Date 16.06.2017

Gerrit Rietveld Academie Bachelor Show 2017 – Preface by Niels Klavers

“A lot has changed since I myself graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie back in 1995. The Fashion Show, that presents the Fashion department and especially its graduates to the world, has become a more and more costly and professional looking production over time. And even though graduation shows are valuable and exciting experiences for our students and hopefully just as memorable for the audiences, throughout my tenure as head of the Fashion department I’ve felt the urge to overthrow this all too serious catwalk tradition.

It is an art school graduation show, it should be all about the fun and brazenness that this new generation has to offer: it is their party!

This year the time felt right to make a bold move and take our graduation show to the streets. It is a tradition to find a surprising location for the Fashion Show each year, but this time I believe we’ve truly come out of our comfort zone, and by doing so, we ask our audience to do the same. By showing our students’ highly experimental, conceptual and culturally diverse fashion proposals under a nitty-gritty ring road overpass in Amsterdam West – one of the most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in Amsterdam – we hope to start new conversations, with our loyal fashion industry in-crowd as well as the locals of Amsterdam-West.

With our teaser campaign in de Bijenkorf, showing a selection of our most adventurous alumni in this high-end fashion establishment environment, we hope to do the same.

For many people fashion is about escaping reality. At the Rietveld we much prefer to engage with it and to create new realities.

On behalf of the Rietveld I would especially like to thank the artist Leonard van Munster, WOW Amsterdam and Gemeente Amsterdam – Stadsdeel West for all their support and for believing in our ‘wildest dream’.

Niels Klavers

Head of Fashion Department, about their 2017’s graduation show.