maandag 26 juni 2017

Sensewear - FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017

Sensewear is an Italian designer duo consisting of Ema and Ivan, both graduates of Polythecnic in Milan . Ema is specialized in furniture and textiles design, but worked in several fields as a trend researcher, strategist, interior designer, and educator. Her expertise encouraged further exploration at the intersection between product design and fashion and gave birth to the sensewear project. Ivan is an industrial designer with a multifaceted experience in product, interior design, furniture, branding, interaction, generative design, and digital fabrication. He is an expert in modular structures and patterns that are used to generate innovative open source products and enhance material performances. We first met in China, where we used to work for the same firm and we have been together in work and life since then. Almost ten years ago we landed in the Arab Emirates where in 2012 we founded Caravan, a design collective with a multidisciplinary approach, whose members share common interests in cultural, material and social aspects of a globalized community, trying to re-establish a balance among being, having and doing. Blending digital-fabrication and artisanal expertise Caravan’s projects aim at creating awareness of heritage to face contemporary challenges. Each work is infused with pragmatic materialism smoothed by subtle metaphors, inspiring its audience reaction alongside empathic participation. Their approach is characterised by strong multidisciplinary and crossbreed process that connects diverse industries towards new unexpected opportunities. Ema and Ivan currently teach design at Ajman University, one of the oldest higher education institution in the United Arabs Emirates.

Sensewear will present their work during the FASHION MAKES SENSE LAB, on June 30 – July 2 at SAM-decorfabriek (free entrance).

Where are you from? Where are you based at this moment?
We are both Italians coming from Lombardy, the region that makes our country worldwide renowned for its vibrant design philosophy and high end industrial manufacturing; although not the typical idyllic postcard of rural golden wheat hills you are used to. We have been based in the United Arab Emirates for 9 years now.

When did you realise you wanted to work in a field of (fashion) design?
In our work we are quite experimental, we try not to get trapped into compartmental definitions, working on the edge of several disciplines. The only constant in our work is the narrative we based our collective on. Caravan is a trip across diverse cultures and media, where the process takes control over the outcome. Whenever we start a project, we don’t know what is going to be in the end, with sensewear it happened to be the same, our objective was to involve sensory therapies in people’s daily activities and a garment collection came up as the most natural solution among several other possibilities. We embraced the challenge with enthusiasm and even though we are not fashion designers, we share the same tools and methodology. We teamed up with professionals working under our direction and in the end we are quite satisfied by the results of the collection and now we are pushing it through an injection of technology to make it responsive.

What are so far your main achievements in your career?
Our collection won several prizes: the Lexus Design Award 2015, the Wearable Technologies Competition at the Venice Design Week 2016, the AXAPPP Health Tech Future Award. We exhibited in Milan, Tokyo, Moscow, Dubai, London and now we are going to be in the Netherland. It’s a great satisfaction although we are aware that there is still a long way to go!

 In what projects are you involved at this moment?
We are mainly working in developing and promoting the sensewear, wearables are becoming the next big thing, but we are also on some collaborative projects with experimental theater performers and we are active in social design, working with disadvantaged communities, a quite mature thematic in Europe, but still underestimated territory of exploration in the Middle East.

What are your biggest struggles as a young designer/artist?
Ehm…young? Trying to escape conventional labels that constrain your work into boundaries of a tiny specific field sometimes makes people diffident about how much focused you are, even because we also renounced to a recognizable signature style it is difficult to grow an organic audience. Still we believe the worst struggle is to find financial support for experimental non for profit projects.

What do you love the most about your profession?
Our profession is our passion and our life. We strongly believe underestimated design’s potential could make a big change in everyone life rather than being just a luxurious patina on the top of ordinary products. Design give us the possibility to satisfy our curiosity, to explore everyday new environments, new techniques, new materials, new media, new places and new people that in the end are the real objective of our projects.

How would you define fashion?
Fashion is the real foundation of popular culture since it is the most immediate way to communicate and express yourself. In some regions homologation makes it a standardized status statement that sometime becomes vulgar exhibitionism, expression of wealth without culture. Luckily the fashion system as we know it, basing its success on such extravagances, started to show its limits and other more grounded experiences are becoming sensibly prominent on scene, Fashion Clash is one of them.

What fascinates/inspires you and why?
People, nature, math and chemistry, all the biggest contradiction in life are really a great source of inspiration that help us understanding the complexity we are living in. Dubai and the Emirates are full of such contradictions, the tallest buildings in the worlds are towering on narrow traditional alleys were deliveries comes on hand pushed carts; sometimes you might start your trip on a 7 lanes motorway that narrows down to an unpaved rural road with cows and camels crossing your way; sometimes you could feel being in a Swiss financial district and in a matter of minutes you could find yourself transported in Calcutta.

Finding your own distinctive voice can be difficult, where and how do you find your personal creativity (before you start designing/during the design process)?
Design as a drawing activity is the last resource, narration, discussion, storytelling, scouting, researching, documenting. Empathy, when you establish that contact than you know you have the right motivation to do a great job.

What challenges did you face during the design process?
People they don’t want to embrace challenge sometimes and they talk to designer with already something in their mind; they just need someone to visualize it. To makes them confident and reassure about your competence it is important to get out of any misunderstanding.

What do you want to communicate with your work in general?
Design is for all! …and fashion too!

Can you tell us something about the project you will present at the FASHIONCLASH Festival?
Sensewear is a collection of clothes and accessories that emphasize the use of senses. Their primary purpose is to stimulate and improve awareness of our senses, while training us to better use them all. Some Sensewear items are designed to mute physical sensations, some to sharpen them. The collection is inspired by therapies applied to Sensory Processing Disorders and developed with the technical support of therapists assisting people affected with autism. Anxiety, stress, panic attack are most typical autism’s symptoms but more and more people suffers them, therefore the collection is not addressed only to people with disabilities but it is aiming at enhancing everyone hectic urban life. The aim of the project is to design an inclusive collection that could be attractive and wearable by anyone and does not stigmatize a person affected by a disorder. 

Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival? 
Because our design will definitely seem out of place at any conventional fashion show, as much as at a regular healthcare business fair. Since contamination, not to be confused with weirdness, is our playground we found ourselves perfectly in line with FASHIONCLASH mission.

FASHIONCLASH is already working on future themes. What are the topics you find interesting?
Inclusive design, design for all, wearables, contamination among fashion and furniture, multipurpose, habitable garments, transformable, magnetic, performing costumes, cross cultures, cross-religions, emergency, hi-tech nomadism.

What are your thoughts regarding ‘religion and fashion’?
Very interesting question! We are living in Dubai, a place where 200 nationalities are co-existing, and among them a lot of different religions! I believe fashion has no boundaries even though, sometimes fashion and religion can really challenge each other.

             Does fashion makes sense to you?  
Recently fashion in general is a big mess and I’m looking for some sense in the product I buy and design. Unfortunately fashion is one of the most polluted industries and I hope new generations can make a difference!

What are your thoughts on making ‘fashion’ more environmentally-friendly?
Ah! That’s what I’ve meant! It’s a real emergency!

What are your thoughts on the senses in relation to the human body?
Well sensewear express fully this answer!

Do you think that fashion can contribute to a better world / better well-being, and what do you do to make a difference?
We design products that can improve people’s life.

What senses are engaged in your creation process?
We try to include all of them, but I believe the most important is touch.

How does technology change your creation process?
Technology is a very important source of inspiration. Ideas can come from technological innovations, new production teschnologies, new materials. We like to be experimental and we usually try to link new technologies to old craft.

 What’s a standard day for you?
Up by 7, breakfast, late to Viola’s school by 8 (Viola is our daughter), late to work by 9, late lunch by 2, we are constantly living on an average 15 minute late, will catch up on Sunday! Insha’allah!

Vegan, vegetarian, healthy diet or any food will do?
We tried gluten, diary, eggs free, but what a sacrifice and what to do with our last compulsive grocery?

What’s your favourite song at the moment?
OK GO – the one moment. The video clip is amazing as all their previous ones. (ivan)

Best Tv-show/movie at the moment?
Black Mirror

What is your bad habit?
Ivan smokes! Ema hates the smell of cigarettes!

Are you a people's person or a loner?
We love to have guests and cook for them.

Do you have a pet?
Better not to, since we are living in the desert. We enjoy camels in our backyard!

Your favourite quote?
Imagination is more important than knowledge – Albert Einstein

What’s your favourite city?
Every time we visit a new one we fall in love with it…this summer we’ll find our next crash

What/Who do you miss the most when you are not at home?

If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I’m not lying if I say The Netherlands!! I feel it’s a good place to live. Amsterdam gives me the idea that it is a human scale city where you can live well either single or as a family

What do you enjoy the most in life?
Exploring the culinary landscape of every country and how it relates to culture and language

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Who is your biggest example/idol?
Yves Behar, Victor Papanek, Buckminster Fuller, Madonna, Dolce & Gabbana.

Favourite magazine?
Frame, Monocle… Unfortunately, we lack independent magazines in UAE.

Your favourite hashtags #?

You favorite social media app?
Instagram, zomato

Instagram account you think deserves more attention?
Jahnk0y very inspiring work!

                   Find more about Ema and Ivan's work here: sensewear

zondag 25 juni 2017

Coffee Break Story #4

Together with our partner Coffeelovers we will be sharing a Coffee Break Story almost every Sunday as of the 4th of June! 5 Local designers who are part of FabricAge will be sharing their “cup of inspiration” and “what tickles their fashion senses”. 

Our fourth Coffee Break is with:
Photo: Marloes van Doorn

 Jolijn Fiddelaers |

 Jolijn (1979) is born and raised in Limburg. In 2002 she graduated at the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MAFAD). She is a passionate initiator, creator and entrepreneur and since 2002 she has worked as an academic teacher and industrial textile designer for various international companies. She is owner and art director of IXX. Jolijn is one of the designers in this year's edition of FabricAge. In collaboration with Maarten van Mulken and Suzanne Vaessen she is also responsible for the design of the first FabricAge creation.

1.What makes the social design label & project FabricAge so unique? Why do you wanted to be part of FabricAge?

I love the entire concept of FabricAge as it uses design to build bridges between different worlds, on various levels. This is what I intend to do with my design studio IXXcreates and slow fashion label KARIGAR as well. I preferably contribute to projects that are design-focused AND have a strong a
social/sustainable pillar as well. As a designer FabricAge is a wonderful playground to explore new and old techniques and various materials in big-scale artworks. Working together with senior craft experts and workshop attendees is inspiring because I learn from their skills and creativity, also on a practical level. And just as important: I am amazed by the aliveness and vibrancy I meet in their eyes and personalities. They truly inspire me, and again and again, I see the beauty of being creative.

2. What can we expect from you during FabricAge, FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017 and/or in the future? 

FASHIONCLASH is a great place to be inspired by the work of young designers, and I will visit as many events as possible! I am curious to see what moves them and how it expresses in their work. With two business partners, I am building an international presence for KARIGAR, our slow fashion brand for which we work with traditional artisans in India. A commercial follow-up for the design work I started doing in 2010. It is exciting and rewarding to see how my pioneering is now paying off and our beautiful hand-woven products such as capes, shawls, scarves are finding their way across
the globe. Currently, we are working on a new collection to show at Dutch Design Week in October 2017. We have just received the cape-prototypes for a new colour range, a fashion shoot is planned in July and I am preparing for another India trip this winter, to start up new collaborations with textile artisans. Besides establishing KARIGAR as a brand, there are a few nice design projects for IXX. My work now is a beautiful blend of creative expression and commercial viability, and I enjoy it!

3. How does Fashion Make Sense to you nowadays?

Fashion Makes Sense when it is looked at from a broader perspective. Beauty-, identity- and self-expression are intrinsic and healthy values for human beings, and fashion is a great playground for this. Of course, how our creations are produced matters as much as how we wear them. There is a growing sense of responsibility amongst designers and creators. And don’t get me wrong: this can be fun! Travelling a new road is challenging and exciting.

4. What magazine or book does every creative/fashion designer should have on their coffee table?

Honestly, I hardly ever use books or magazines to get inspired. The only book that I always have with me is my notebook. I prefer to create my own stories.

From 1 June until 15 July 2017 Jolijn will be working with four other designers and six craft experts during various FabricAge workshops, covering the techniques of (experimental) knitting, embroidery and weaving. Together with the senior (55+) participants, one spectacular textile design will be created for the city of Maastricht. Wanna join one of the FabricAge workshops? Check out (NL)!

zaterdag 24 juni 2017

FASHIONCLASH Festival preview at Catwalk Maastricht

FASHIONCLASH Festival preview performance at Catwalk Maastricht.

Today, the audience in the city of Maastricht experienced a small tasty teaser of to expect during the festival. In cooperation with SESSIBON and MAFAD the newest local talents presented their work at Mosae Forum and Entre Deux shopping areas.

The displayed red outfits are designed by 3-D year students from the Body department at MAFAD. The red represented the urge to protest and speak out. Does Fashion Make Sense? was the question posed while parading among the streets dominated by fast fashion shops.
The statement was not there to judge the people but mostly to engage a dialogue in the streets, afteral the street is the biggest display of 'fashion'.
Moreover the performance happend to give voice to the new generation of designers and the eight MAFAD students: Ashley Luypaers, Max Niereisel, María Voth Velasco, Michelle Cornelissen, Dana Lipka, Julina Bezold, Natalia Rumiantseva and  Empar Juanes Sanchis

Fashion Makes Sense, the 9th edition of FASHIONCLASH Festival will take place from June 29 till July 2 in Maastricht.

More about the FASHIONCLASH Festival program:


NENUKKO presents vegan collection Interlude.Disrupted at FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017

Saturday 1 July, Polish Nenukko will launch the vegan collection: Interlude.Disrupted on the 9th edition of FASHIONCLASH Festival at the SAM-decorfabriek Maastricht. The genderless NENUKKO models will run the catwalk in show 5 (from 20:30 – 21:00 hrs.). Don’t miss it! For tickets got to

vrijdag 23 juni 2017


Meet Maartje Boer and Suzanne Vaessen, the designers behind STRIKKS. Their studio is based in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Maartje graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Maastricht (NL), and afterwards, in cooperation with her co-designer Suzanne, she opened her design studio. Their main focus is knitting, co-creation with other designers and companies, as well as research of all possibilities in the field of clothing production. STRIKKS has showcased at several design weeks in cities like Eindhoven, Milan or Brussels. Their designs are published in various magazines and newspapers. During the 9th edition of the FASHIONCLASH Festival STRIKKS will showcase a research project regarding the way people respond to a knitwear collection that can be personalized. The project will be interactive and the prize might be a personalized garment from STRIKKS, so don't miss it! Find out more about the program and tickets here.

What are your biggest struggles as a young designer/artist?
Time, I would love to have more time! Time to spend on the knitting machine to invent new knitting structures, samples and yarn trials.

Does fashion makes sense to you? 
Fashion is our second skin, let’s make it worthy. As designers we should cherish our skin and make a beautiful and both functional layer for it. Life is too short for dressing down.

Do you think that fashion can contribute to a better world / better well-being, and what do you do to make a difference?
I find it important that people are aware of their clothes and production. That’s why I am investigating a new way of making fashion: a sustainable collection in which personalization has the lead.

What does a fashion collection look like, when model, color and knitting structure can be customized? 
With an interactive method I aim to engage the customer in the design process and give her more freedom of choice and better fit. This engagement is key for creating emotional value for clothing, and it leads to longer wear.

What senses are engaged in your creation process? 
My collection and our knitted designs are all about touch and sight! Touching fabrics and experiencing the feeling of a knitted fabric, the way the stitches are formed, it’s a very tangible thing.

How does technology change your creation process? 
In our studio technology is used both in the creation and in the production of our designs. More and more we use automated knitting machines to take over the job. But designing is also about zooming out, taking a step back and analyzing results. Craft and manual work will always be part of the process.

What is your bad habit? 
When I’m stressed, I start biting my nails, very nervously. It makes me think faster although it doesn't beautify my nails.

Are you a people's person or a loner?
Both, actually. I am a team player but I enjoy working on my own. Mostly on a quiet location without any music or people around me. In such situations I can deliver best.

Your favorite quote?
“You should not sacrifice your dreams to make other people happy”

Your favorite hashtags #?

Your favorite social media app?
Insta! And I think is a very inspiring account :)

Maartje and Suzanne have a website where you can check out their collections and other projects that STRIKKS was involved in. If you are interested, click here.

donderdag 22 juni 2017

Fashion Talks at FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017

photo Eddy Adlan
Fashion Talks at FASHIONCLASH Festival 
Sunday 2nd of July, at SAM-decorfabriek 
Meerssenerweg 215, free entrance 

(Does) Fashion Makes Sense? 
Come and join the dialogue on July 2. 

Through ‘Fashion Makes Sense’ FASHIONCLASH this year focuses on senses and making sense in relation to fashion. Focused around these two topics the Fashion Talks provide an interactive dialogue with the designers, the audience and the fashion industry.

Moderated by Saskia van Stein, artistic director at Bureau Europa, a stage will be given to a several festival participants and professionals to engage in a discussion about the topic. In addition, this is an opportunity to get to know the designers and discover their vision on the future of fashion.
A space will be given to a few designers to talk about the two subjects and make personal contact with other designers, the audience and the fashion industry.

Files Motwary at the Fashion Talk at FCF 2016
So, Does Fashion Make Sense?

We live in a rapidly changing world where progress is accompanied by environmental pollution and ethical issues. The fashion world is a mighty billion industry, and like no other is able to create an illusion and seduce us humans and excite our senses. Today's fashion industry is a reflection of society with a strong focus on aesthetics. Our society approaches fashion as a purely visual phenomenon and doesn’t always see the nature of the interaction with the body (of the wearer), despite the fact that fashion is the most intimate form of art, as it is literally worn “on the body”! As a second skin, clothing also enables us to express ourselves and helps us make sense of the world.

The Fashion Talks are part of the Fashion Makes Sense LAB Sunday program at the SAM-decorfabriek during FASHIONCLASH Festival.

13:15 – 14:15 Fashion & Senses
- Lecture performance: Olle Lundin x Floriane Misslin
- Talk panel: Sensewear (Emanuela Corti & Ivan Parati), Sepideh Ahadi and Carolyn Mair (Course leader for MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals and MSc Applied Psychology in the Fashion Business School at LCF).

14:30 – 15:30 (Does) Fashion Make Sense? 
- Talk panel: SHI[R]T (Eva Wagensveld & Jeffrey Heiligers) Lucia Chain (CHAIN) and Roosmarie Ruigrok (Clean & Unique).


Floriane Misslin is a native French creative researcher born in 1992. Her central focus is on portraying non-binary identities in the mainstream media. She followed an education in applied arts near Strasbourg and moved to Paris shortly after, to learn more about fashion design. Feeling too limited by the educational system she left the school in Paris, and moved to Eindhoven to attend the design academy. The wide approach to design brought her back to a more theoretical and critical perspective. She is currently developing her project ‘Uni-Sex’ and works as a freelancer on the side.

Sensewear is a collection of clothes and accessories that emphasize the use of senses. Sensewear consists of two designers, Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati. Their primary purpose is to stimulate and improve awareness of our senses, while training us to better use them all. Some Sensewear items are designed to mute physical sensations, some to sharpen them. The collection is inspired by therapies applied to Sensory Processing Disorders and developed with the technical support of therapists assisting people affected with autism. Anxiety, stress, panic attack are most typical autism’s symptoms but more and more people suffers them, therefore the collection is not addressed only to people with disabilities but it is aiming at enhancing everyone busy urban life.

menswear, photo Eddy Adlan
All garments are produced using 3d knitted fabrics Gaetano Rossini and Alcantara. Textile sensors and actuators are produced and developed by Comftech our technical partner. Sensewear has won three health and design related award (Lexus Design Award 2015, Wearable Technology at Venice Design Week 2016, AXAPPP Health Tech & You Future Award 2017).

Sepideh Ahadi, as a multicultural brand, is bridging the gap between her pure Middle Eastern background and European life experience. In her work Sepideh embraces the simplicity of the traditional techniques used in Iran, her home place with the elegance found in Italy where she finished her M.A in fashion design and the practical aesthetic of German lifestyle, where she lives and work now. The brand is dedicated to slow fashion and sustainable practices, in that the designer creates her collections through a considered and experimental process.

The collections mostly reflect social issues in the modern lifestyle where the designer challenges herself to find an artistic way to contribute to making a difference. As a designer, Sepideh feels the responsibility to invite her audience to think about fashion in a different and more interactive way through her designs.

Carolyn Mair is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist with a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. She developed the MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals and MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion at LCF. In the beginning of her career, Carlyn was a graphic designer and visual merchandiser, she worked for department stores, where she designed and installed store window displays, in-store installations and advertising materials. She was interested in fashion, this led to her designing clothes for herself and friends.

SHI[R]T is an online platform/webshop for designers that offer fair or sustainable products. Not the dull goatysocks kind we all know. But one supporting [young] designers with their own vision. No mass production but small and local production. As a brand being transparent is key, know what you buy. The two people behind this brand are Dutch designers Jeffrey Heiligers and Eva Wagensveld. The psychology behind fashion has become less about quality or durabilty and more about being fast, cheap and easy to replace. Does fashion make sense if the quality of the products is high, labour conditions are good and the environmental impact is minimal? In other words: Do you want to buy a shit-shirt, or rather invest in something fair?

CHAIN is an emerging fashion label based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Their work has been shown several times at Buenos Aires Fashion Week, Fashion Edition Buenos Aires and International Fashion Showcase – London Fashion week. Committed to the environment, the designs are made by hand with eco, and sustainable fabrics, all natural plant based fibers and uncycled plant based dyes. Zero waste patterns, a-gender fits and sustainable production are important methods of their work and make the clothing to test time.

By extracting postures and re-contextualizing them Olle Lundin hopes to denaturalize the body-language of high fashion. By doing this he has the intention to show the norms, ideals and invisible expectations that are inherent in the visual language discourse of high fashion advertising today!

photo Ayaan Haanewald
Starting as a textile buyer, Roosmarie Ruigrok discovered her passion in fair supply chains. After selling her own company, Promax Corporate Fashion, she worked at Amnesty International, Fair Wear Foundation and as CSR consultance at Elsewear Foundation, known by “Green is the new black and as International cotton manager for Fairtrade. In 2007 Roosmarie founded Clean & Unique. A foundation that help brands and starters in fashion to learn more about sustainability. Today Clean & Unique transformed into an agent for change to create more knowledge and awareness about sustainability in fashion, workwear & textiles by giving advises, training, workshops, inspiration sessions and organizing events. Roosmarie is an International speaker for 15 years and spoke during Premier Vision Paris, Mare di Moda in Cannes but also in Berlin, Rome, London and in the Netherlands. Last March Clean&Unique celebrated it’s 10th anniversary.

woensdag 21 juni 2017


NOUS AVONS is a platform for highly creative Dutch emerging designers and established brands in fashion and accessories. The collective was founded in 2016 by Fenny Faber, Heidi Long, Manon Boertien and Renske Versluijs and is based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. 

Their aim is to support their artistic and branding enterprises, from global commercial sales to fashion events and communication services, in the development of their professional capacities and by building long-term relations. Their goal is to solve the struggle between creativity and commerce that young designers encounter while expanding their labels in a sustainable manner.

NOUS AVONS style is eclectic, ranging from rough to classic and colorful to pitch-black. The materials vary from silk, wool, organic cotton, leather to porcelain and self-developed fabrics.

NOUS AVONS designs can be seen at FASHIONCLASH Festival during the Fashion Makes Sense LAB on June 30 - July 2 at SAMdecorfabriek.

dinsdag 20 juni 2017


Floriane Misslin is a French designer based in Eindhoven. After having pursued classical and technical fashion studies at The Duperré School of Applied Arts in Paris she became interested in analyzing the fashion body from a sociological perspective. She graduated from The Design Academy Eindhoven in 2016.
She is currently working to develop Uni—Sex, a visual analysis that observes how the male and female bodies are represented in an idealized context of gender neutrality.
She is passionate about creative and critical thinking, media imagery, represqentations of the body and their cultural meaning.

Floriane Misslin's work can be seen at FASHIONCLASH
Festival during the Fashion Makes Sense LAB  on June 30 - July 2 at SAMdecorfabriek. On sunday (July 2th) Misslin will join the panel at the Fashion Makes Sense TALKS.

maandag 19 juni 2017


Meet Nika Čuić, the designer behind NIKA TOM, from Zagreb, Croatia. She is  26 years old and she holds a degree in Fashion Design and Costumography, and also economics. What she loves the most about being a fashion designer, is that she can be herself. At the moment she is involved in the making of her FASHIONCLASH collection and she is also preparing for an exhibition in Zagreb, as well as designing costumes for a short movie. If you want to check out Nika's and other amazing collections, be sure to buy the tickets to the festival here.

What does your brand represent?
My brand NIKA TOM represent the extension of myself. First of all, TOM stands for my mothers shortened family To continue, my work represents me, respectively, my mind, feelings, thoughts and everything that an individual can't describe with words I have always had a need to express that in one way and, by set of circumstances, had always been surrounded with a sewing machine, fabrics and all sorts of materials helped me to achieve that.

What are so far your main achievements in your career? 
I have participated in lots of shows and exhibitions during two years period, and one of the most notable was Berlin Alternative Fashion Week. I was also a part of the Designers Profile in the Mays issue of British Vogue- page designed with the intention of showcasing a range of upcoming designers.

What are your biggest struggles as a young designer/artist?
Lack of financial resources, technology, materials.

How would you define fashion?
I wouldn’t really define it. Every individual speaks and does for himself, respectively, creates something which he or she finds accurate. You can really communicate with clothing, and I think that is the goal here - to speak out.

What fascinates/inspires you and why?
Literally everything! I always have a different inspiration, but there always has to be a reason and connection why did it happen. These inspirations are often connected with my personality, surroundings, everyday situations, emotions, people, art , music…

What do you want to communicate with your work in general?
I want to transfer my ideas and stories through clothing. The goal is to achieve perfect imperfection, meaning a set of rules that you made by yourself and that are not so common but with its wrong unexpected details they become perfect .

Can you tell us something about the project you will present at the FASHIONCLASH Festival? What do you try to communicate with your project?
The project I will present is named 'Peripeteies'. It deals with balance between reality and the inner one made in our thoughts and felt through emotions. The question is what is real and how to delineate it from the mind of a self and is this real just a confirmation of our expectations and beliefs. On the other hand, the mind is living its own reality which is created by interconnectedness of yourself with lived experience, it is a gateway between the finite and ad infinitum. Letting the mind communicate with the reality enables a possibility to create its own reality which is then known only to ourselves. The mean is to represent both worlds, many realities on the same piece and let them connect together. Since the mind of oneself is hard to be grasped with words and expressions, my goal is to express it through clothing and in that way to explore the possibility of functionality of this balance.

Why have you decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival?
I decided to participate at FASHIONCLASH Festival because  it focuses on supporting emerging young designers and gives them the opportunity to experiment with fashion and create something unconventional.

FASHIONCLASH is already working on future themes. What are the topics you find interesting?
Topics that interest me are people, their relations, human body, mind and what can be produced with it.

Does fashion makes sense to you?
Most of the time not, because it had gone to extremes of consumerism, rapidly changeable trends and uselessness. On the other hand, communicating with it, expressing yourself, making something different, long-lasting and with good quality does make a lot of sense.

What are your thoughts on making ‘fashion’ more environmentally-friendly?
I think every individual also has to think and work towards sustainability as much as he or she can for the benefit of the unity.

What are your thoughts on the senses in relation to the human body?
Clothing is in a close relation to the human body because of its tangibility. Body feels the fabric and decides whether it will accept it or not. When they match, they become one. Clothing and fabrics shape the body reacting differently on each person. Clothing serves the body's appearance and also helps a person to express themselves. 

What senses are engaged in your creation process? 
I am using my emotions, intuition and (sub)conscious through every step of the process. Every single sense is engaged , mostly touch and sight as feeling the fabric and seeing its result when its created.

If you want to find out more about Nika and her brand, please check her out at Not Just A Label and Instagram.

zondag 18 juni 2017

Coffee Break Story #3

Together with our partner Coffeelovers we will be sharing a Coffee Break Story almost every Sunday as of the 4th of June! 5 Local designers who are part of FabricAge will be sharing their “Cup of Inspiration” and “What tickles their fashion senses”.

Our third Coffee Break is with:
Verena Klein | 

Verena Klein studied fashion design at the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design and launched her label one year ago. She loves Maastricht and the people so much that she decided to stay. “In a restless world it is scarce to find a place where creativity pulsates, and you can find serenity and tranquillity at the same time”, she thinks. Verena combines two passions in her work: handcrafted garments made out of pure natural textiles and contemporary dance. It is important for her that the medium of presentation and the goods complement each other. Connecting these two disciplines enables her to tell her subtle but emotional stories. Verena is one of the designers involved in the FabricAge project. She will also present her collection as part of the Peace Stones Studios collective at the Designer Market during FASHIONCLASH Festival.

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