Sunday, November 27, 2005

Art of the Week

Dutch Design @ FIT

Northern Europe is arguably the forefront of product design (Hail, the mighty billion dollar empire of Ikea and the lovely speciaty market of Bodum) and FIT seem to intimate that the Dutch's prowess will soon dominate the fashion frontier. I decreeth not. Though I rather enjoyed learning about the Dutch values of conceptualization and effort, fashion stemming from their intellect and wit just drew lots of question marks. My blank stares slowly turned to saddened side turns of the head. The horrorific sight of the surrealist jacket with many sleeves. Tsk tsk!

"How come their products are so good but fashion so sucks?" I ask.

It has to do with how the Dutch approach the issue. With products, concepts seem to address the question. How can we make this chair comfortable using the lightest material possible? Voila! Concept becomes reality. Since fashion does not a)center around a question b)aim to be practical, the Dutch conceptualizes questions that are weird and comes up with answers that are even weirder. If we can make shoes from cows, what if we made mole rat shoes? Indeed they answer that one too.
The only thing redeeming about the exhibit was the designs of Victor&Rolf, who seems to use a very understandable yet still very Dutch way of approaching fashion. Their structural designs and cut of the fabric is bar none the best. Snip away boys!


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