STOF2018: State of Fashion 2018 – #NOWASTE is the new luxury – Text by OG
Starting June 1st 2018 with a three-month program presenting itself under the slogan ‘searching for the new luxury’, Arnhem’s former Fashion Biennale returns as a new organization and is here to stay. Under the missionary name STATE OF FASHION, its program includes sales activities, workshops, future scenarios, laboratories for research, experimental playgrounds for its triggered public, etc, etc. But mainly, it is orientated towards those students and progressive thinkers wanting to take care of the environment and believe in one circular economy.
The temporarily frozen and upgraded creative platform chooses to move full steam ahead, questioning and challenging designers to rise up to the global struggle of sustainability. It will be necessary, for example, to be transparent regarding the where products come from, otherwise, how can consumers be educated before they click ‘buy’?
An intrinsic theme that director and speaker Christine de Baan announced during the soft event launch last Saturday was that, “it will be a hard road to tech our society how to consume the magic of fashion under a sustainable frame, with the first edition everything won’t be solved, but we will surely reach our goal.”
The inevitable equation that will link to Paris, London, or even Dubai while still searching for new luxury is miles away from Arnhem’s realistic assignment. It is far more opaque, but no less ambitious. It’s not about yachts, watches or expensive couture gowns, but brilliantly seeks to turn us all into conscious consumers– the most expensive of all the luxuries.
This is a controversial mission for a country where children wear five pocket jeans and printed t-shirts at primary school, covered in recognizable logos and paired with expensive sneakers. This mission seeks a more collective branding experience, not necessarily to change the intentions behind the garments bought. Shameless enough, weekly visits to chains such as Primark, H&M, or Zara are part of basic groceries within a standard family. It makes me seriously wonder whether school uniforms will return after the STATE OF FASHION 2018 first edition. I sincerely hope the event will climb into the proper political spheres needed to achieve that.
ArtEZ University of the Arts fashion department remains the main organ behind the STATE OF FASHION, with more than six decades of delivering high education and international talents. In collaboration with other partners (Sonsbeek), sponsors, and municipal funds, its recognizable lector and pedigree curator José Teunissen will bridge all of fashion’s best and most at the same time.
A prestige that has afforded the entire Arnhem family the challenge of writing a new fashion testament as its export possibilities for 2018 are already seen as a success.