Photography + Blogs + Biking + Amsterdam + Fashion = a perfect combination of things I like! I’m an avid reader of fashion blogs such as The Sartorialist, Facehunter and Copenhagen Street Style. It becomes even better when biking is involved, for example Copenhagen Cycle Chic. That’s why it was great to see Garance Dore photographed lots of Amsterdam women, many with bikes, during her stay at the Amsterdam International Fashion Week (later all exhibitioned in Foam Photography Museum). Two weeks ago The Sartorialist also posted a series of pictures of NYC women with bikes, comparing them to the Amsterdam women on Garance’s blog. He is wisely not going into which style he likes more and I’m pretty biased, so what do you think?
There are quite some Dutch models that are known around the (fashion) world, of which Doutzen Kroes is the most successful one at the moment. Dutch designers however somehow have a harder time establishing themselves. Of course there are the famous Viktor & Rolf, Spijkers en Spijkers and Jan Taminiou, and promising talents like Claes Iversen (actually Danish but living in Amsterdam) and Daryl van der Wouw. The past years, the fashion scene in the Netherlands have been working hard to profile itself amongst the much more well know scenes in Paris, Milan, London and New York. A wonderful example is the Amsterdam International Fashion Week, founded in 2004, which is presented as a young and directional alternative to the world’s more traditional fashion weeks. They had a great list of designers, with Claes Iversen being my personal favourite (since my stay in Copenhagen, I have a soft spot for danish design in all it’s forms).
Great models, designers and initiatives, but where does this leave us on the worldwide fashion map? Yesterday it was announced that my university (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen) will start a study called ‘Dutch Fashion in a Globalised World’. Anneke Smelik, the main researched stated the following about what they will be investigating with this first, national fashion research: “We’ll be looking at fashion and identity, on both a individual and group level, the realisation and meaning of certain brands and at the economy involving fashion and clothing in and around the Netherlands”. It sure sounds like a interesting research, of which the results will only be available in 2011 – this is when the research will be finished. I hope by then it won’t be yesterday’s news, like everything in fashion :-)
I had already read about it in Dutch press, and during my short visit to Düsseldorf the past week some banners reminded me of the exhibition again. I’m talking about the current exhibition in the NRW Forum called MODE:BILDER.
This exhibition combines three things that I enjoy a lot; namely photography, fashion and art! The exhibition is on until 24th March 2008 and shows a selection of works by 100 photographers extending over a period from 1843 to 2006. The main accent is derived the personal style of the collector and curator F.C. Gundlach. The main theme of the exhibition is that it wants to make clear that fashion photography involves a lot more than the mere reproduction of an item of clothing.
Interesting is that the exhibition is literally divided into two parts. The first part is the more classic part of the exhibition, focusing on elegance. My favourite picture ‘Dovina with elephants – 1955 – Richard Avedon’, which I’ve posted here, is the quintessential of this style. The second part, on the other side of the building, was much more contemporary and controversial. The intriguing picture of a naked John Lennon wrapped around Yoko One (by Annie Leibowitz) was part of this section, together with quite some great David LaChapelle pictures (see below, Milk Maids). I have absolutely enjoyed the exhibition, and I can recommend anyone who is slightly interested in either photography or fashion to visit it!