Start: Together with photographers
Anika Schwarzlose and Jonas Lund, I was asked to design the fashion catalogue for the graduation students of the Rietveld Academie’s fashion department of 2009.
Challenge: How can a Rietveld fashion designer stand out from the harsh, ambitious and extremely fast moving fashion world?
Solution: The unique conceptual Rietveld approach has to take center stage and has to be presented in a convincing way.
Idea: The school acts as a toolbox to create different set-ups for the shoot. From the building itself to the lockers and students as models. Everything could be possible.
Drawback: The head of the fash department doesn’t like the idea of using unprofessional stylists, and especially unprofessional models.
Procedure: Professional models and professional stylists, who are usually working for Dutch fashion magazines, are doing the job. The set-ups are reduced to plain walls and some colored pedestals.
Disillusion: The photos look good but also they could have been made for any known fashion magazines. The school’s building serves as a decorative element only. Thus, I don’t see the outstanding and critical idea anymore, which an art school should apply.
Revolution: I’m so annoyed by the chichi faces and the forced posing that I decide to (literally) crop it all out.
Disaster: The head of the fash department doesn’t agree at all. We're having an issue but I don’t give in.
Bare your teeth and carry on:
I decide to base the catalogue’s visuals on typical fash mag visuals to emphasize my radical point of view. Also, by critisizing a convention in fashion, I’m forced to question certain visual conventions in graphic design as well.
Result: People have difficulties in using classical words for the description (great, ugly, nice, beautiful, boring), because it’s just none of the them. It is just a weird thing, which is strong in its statement but doesn’t conform aesthetic expectations. And that’s what I wanted!