Tuesday, 23 February 2016

3D Hypercraft, The New Reality - AMFI.nl

Each semester AMFI organizes the Lectra Awards, a way to recognise the talent in our 3D Hypercraft programme. AMFI.nl sat down with a few of this year’s prize winners to talk about their projects.

Offered to both Design and Management students, Hypercraft is a minor providing creative freedom and independence, with real-life clients in mind. Taking advantage of the freedom given to him as a designer, Dan Aitouganov chose to create four pieces for his collection, ‘Woman’s Work’. ‘This minor helped me to find my own handwriting,’ Dan explains, ‘we live in 2015 and yet you notice everywhere that women of the world are living in the shadow of men. The collection puts the focus on celebrating women, thus restoring their power.’ With a collection inspired by artists, including Henri Matisse, Dan wanted to embrace femininity in details: dimension and curvatures, accentuated by elegant silk ribbon embroidery and a striking approach to millinery.

'Woman's Work'. Photographer: Peter Dwars & Creative Director: Imruh Asha

“This minor helped me to find my own handwriting” – Dan Aitouganov

Sarah Bruylant holds a photoshoot at Paleis on the Dam.

Sarah Bruylant, design student, experimented with her freedom in more ways than one. Challenging the society that tells us to all look the same, her exaggerated and voluminous pieces encourage people to have faith in their own tastes. ‘I like yellow’, she says about the streaks of yellow paint, ‘we should wear what we really like!’ Management student Laurens Meister had a different experience working for the client HUUB, for whom he and teammates Kim Burger and Pia Joosten created the 3 piece collection, ‘Sjora.’ Laurens discusses the project starting points: ‘The customer competes in triathlons with this gear, looking for movement and flexibility in fabrics and fit - which was the challenge. The technical collection was a fusion between technology and nature. The fluorescent print in early stages of development mimics bioluminescent fishes under water.’

“Dive deep into the world of pattern making” – Laurens Meister

A snapshot of a page in Dan's process book.

Throughout the minor students use the Lectra 3D Virtual Prototyping program, which proved for many of these “digital natives” to be slightly less intuitive than they’d expected. For Laurens, the difficulty of executing your ideas in the program is dependent on the complexity of the idea’, mentions Laurens, as was the case for Sarah and her large, complex shapes. Students can create patterns in 2D and import them, or start from a ‘blank’ digital canvas. Sarah said it took her some time to get her bearings: ‘Designers always want to create something new and different, but this program changes the way you think about the things you know.’ Students can experiment with modules of the virtual prototyping software to import body scan data, simulate the fabrics, and visualise the garment in motion. Dan advises ‘Just jump in and play with the software.’

“It is the next step in fashion” – Sarah Bruylant

These students say they'll be using 3D virtual prototyping in their next AMFI project, especially after experiencing a unique sense of freedom in experimentation. Sarah is enthusiastic about the future of the minor saying, ‘it’s a privilege to work with Lectra. It feels like you are learning something important, it’s the next step in fashion!’ For Laurens, this semester was a first glimpse of what it will be like working with a real client in the industry. He feels this type of technology will markedly shape the industry.
For students interested in the 3D Hypercraft minor, the students have a few useful suggestions: ‘Students interested in product development can dive deep into the world of pattern making', says Laurens. Although revealing that he was slightly scared of the minor at first, he adds ‘it’s a good program if you want to be an independent designer. Don’t be intimidated by the technology'. Sarah suggests ‘if you get stuck, do things in real life for a bit.' Students agree: the 3D Hypercraft minor is a fulfilling option for those who want to take advantage of innovative 3D virtual prototyping for the fashion industry.

Photos provided by the 3D Hypercraft students for use in the article.
Writing by second-year (International) Fashion & Branding student Rachel Douglass.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Tess Van Zalinge

After working backstage for the 2016 Amsterdam Fashion Week show I thought I would dive into the brand of the AMFI graduate. 

As a graduate from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Tess van Zalinge will have strong knowledge of creating a tight and compelling concept. It is this that has ensured her success since finishing at AMFI in 2012 and has gained her a place showing her A/W ’16 collection at the Amsterdam Fashion Week. Tess is currently a designer for both a ready-to-wear lingerie line and her very own Tess van Zalinge line. Lola + Lou is a lingerie line for the everyday use created for the bold, daring girls. Her own brand is used to really express herself through feelings and creativity and as we see in her new collection she really uses this freedom to her own advantage. I got to see close up the merge of lingerie and fashion Tess has created by getting the honour to work backstage with her at the MBAFW. 

Tess shows the pride she has in the Netherlands and the people who created their own unique landscape. For this reason the name of the concept for this collection is ‘Geschapen Land | Landschap’ – translated as ‘Created Land | Landscape.’ Inspired by the typical Dutch landscape and the book ‘Moet Kunnen’ by Herman Pleij, Tess created a clean, aesthetic lingerie line with designs that could be too pretty to hide away. She has used the natural tones featuring the blue sky and the green meadows over the Dutch horizon resulting in the alluring prints over each of the pieces. She has experimented with the bar between underwear and outwear, from floor-sweeping skirts to delicate lace bras. The intricate outfits have been created using an exquisite selection of materials, from satin socks to a beaded shoulder piece. Not only is the fresh style clear in the collection but the young, angelic models suited the overall tone, with freckled faces and fluffy hair in a typical Dutch youth look. The result…a beautiful spectacle of Dutch pride and the feeling of updating your lingerie wardrobe. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Light of Kintera's Life

Have a peek into the eccentric mind of Kristof Kintera.

The Kunsthal contemporary art museum, located in Rotterdam, houses some of the most interesting contemporary exhibitions of quirky and out there art and design. Kristof Kintera is now part of the collections in his new exhibition, ‘Your Light is My Life.’ Through explosive, daring sculptures we get a look into Kintera’s mind, his political and societal views translated into strange and out-of-this-world pieces. However despite his pieces sometimes looking like they are from a different planet the ideas behind them are truly the opposite as he provides us with hidden meanings completely related to the distressed world we live in today. His pieces provoke us to think about how we live in imaginative sculptures all within the concept of his personal life and ideas about the world.

Kintera believes that art must be something that people put effort into finding for themselves which has essentially influenced him to turn the whole museum and the grounds around them into, what could be described as, art hide-and-seek. Pieces are dotted around the park and exterior of the museum as well as pieces at hidden emergency exits making you work to find the creations. From the main room we are transported to a maze-like corridor created by confusing neon yellow walls that change our perspective and have the aim of disrupting our visit into the main hall. This isn’t the only area in which our visit is disrupted as his, sometimes absurd,  sculptures become a confusing puzzle piece for us to solve ourselves.

The main hall is filled with a vast array of strange objects that could be described as a collision of incompatibility yet the ideas behind them do the job in making us think. At first many of these sculptures send a smile to our face as we bask in the irony of his creations but looking closer some become increasingly disturbing and even highly irritating. One example of this is the raven perched on top of the wall overlooking the whole exhibition. At first it is hard to notice his repetitive remarks of visionary phrases such as ‘Just Do It’ and ‘Let’s Make Things Better.’ However as he continues to repeat these for the duration of your stay the catchphrases begin to lose a meaning and you find it difficult to block the creature out. The philosophical insights become an addition to the disruptive noises Kintera has created throughout many of the artworks.

On the more thought provoking side of the pieces displayed is what can be first assumed as a large selection of old lamps and cables hanging in a chaotic manner. Bulbs and spotlights are lit up in vast quantities and although you do not hold the meaning to them yet it is still an impressive collection of electricity. However, what you should be waiting for is the timed dimming of the lights ascending the room into darkness. It is then that you witness the large human figure standing with a halo over their head. The sculpture immediately becomes one of his most monumental and powerful structures, another designed to make you think this time about the subject of unbridled energy consumption. Whilst we admire the amazing creation we are still left thinking of how we are living our life through Kintera’s typical ironic nature and the continuous use of dark humour.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

An Anecdote A Day...

Placed on the charming 9 Straatjes of Amsterdam I came across this little gem of uplifting quotes and encouraging memories and wanted to dive deeper into its dreamy little world. 

Concepts are used all around us and just when you think everything has been done you come across a small corner of our world that proves you wrong. That small corner is Anecdote. Situated on one of the infamous 9 Streets in Amsterdam the store was developed in 2009 by some AMFI graduates who came together to share a stunning idea – clothing designed with memories in mind. This Dutch ready-to-wear brand features collections based on the personal stories of the designer and results in clothing that encourages you to share these every day memories with her. These can be going to work to, simply, walking your dog. When asked, one of the store managers said that their aim was “not to produce high fashion but, instead, to create clothing for everyday occasions.” The clothing and store subtly shows inspiration from nature, travel and new cultures, as well as keeping their heritage and friends close to their hearts. As you walk through the store you stumble across these little ‘anecdotes’ offering that personal touch you often don’t see in the world today. 

In a world where we are able to share at the click of our fingers the idea of something being ‘personal’ is lost. Social media has become over-sharing, almost trying to show-off a life we don’t realistically have. In the real world people have become closed off with the thought that they are not able to adhere to the high quality life others seem to have. Our lives now move so quickly we are rarely able to recognise personal aspects of it anymore and the small parts of it that really matter. The Anecdote store gives us a refresh button amongst a hectic lifestyle where you can take the time to slow down and realise what moments are the most important. 

Anecdote is a gentle contrast to the acceleration we experience. By giving us an insight into the designer’s lifestyle we can learn from this brand that we shouldn’t take for granted even the most minimal snippets of our existence. Showing that she takes time to look at what she is thankful for she is able to produce good quality clothing that actually has a complex meaning to it and will therefore still hold a meaning to whoever wears it. 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Definition of Feminism

I explore Roxanne Gray’s hilarious book of essays, Bad Feminist, and discuss the interesting issues risen.

As an internet leader and a fellow ‘Hunger Games’ fan, Roxanne Gay is a person I have found much in common with. Her bold and riotous attitude has now been brought from her twitter page to her book as an internet born collection of a diverse array of essays. Covering everything from Kanye raps to scrabble competitions, the book Bad Feminist will certainly provide you with something to relate to. And Gay doesn’t hold back. Her opinions pull up important points, not only in modern day feminism but, in race and politics too giving the book a wide variety of focal areas and, almost, angry point of views. But is Gay just saying out loud what the rest of us are too afraid to say? Her book is a diagnosis of all the things we can find wrong in the subjects discussed.

Gay talks about what many feminists aren’t likely to admit to. She confesses that she is a “mess of contradictions” and it’s true but aren’t we all. She wants to be independent but wants someone to take care of her, she loves rap music but is horrified by the offensive lyrics and she likes men but which straight female doesn’t. I found myself continuously nodding my head throughout her book yet still unsure whether I myself can count myself as a feminist. But she makes a significant point of whether we need to be approved by a ‘sisterhood’ or if there is even a ‘sisterhood’ or a perfect definition of what a feminist is. We all have our ‘guilty’ pleasures but Gay explores if these pleasures necessarily need to be considered as ‘guilty.’ 

Roxanne is actually brave and probably more of a feminist that any of us can consider ourselves to be. By coming into the limelight with such an opinionated book Gay pulls out all the stops and shows her commitment to the feminist movement. By creating this vulnerability it is already likely that she will be heavily criticised for sharing her opinion but which well-known feminist isn’t? Roxanne mentions Beyoncé who is famously criticised for making bad decisions and often branded a ‘bad feminist.’ Being constantly shown in public Beyoncé’s mistakes a constantly commented on but Gay reminds us that anytime a woman is visible she is a target. Disapproving of Beyoncé owning her sexuality, being confident in her body and being proud of her husband makes us just as bad a feminist as you may consider her to be. Since when was feminism not about supporting every single woman who stands up for the rights of others. 

Feminism is the strongest and most evident subject throughout her book but Roxanne makes a point to include more personal aspects of her life that affect, not just her as a woman but, her as a black woman. The book regularly takes a turn to a more intimate and personal side of her life, talking about childhood stories and films that have touched her heart. This is not necessarily in a good way. ‘The Help’ is a book turned film about the 60s in which black woman are the maids of the well-off, overly-dramatic, white women. Gay indicates that the book was written by a white woman, that the black actresses played more on stereotypical acting and, that when viewing the film, the cinema was filled with only white women. She gives you time to think these through combining these ideas with other films with a similar story. A strategic take down. 

For me, I have finally found a feminist leader that I can relate to with an attainable standard and ideas that aren’t too extreme to believe in. Everyone has the choice to be a feminist and that choice doesn’t need to be an extremist version of feminism. Some of us will recognise Gays arguments in our lives, and some may not but is she really that bad of a feminist? Unlike myself, she has actually been bold enough to put herself out there in the harsh world and face the wrath that may come at her. Her views come with her own perception of feminism and telling us that we can also have our own view. We can be independent, yes, but we can admit to our humanity. We don’t need to agree with unrealistic beauty standards, yes, but we can still shave our legs if we want to. She shows that she cares what people think, yes, but don’t we all. That’s why feminism exists in the first place, because women care what others think. Roxanne tells us that if we can’t find someone to relate we should be someone others can relate to. She teaches us that we should stand up and own our feminism, no matter what meaning we bring to the word. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Show Helmut Your Newton

Museum fur Photografie in Berlin celebrates the photographer that held no boundaries, showing how he applauded the female figure and changed the perspective of fashion around the world.

Considered as one of the most renowned fashion photographers of the 20th Century, Helmut Newton changed the way in which photography portrayed the latest style. Creating moods and stories next to the photos, he invented a new world women could aspire to, evident in the exhibition displayed in this neo-classical building today. Newton was known for pushing boundaries for professional and personal work, in images that would have once been considered too explicit for the eye. However, here they are in over-sized black and white canvases with full, powerful visuals that show exactly what he stood for. The exhibition is a build-up of early work to later work showing the progression he made through the industry. The museum holds a calm atmosphere similar to that of Newton’s photo shoots and enables you to saunter through each room, from large famous images to the movies he was involved in. 

Many of the images Newton created were of women with no clothes on. It was these images that brought the most meaning and fame to Newton however it was also these images that brought the most critics and controversy. Some claim that these ‘naked’ images are the reduction of female sexuality. It is interesting here to discuss the difference between naked and nude and how this can effect what we see in Newton’s photos. When people hear the word naked they think of vulnerability and exposure. Newton’s images do not display women who look vulnerable, in fact they show the opposite. The woman are displayed as powerful versions of themselves, showing authority over fear. We can then consider them to be closer to the vision of nudity, in which we imagine a classier, more put together image. Others do not see Helmut’s imagery this way. 

His photography was the centre of fashion controversy – what should and should not be shown of a woman. Feminists of the time declared his work to be a reduction of the female sexuality to the silent exhibition of the naked body. They felt it was wrong to show-off this intimacy to the rest of the world. Many assumed Newton was creating objects out of the women he used. However Newton was simply diving into the world of the ‘unaccepted.’ In fact Newton repeatedly said that he actually loved and admired women and wanted to portray the female strengths to their fullest. Once you look at the bigger picture in other creative fields we see more intense examples of females being used as an object. Through social media in the current day women voluntarily look for likes and attention from men with no meaning or reason. Helmut Newton creates images with an idea and story behind them making them more of an art piece. 

The women themselves were the centre of the stories he created and only used them to magnify what he loved most in them – their power. Despite him not showing their emotional interior we still see a fiery image with a meaningful backdrop. The women used are sensual but very real despite their top of the game model look. Newton doesn’t show them with an unattainable perfection, not hiding their natural appearance or flaws from our vision. The vision is actually more personal and empowering, especially when you stand in front of a wall sized image of confident ladies strutting with sexual independence. 

It is when you are surrounded by this confidence and power that you realise we miss something today. We miss this creation of an aspirational idea of the self. Woman can look at these images and can picture themselves looking this way, an achievable kind of beauty. Today we are confronted with images of perfect, edited women and wonder why girls are constantly questioning their appearance and worth. We can learn from Helmut Newton how to show a woman as a powerful being giving us an image to look up to, not for what they look like but how they are confident in their own bodies. Who will be the next to step up to Helmut’s socially challenging style? 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Top 10 Inspiring Blogging Women

I've rounded up some of my favourite, inspirational bloggers/instagrammers/ tumblrerers into the top 10 list of women who inspire me! Some of these I have only recently found and some I have been following for a long, long time now. They are all colourful individuals who share their colourful lives with the world. So, in no particular order lets begin...


Instagram: @jayxfai
Twitter: @jayxfai

Alien Creature

Instagram: @aliencreature
Tumblr: aliencreaturex.tumblr.com

Kayla Hadlington

Instagram: @kaylahadlington

Nyane Lebajoa

Instagram: @nyanelebajoa

Alexis Jade Kaiser

Instagram: @alexisjadekaiser

Ann Marie Hoang

Instagram: @mstr_of_disguise
Twitter: @mstr_disguise

Chloe Norgaard

Instagram: @chloenorgaard
Twitter: @ChloeNorgaard

Amy Valentine

Instagram: @amyvalentinex

Ellen Vlora

Instagram: @ellenvlora
Twitter: @ellenvlora



Instagram: @wioleth

Hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know who your favourite bloggers are...


Instagram:     @rachel_doug
Bloglovin:       FashioNotoriouss
Tumblr:          fashio-notoriouss
IFB:               FashioNotoriouss