Posts Tagged ‘Mo Veld’

WHOLE: 25 years of Freudenthal/Verhagen

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

My fabulous friends, art director Karen Heuter and photographers Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen just released this awesome ride of a book, covering 25 years worth of memorable work by Freudenthal/Verhagen. I’ve had the honor to work with Carmen and Elle on several occasions. That’s how we became friends. That’s how I ended up making a Hitchcock style cameo appearance as a Viktor & Rolf model on the opening spread in this anniversary book. And that’s how I got to do quite some writing in and around this special publication. Read my personal introduction below, followed by my interview with their long time collaborator Bernhard Willhelm after the break.

Images courtesy of Karen Heuter and Freudenthal/Verhagen

whole-book-real

 

It was during the spring of ‘98 when I first had the pleasure of working with Carmen Freudenthal and Elle Verhagen, and it was due time too. BLVD Magazine, where I was a senior editor with ‘fashion’ as one of my main responsibilities, was preparing for its 5th anniversary issue, and Carmen and Elle just happened to have a proposal that fit the bill: we would celebrate the wave of Dutch conceptual fashion talent of that moment with an extra large fashion shoot using contemporary dancers and performers for models and national park De Hoge Veluwe as the décor. It was a celebration of the creative freedom that marked the decade, and that was so manifest in BLVD., which was all about thrusting ourselves into the future where the digital revolution was lurking and the new humanity makeable. The models-who-weren’t-fashion-models were not modeling the usual high profile clothes that were going to be for sale that summer but instead they were dancing like cavemen around their bonfires, caught up in some kind of ritualistic performance with the highly experimental young designer pieces – some of which were designed especially for the occasion – adorning their powerful naked bodies, revealing ‘private parts’ and all. It was in fact a photographic performance, minutely choreographed by Freudenthal/Verhagen, their camera and their computer. The ‘naked in heathland series’ as we called it, gained extra momentum for Carmen and Elle when, after it had made its impact in BLVD’s festive issue, it featured in i-D magazine as well. Somehow, suddenly, these two originals, who had already spent a decade putting out their highly autonomous ‘staged photography’, experimenting with room filling installations, on set trompe l’oeuil effects like projections as well as pre-Photoshop dark room montage techniques, they had become an establishment of sorts. Their signature was out.

book-presentation-5

 

For Freudenthal/Verhagen it must have meant that their seemingly conflicting proposition, using art photography to take a critical stance towards the established fashion imagery, had finally entered this international dialogue, this visual language that is such a big part of the fashion discipline. And fashion design, in its creative core, is something they love. The ‘naked in heathland series’ had caught Bernhard Wilhelm’s eye and together they embarked on a perennial collaboration that would deeply engrave their wildly imaginative collage style in the international fashion world’s collective memory. Their lookbooks for Bernhard Wilhelm became collectibles, and then they made a book out of it. That same year I joined them in Rome for ‘Dutch Touch’ with the Dutch Fashion Foundation for which occasion they’d made another book called Wonder Holland.

However in demand, instead of seizing their moment as established high profile fashion photographers, knowing all to well the sacrifices they’d be forced to make, Freudenthal/Verhagen saw an opportunity to return to their earlier 3D installation work when Arnhem Mode Biennale offered them a main stage in Museum voor Moderne Kunsten Arnhem. Their photo’s seemed to come to live, leaving the frame as the silk they were printed on draped off the walls and onto the floor. As if having found the secret code to the magic mirror, Carmen and Elle have been comfortable crossing over between their chosen disciplines ever since, be it fashion imagery, photographic installations or anywhere the two can meet, like in advertising, and all the while they keep experimenting with their toolbox. From the very first moment I had the pleasure to sit with them and discuss their editorial ideas it has been clear to me that Carmen Freudenthal and Elle Verhagen are true artists. Their painstaking and time consuming work processes, the ever so earnest dedication to their artistic vision – which, being strangely entangled with a marvelous sense of humor, is simply inimitable -, their continuous drive to create against the grain, all this now accumulates as a Whole. A seriously hard earned delight.

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GERRIT RIETVELD class of 2016

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

Next in my update madness is the 2016 batch of fashion forces – whom I’ve had the honor to teach on theoretical level – graduating from Gerrit Rietveld Academie. For as long as it is ‘up’, do watch the show HERE. Is was a true milestone, and not just because of the madly impressive, monumental location: the Europa Hal in Amsterdam RAI.

gratfs16_invite

the most amazing show location

the most amazing show location

proud teachers Amie Dicke, Niels Klavers (head of the Rietveld fashion department), moi & Oscar Raaijmakers, snapped by JW Kaldenbach

proud teachers Amie Dicke, Niels Klavers (head of the Rietveld fashion department), moi & Oscar Raaijmakers, snapped by JW Kaldenbach

A few of my favorite collections:

Vere van Hal

Vere van Hal

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Yoko Maja Hansen

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Yoko Maja Hansen

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Ralph W Dennis

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Ralph W Dennis

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Ralph W Dennis

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Naomi Hille

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Naomi Hille

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Marianna Ladreyt

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Iris de Jong

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Iris de Jong

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Therese Palmhager

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Eva Valdimarsdottir

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Eva Valdimarsdotti

 

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Isis Postel

RIETVELD GRADUATION SHOW 2016

Isis Postel

ANNE DE GRIJFF

Friday, September 16th, 2016

A former colleague in the fashion department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Anne de Grijff is a fashion designer after my heart; pioneering in ‘demi-couture’ and ‘slow fashion’. It was therefor an honor to deliver all the necessary copy for her communication and website AND to be photographed by none other than Koos Breukel – however unforgiving his portraits are, but that was exactly the point of having real women as role models (Characters) for the brand.

Koos Breukel for Anne de Grijff

Koos Breukel for Anne de Grijff

The Daily Recommendation

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Today it is my recommendation to get into the good habit of checking The Daily Recommendation on the Fantastic Man website, ehm, daily. Occasionally I have the pleasure of bringing in small delights, like this time when I was invited to the press opening of David Hockney’s show A Bigger Picture at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. I was absolutely thrilled to meet the master himself but the show in it itself is absolutely jaw dropping too. Treat yourself to this trip!

All for YOUASME MEASYOU The Social Show

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

As I model for friends only I was particularly happy to pose for Mark van Vorstenbos and Twan Janssen, the ever so charming couple behind Dutch knitwear label YOUASME MEASYOU, in front of the lens of my good friends at Studio Blommers/Schumm. The portrait is part of an exhibition in Amsterdam’s famed Gallery Torch called YOUASME MEASYOU The Social Show, subtitled The Art of Sharing. All the people in the mirrored portraits belong to the Family of Founders of this utterly contemporary label with its precious quality knitwear and jersey pieces and innovative concepts such as the world wide virtual stores. Do learn more about this really forward thinking new luxury brand concept on their website or come to Gallery Torch to sign up for this wonderful win-win fashion deal: join the Family of Founders! Make sure not to miss Riette Wanders‘ flower arrangements while doing the paper work. YOUASME MEASYOU The Social Show runs until December 22nd, 2012. (The hand knit scarf I’m wearing in the picture will make a comeback in the collection soon and, whisper whisper, they do awesome sales too!)

Stef Bakker in ELLE DECOR ITALIA

Monday, June 18th, 2012

In a series of interior stories I have done with photographer Kasia Gatkowska this one of designer Stef Bakker’s new Amsterdam apartment was featured in the june issue of Elle Decor Italia. As Stef Bakker is designing the all new and improved interior my own modest Amsterdamse School house – together with his amazing assistant Joren Naerebout – I am especially pleased to share the PDFs and an english version of my write up.

 

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Amsterdam story for ELLE DECOR ITALIA

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Watch out for the September 2011 issue of Elle Decor Italia with a special story on Amsterdam I made with photographer Kasia Gatkowska. Our focus was on ‘something old, something new’ with lots of exciting, innovative, artisanal or downright bold gems of places and people. Download the full PDF here Elle Decor Italia Itinerario Ad Amsterdam

Minimalist high in BLEND

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

I am always happy to be part of Amsterdam based yet internationally oriented magazine BLEND. In this Spring Summer 2011 issue I wrote the introduction to a 50 page fashion shoot by photographer Tomas Nässtrom, fashion director JOFF and art director Laurenz Brunner: an ode to Raf Simon’s utterly modern minimalism at Jil Sander. An exceptional fashion editorial indeed – to which I made the sort of decisive ‘secret service creative intelligence’ contribution that never gets a proper credit but alas… I feel no less pride.

Enjoy the short essay after the pagebreak.

 

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I LOVE YOUR WORK-poster on A’dam-E.V.A.

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Always nice to see your own work pop up unexpectedly like this old I LOVE YOUR WORK poster I created with the design team at Mannschaft and artist Jan Rothuizen for management institute ‘de Baak’. It just popped up in the decor of this new TV series about our beloved city Amsterdam called A’dam – E.V.A. (Amsterdam and all the others). Nice to see people care to leave it up on the wall for so long!

Sophie#1234567+ at Winter Salon

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

A great new womens label I’ve had the pleasure to consult and write for, Sophie 1234567+, is now showing at Droog Design as part of the Winter Salon route in Amsterdam. Discover Sophie, a tirelessly designed high quality wardrobe solution for women on their site, or explore Amsterdam’s amazing alternative fashion week route Winter Salon (15-30 January ’11) and you’ll find a pretty Sophie installation at Droog.

Sophie's teaser website