Dear Shaded Viewers,
The Fashion Show of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague -also known as KABK- had a positive and layered message this year, delivering inspiring graduate collections, which had energy, guts and conviction. Headed by Jurgi Persoons, the Fashion & Textile Department does an excellent job at developing the students' individual signatures, meaning that the 4th Year collections all had clear narratives and a specific point of view. Identity was an ongoing theme, ranging from the real necessity of intercultural exchange to personal compulsions and struggles. A personal favorite was Woody's-Gravenmade who named his collection '« Dutch » Culture' and advocated an anti-fear approach towards otherness. Mixing Middle Eastern influences with European codes, his clothes were alluring hybrids, generating a bridge between cultures that are often depicted in a biased way. Learning about others and embracing difference -instead of letting fear win- was a powerful stance defining his garments. More poetic and emotional, Nadie Borggreve's collection focused on hoarding, a compulsive streak made apparent in her use of chaotic -but nicely monochrome- silhouettes, which managed to be graceful and odd at the same time. Her show demonstrated that letting go can always be an issue, regardless of who we are. Paired with the Exposed exhibition within the city's Electriciteitsfabriek and the visually striking 4MAGAZINE -powered by the Fashion & Textile department- the school proved it can create a whole artistic context around clothing, connecting students to contemporary life and cultural paradigms.