Sunday, May 29, 2011

'I'm Basically a Cyborg'

So yesterday was the highly anticipated (by moi!) interview with Carri Munden of Cassette Playa at NAiM / Bureau Europa in Maastricht. The interview was part of the exhibition Out of Fashion, talking about the interplay between fashion and film. For those of you who know Cassette Playa a tiny bit, you probably know she is a master when it comes to the use of virtual reality, graphics and digital technology in her work. She actually describes herself as a cyborg, being online and connected 24/7!

Cassette Playa on The Creators Project

Carri admits she never really liked fashion, but what attracted her to this industry is personal style. I like that, because I feel the same way. Fashion is so fast-paced that sometimes it feels pointless and sad to discard of the styles you feel connected to and that define you, just because they happen to be passé. I for one don't really let fashion trends rule over my style, it's always a hodgepodge of the favorite items I've almost worn out, styled depending on the mood I have that day.

Me in my favorite Sixties meets Street style

Cassette Playa's designs always revolve around a theme, a narrative, including characters and all. It's not unusual to find different gangs taking it up against each other in her design collections. Carri clarifies that in her work she is inspired by elements beyond fashion, and that in her designs there's a strong tendency towards film, art and music. She describes her work as Future Primitism, which is the embrace of technology without losing sight of ancient science. It actually makes sense then that her top-3 fav movies are Star Wars, The Warriors, and Susperia. She explains that her motivation is to make the real world more virtual, more funny. Well, you have my blessing for that!

Cassette Playa Installation for Nike Sportswear London in Selfridge's, 2008 

Carri's passion for animation, film, and narratives in her designs stems from the lack of proper funds at the kick-off of her carreer. If you can't afford making professional films, you do it yourself! Cassette Playa was actually the first to make use of augmented reality during one of her shows in 2010 (see video). What initially looks like a regular runway show, is actually a virtual reality performance in real-time, where models are zoomed-in or projected (don't know what the right tech-word is for this) into a virtual reality, adding different layers to the clothing, creating a reality beyond what is actually real. Check out the video for the real experience!

Cassette Playa AW1011 - Augmenten Reality (courtesy to Amazing Grace on Vimeo) 

Often being labeled Prophet of Futurism Carri has a few words to say about the developments in the fashion industry, one of them being that fashion shows will become irrelevant in the (near) future. Due to the internet fashion has become more and more within reach of us mortals, and we yearn for a real-time fashion experience! Fashion film will be a means to reach the greater public and interactivity is the result. You can already see the balance of power moving from fashion brands towards fashion practitioners - big shot fashion labels are working alongside bloggers and street photographers, both as inspiration as well as to create word of mouth.

So, what's next? Perhaps a virtual fashion show in real-time, where an online connection is your frontrow ticket, with the possibiliy to place your orders right away!!! Aaah, can't wait...



Monday, May 23, 2011

Favela Painting in Amsterdam

Boy With Kite, 2007 (courtesy to Favela Painting)

Imagine a world where slums and ghetto's are places of joy and fun, bright colors glistering in the sunlight. Inhabitants would be living in a piece of art instead of a piece of shhhhh. In 2006, the Dutch artist duo Haas&Hahn (Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn) developed the initiative to, together with local communities, create artistic interventions in Brazil.

Courtesy to Favela Painting

The first marks of Favela Painting in Brazil are two murals in Vila Cruzeiro, one of Rio's most infamous slums. The murals were realized in collaboration with local youths, offering them an alternative for a live of crime as members of a drug gang.

The artists' ultimate dream has always been to color an entire hillside favela, for the whole community to enjoy be part of This weekend twenty Dutch artists and designers picked up their brushes and markers to artistically 'lay' some picnic tables. The picnic tables will be auctioned at Christie's this fall, and needless to say the proceeds will go to making the new grand project possible! Here are some shots I took of the creative vibes this Saturday.
 The boys of VAgE gASTEN, initiators of this great day, doing their thing

Picture: Henzel & Disco Nova
Actress Hanna Verboom working her table

Picture: Henzel & Disco Nova
Fashion designer Bas Kosters next to his happy and somewhat goofy creation

I know we can't change the world drastically, but at least we can help make it a beautiful place to live in! Support Favela Painting here. Help is much appreciated (and tax-deductable!).




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Save these dates!!!

What are yóu doing the next couple of weeks? I know what'll keep me busy! Celebrating the start of a new fashion season – with fashion week in July as the cherry on the cake – these events are just that fashion fix I needed to get in shape for summer!

Out of Fashion: Maastricht Edition
May 14th – June 26th

NAiM/Bureau Europa is presenting Out of Fashion: Maastricht Edition, a sequel to Out of Fashion (compiled for the 40th edition of International Film Festival Rotterdam). Out of Fashion: Maastricht Edition is a project showcasing the interaction between fashion and film. Through exhibitions, film, and a series of events we get a glimpse of the utilization of film, video, and online media by fashion houses, avant-garde designers, and upcoming fashion designers. I’m especially thrilled to see the films and installations presented by none other than agnès b. and Maison Martin Margiela!

Check THIS out for an elaborate program overview, with workshops, films screenings, and more!

Cassette Playa at The Perfect Cut
May 27th (20:00-21:00)

In collaboration with NAiM / Bureau Europa Premsela, the Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion, will host another dialogue about the role of film in fashion. Dutch photographer Ari Versluis (Exactitudes) will interview Carrie Munden a.k.a. Cassette Playa about her work as an artist and designer. Being a Cassette Playa enthusiast since like...forever, I’m so excited about the interview and hearing Cassette Playa talk about her work. To give you a little impression, here’s what I’m so fired up about...

Love the extravagant, streetstyle inspired, action figure world Cassette Playa represents! Too bad the collection usually doesn't carry much women's pieces. Perhaps I should address this serious issue to Cassette Playa herself on the 27th...

Go HERE for more information on this program.

HTNK One Day Shop
May 28th (15:00-21:00)

Due to great popularity, HTNK, the renowned fashion recruitment and consultancy agency, is throwing yet another of those fine Dutch designer shops. For the occasion ClubTrouw in Amsterdam is transformed into a shop for a day (the name basically covers it all!!) filled with Dutch designer labels, fashion, illustrations, photography, art and more more more!!! Ow, and uuh...minor detail: CASH ONLY. Featuring  Bas Kosters, SPR Specials, Mada van Gaans, And Beyond, and many others, the 28th promises to be a tragic day, for my bank account that is. But, should you feel guilty after spending your entire savings on even more dresses, skirts, shoes and accessories than your wardrobe can handle (which I for one find very unlikely), then there's always drinks and sounds that'll make you (temporarily ofcourse!) forget about paying back those debts. Hey, at least you'll look stunning working the new attire on live's runway!

Fashionclash 2011
June 10th-12th

Started in 2007, FASHIONCLASH provides a stage for young and talented fashion designers to present their work to a diverse international audience. Although fashion is often associated with the apparel industry, FASHIONCLASH shows fashion in its broadest sense, offering disciplines part of the fashion industry, like photography, illustration, fine arts, and film, to participate as well, thus creating a 'clash' between fashion, culture, and discipline.

The 3rd edition of FASHIONCLASH will be held from June the 10th until the 12th in Maastricht. For this edition more than a 100 participants will be showcasing their work. Besides the shows, there are some interesting workshops planned, as well as exhibitions and the ABKM (Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst Maastricht - Academy for Visual Arts Maastricht) graduate show.

For an impression of last year's FASHIONCLASH check out this embedded video (courtesy to  Daniel van Hauten on Vimeo) or go to the FASHIONCLASH site.

Enough said, now it's time to experience! Maybe I'll see you on one (or more) of these events. But if you can't make it, just check in here for some coverage by yours truly!



Sunday, May 15, 2011

A-town is Art town

This week was the kick-off of the 27th edition of Art Amsterdam, transforming 'A-town' into Art town for the occasion.

Hundreds of both Dutch and international galleries, museums, artist collectives, art fairs and events got together celebrating contemporary art in the city. I was privileged to attent one of those great initiatives: Young & Collecting! A program designed for young, aspiring, collectors, with an artistic mindset: needless to say, I felt immediately challenged to participate, especially after hearing we would get an opportunity to nominate an art piece for an actual corporate art collection (the corporation shall remain nameless)!

Although my team and I knew what to look for, we showed some guts and took a risk by nominating a sculpture by artist duo CAVINATO/TREVISI, called Teatrino Tunnel (2010)

At first sight it resembles a white painted shoebox with carved square holes. Upon closer inspection however, you detect the complex interior and a different space to be discovered, both imaginary and fantastic. Playing with spaciousness and light, in combination with architectural and geometric features, the artists create the simple image of a composed space. However, the interior is a distorted and ambiguous labyrinth which contains the essence of multiplicity. Too bad it was too complex for the judges to be included in the collection...

Being such a good sport, I overcame the defeat of our team in no time, and decided to look around at the art fair some more. Strolling around at the huge fair ground can be a little overwhelming, especially if you're ambitious to see it all! So, covering the entire offer here would require a little too much of your (and my) time. However, there are always those works of art that grasp your attention. For me, it's the in your face, pop art inspired, absurdly comical works of art, often with a message.

GREAT LI(F)E or WASTE OF TIME? displays our society's misplaced priorities of consumerism, power, money, education, television and relgion, instead of creativity, our soul, love and pleasure, the latter being regarded by the artist BIRGIT VERWER as more important than the former. At one end of the installation you find a fox selling tickets for GREAT LI(F)E - notice the ambiguous use of words! 

At the other end of the exhibition a crow is selling tickets for WASTE OF TIME

Once you enter the 'show' an angel with dollar-billed wings is waiting to shoot anyone who approaches.

Kinda makes you think whether the efforts we put into our daily pursuits - which educational path to tread on, wearing that blue skirt or a pair of jeans, or if we'll ever bump into Mister Right - will one day have bullets flying along our ears. Now go on and let that marinate for a while!



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spread the word, there's a new kid in town!!!

Reporting to you from Amsterdam, here's another blog-noob! Words that define me? Dreamer, fashion fanatic, social junkie, collector, free spirit, street art enthusiast. Through FSHNvanguard I want to share my love for contemporary design, future fashion, underground arts and crafts and Dutch fashion.

Although a country smaller than my shopping budget, there's more to the Netherlands than meets the eye, especially fashion-wise. Think Victor&Rolf, Iris van Herpen, Jan Taminau, and top it off with some Ilja Visser, Alexander van Slobbe and Spijkers & Spijkers, and you have yourself a fashion playground where the kids play with more than just sand. FSHNvanguard gives you a peek into this playground and the contemporary fashion world around it.

Feel free to check in for some fashion hodgepodge curated by yours truly.


Maryam, a.k.a. FSHNvanguard