zondag 9 juli 2017

Coffee Break Story #5

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 last Coffee Break is with: 

Maarten van Mulken | www.maartenvanmulken.co | WINNER RADIKAL FASHION FILM AWARD 2017

Maarten Van Mulken, 26, is a Dutch fashion designer living in Maastricht. Last year he graduated from the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts & Design (MAFAD). This year he will be introducing his new womenswear collection at FASHIONCLASH Festival 2017. Next to creating own collections, he is working as a costume designer for a theatre, which fits perfectly with how he likes to design. He is thrilled with a project like FabricAge, where nobody is left out, and everyone can participate. Together with the rest of the team, he came up with the design that withholds three different kinds of crafts, creating a ‘gesammtkunstwerk’.

Photo: Team Peter Stigter

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

I'm excited to be part of the first steps of FabricAge that hopefully will go on for years. It is such a unique, large-scale cultural project, and everyone can participate! FabricAge allows us to be part of
the development of a fascinating design community and also gives us the opportunity to contribute to society. It’s all about creating new connections between all the participants, showing everyone what a city and its senior citizens have to offer, and can create and learn from each other. Together with my fellow design colleagues, we created a model in which we can work with three different techniques: weaving, knitting and embroidery. Hopefully people are highly interested in the embroidery pieces I’ve designed. In the end, I think it will not be about me learning new skills, but about working and creating together. And with all the knowledge the elderly participants have I eventually will learn more from them than they will learn from me. How it will look like in the end will hopefully exceed everybody’s expectations!

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

What I find the most interesting is that fashion, design and textile, nowadays isn't just about locking yourself up in a room and creating things. It has social, cultural and environmental issues that you need to play with and address. During FabricAge I lead and help the senior participants to make something they want to make, together, which enables them to express themselves through a striking artwork. Hopefully, I'm able to discover what they want and get them to ask me questions about things they find worth discussing as well.

I aim to do the same during FAHIONCLASH Festival. I’m trying to create a collection that raises questions towards the viewer. I don't want to turn away from important issues that we do need to ask ourselves nowadays. Not only towards fashion but especially towards how we want to live our lives. Although I’m quite busy with the start up of my company and brand, I wish to do a lot of different things in the future. Besides developing my collections, I want to motivate and address social issues to get more people involved about how we can create a better future.

3. How does Fashion Make Sense to you nowadays? 

Fashion does make sense in a lot of ways, but at the same time, it doesn’t. It’s a complex issue to address, we do not have all the answers for it yet. People would like to see the industry change and a lot are trying to contribute to this change, but many are also all talk and no action. What I find most interesting in fashion nowadays and why fashion makes sense to me, is the bilingualism of fashion. You can create beautiful garments that people would love to wear for years, you can make garments that are environmentally and people friendly, you can make clothes that are way ahead with techniques that seem futuristic, and you can make clothes that get people talking. The main point of it all is that fashion keeps making sense as long as people keep thinking and discussing why they choose what they want to wear or why they don’t care at all. For me, THAT is why fashion makes sense. As long as you have a well-overthought choice in what you wear, create or how you want to live your life, we already can change a lot of things in society.

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

Every fashion designer has to have a book that inspires them, that has a voice and doesn’t only withhold images of the latest trends. Something or someone that inspires you and shares your vision. For me, it’s any given book about Alexander McQueen; not only because of his impeccably tailored and magnificent designs but also how he wanted to see a change in the fashion industry and how he pursued his ideals. And no coffee table book collection of mine is complete without Baudelaires’ ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’. It has nothing to do with fashion, but the poems take me away to somewhere else every time. It’s about a deep, unreachable love, an unattainable goal.

From 1 June until 15 July 2017 Maarten will be working with four other designers and siz 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 www.fabric-age.nl/workshops (NL)! 

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