have given us a sneak peek into the future of FashionWeek.
Designers FIEN and Sophie Hardeman both proved that a collection can be shown in an informal setting too. Both designers organised performances that would perfectly fit in a high-end club. Hardeman threw a party where spectators and models mingled. This way, her new collection could be inspected from up close. FIEN hosted a performance that had a lot of resemblance with a drag queen show. An MC announced every model, inviting her to ‘show off that great body’ or ‘pose again girl’. Both FIEN and Hardeman’s collection performances could be a new approach for fashion display.
Das Leben am Haverkamp and Esther van Brakel made us think about the implications of digitalisation. The models of Das Leben am Haverkamp wore nothing but their underwear, carrying see-through 2D ‘clothes’ in front of their bodies. Esther van Brakel dressed her models virtually with the ‘Dressapp’ application. Both designers are the embodiment of an important societal change: a filter can transform harsh offline reality into a virtual paradise. Herewith, they present a (digital) window of opportunity for innovation in fashion display.
Future Generation presents Eutopia didn’t show a fashion collection at all, but exhibited new perspectives on fashion. Various designers presented their vision on the future of fashion, showing new fabrics, dyes and bacteria-based materials. This exhibition gave FashionWeek a new dimension, proving designers think beyond their next show, that they’re busy hacking their own industry.
When contemplating about the future of FashionWeek, we might end up with a mixture of all the above. The classical runway show shall remain one way or another, because fairly, designers themselves won’t allow for it to disappear. But to keep up with the pace of a fast-changing society, FashionWeek needs to adapt. The public asks for interactive performances, attention for our digital selves and, most of all, a clear vision on where the Dutch fashion industry will go next to make a difference. So, dear Iris, if you’re reading this, next year we’d love to see FashionWeek as an experimental playground where all our senses are challenged and surprised.
- Talisa OngChief Editor
With help of
- Roos de HoogCEO
- Vera BouwhuisFuture Architect
- Houda BiboudaFuture Architect
- Judith KutschenreuterFuture Architect
- Lynn de MunnikFuture Architect