THE NEW FASHION CONTAINER PROJECT / DEFINING THE 11 CONTAINERS
A NEW ‘ECO-SYSTEM’ FOR THE FASHION INDUSTRY
Hereby my proposal of an ECO-SYSTEM for the Fashion Industry. Fashion is a very intriguing and difficult industry to enter and therefore I was writing, during the Covid-19 period, with the goal to find a solution to connect different industries so we can benefit for from each other’s experiences and make a more ethical industry.
Fashion is not only a commercial activity, it is a cultural expression of human behavior, an expression of language and body language with the scope of bringing joy and satisfaction to people’s lives; in every garment a vision is included and in every fabric a technique is developed; in every culture a garment has a different significance; in every production lies a secret; in every hand is knowledge to keep alive. That’s why the 11 NFContainer project will welcome people and industries working in and for the fashion industry in order to share their ideas with others. The containers will produce culture, togetherness, creating sensorial environments to bring fashion to a level of culture and enjoyment. The outcome from the research will be an eco-system where all partner will benefit from. For now, the fashion industry is hiding all their research and hiding or ignoring all the people working for them, weather it is scientific research for the fabrics they use, weather it is the society problems or solutions for people who work for their company or work thanks to the company they deliver their knowledge for.
The 11 NFC project is a composition of 11 containers taking place in different cities or neighborhoods all over the world. The 11 containers will offer a broad program me where fashion is the object, becoming the subject and the project. While physical moments will take place in the different cities, digital media will create a community. The digital container will connect millions of people thanks to new technologies developed by genius people all over the world. A new ECO-SYSTEM for Fashion.
1. THE DIGITAL CONTAINER
We live in a hyper distracted world. Internet makes us smarter, faster, super informed and probably more curious to know about the un-known. We are up-dated in real time as our relationship with time changed. The perennial dance of information in the digital world contains the danger to become too fast and therefore superficial; that’s a good reason, before developing and defining the DIGITAL container, to study the role of connecting communities and people. We will study the limits and the opportunities of communicating the work of local communities in order to give an alternative to the globalization of the fashion industry. The big fashion players are becoming super powerful, the very small or niche fashion houses will hardly survive without a strong support from institutions, private or public. But prior to give them visibility we need to find a way how we can support their businesses in order to grow. Consultancy is key for their success. The digital container, or the Fashion Eco-System, will help them to acquire visibility and a better turnover by supporting them with advice and a strong network.
2. THE EXHIBITION CONTAINER The minimalist shape of a cube creates the friction between complexity and simplicity; the museum space can create the friction between a boring walk and an emotional heartbeat. The « momentum » creates the heartbeat; the content, the visual impact, the dream and the enlightenment of the moment are impressions to last in the human cycle of life. The suffering behind the painting, the search for power or the humiliation of the wearer has a hidden story in the museum space. Behind a sleeve, a color, a corset, a coat, a world of storytelling is hidden; what we see and what seems monstrous is that which appears for the first time and, consequently, is not yet recognized. Beauty might reveal vanity, sexiness might reveal activism, darkness could mean loneliness. This container will not only focus on intuitive expressions of aesthetics and ethics, but will go deeper in the relationship between the body, society and the political and economic power of the fashion(able) industry. This industry has a long history that needs a comment on the power of dress; the EXHIBITION container has a lot of stories to tell, it will become the story telling container.
3. THE CRITICAL CONTAINER
The though, the untimeliness of dress, the sensorial environment, the olfaction domain, the senses and the faculty of feeling is fading away by the overuse of the computer screens and the technology we daily are using and overusing. Tactility is a subjective experience and fashion is very close to our body and skin because we have an emotional connection with our wardrobe. The CRITICAL container will analyze the relationship between different generations and social groups and give a voice to fashion users, fashion lovers and fashion haters. This container will provoke different emotions commenting all the topics of the fashion industry. Critique will stimulate confrontation; the lack of actions to make fashion a better industry must be criticized thru individual positions, local testimonials, and confrontations by grassroots energies. Debates will provoke tensions to be resolved because there is too much concentration of power in a few hands; this is an unhealthy situation subject for critique.
4. THE SCIENCE CONTAINER
Scientists are working to make our world more sustainable; we are already advanced in the use of some new substitutes of bio fabricated materials such as leather, cotton or wool, but the consumer is not aware of the amount of water and chemicals those fabrics require, and the poor conditions of the workers in the field in order to wear a garment they will hardly wear for one year or two. Scientists are working to make the relationship with what we wear a better relationship because of the use of clean energy, ethical manufacturing and innovation technology. The SCIENCE container can help bringing some researchers and their inventions to the table in order to inform our audience not with problems but with solutions. More questions to be answered as we don’t know if circular fashion will contribute to a more sustainable system. Technological and digital processes are breathtaking but we must not forget the manual actions needed for making a good garment. This container is an essential part of the 11-container project.
5. THE NOW CONTAINER
Team work has to be diverse; flexible programs, web-based projects, apps, games play, Instagram accounts and Tik Tok communications are creating a new planetary vision. Global experiences are combined with local experiences, but the biggest change is the understanding and the transition of knowledge between generations; we can learn from each other, in order to avoid a homogenized society based on fastness and greed. We are in search of the world’s diversity, preventing cultural exclusion; we are searching for order in the chaos, and this needs the involvement of the young generation who might show us other values, another language, other work ethics; by using fragments of the paste NOW can help us understanding the reality of the future, alerting us on the today problems. The individual makes room for the collective, the eco-system attempting to mobilize individuals, companies, researchers to take some action to influence an outcome of many creating the new society we desperately need to work on. We, all generations together, are conducted through narrow communications such as mail, e-mail, phone calls, zoom or face-to-face zoom conversations rather than in person meetings. It is a constructive learning process to give a voice based on actions to the under 30-year generation, benefiting to all the people and companies working in the fashion industry.
6. THE HISTORY CONTAINER
The NFC project will analyze fashion and the fashion object as seen in front of a camera, on an Instagram account, in an art exhibition, on the floor or on a hanger in a showroom, in an urban space or in our wardrobe. The HISTORY container will be the meeting point between the human and the non-human, the material and immaterial forms of production of a garment. Fashion and the object of fashion, the garment, the accessory, they all have a relationship with time. We can study the element of ‘causality’ because the object of fashion produces another event, process or conversation were the cause and the effect create sparkling moments in the society we live in. We will study the comprising politics, laws, religions, customs, habits, financial, commercial and economic regimes, educational systems, the arts, and the philosophy behind the object of ‘fashion’.
7. THE SPEAKERS CORNER
We live in a world where it seems normal to speak freely and to create freely. But, is this so and can we say loud what we think beyond our four walls? the SPEAKERS CORNER will give a platform to voices of the world! this means that we will not edit what people has to say or what they comment on. The fact that the 11 containers are a reaction of a corporate system, based on globalization and greed, consumerism and expected and imposed turnovers, is a good reason to believe in the success of the speaker’s corner. Journalists are bound by comments of fashion shows as critique can be given but in a very subtle use of language and style. Fashion history books comment on a passage in history but rarely commenting on the absurdity of the styles worn by famous personalities; this container is not a provocation but a free open platform for who has a meaning, an opinion or a comment.
8. THE SURPRISE CONTAINER
The freedom to create has to be preserved; it’s not always very clear what the artist, the fashion designer or the performer has in mind and how we can support or coach they’re creative process. That’s the reason why the SURPRISE CONTAINER is born. It is the freest platform of the 11 containers and must be the most surprising, the most intriguing, the most scaring or the most boring. but the word ‘surprise’ holds an unexpected element, a surprise, a discovery, a story or an experience that was not told and that we are happy to listen at, or to share with others. We must share those surprises and ask our community to send their weekly surprise. it might be that we discover new ideas for the existing 10 containers or that we are going to develop further a good idea, a concept, or project. This container has no format, but contains a « news » element. therefore, it might become the radio, the TV surprise container…. like… did you know that …?
9. THE PATTERN CONTAINER
Human connection is becoming complex and difficult to predict on a long-time basis. Changes are fast, very demanding, and we must be Internet savage to not fall out of this digitalized word. Therefore, we will study our today and tomorrow society politically, socially, ethnically, verbally, and study the creative outputs of our taste in these different societies. Fashion and Fashion behavior is a result of education and traditions of these different social groups and although we are merging our affinities with what we call taste, form and volume, even luxury and personality, we are far away of understanding our differences and equal patterns of behavior in the world. The exhibition GEOMETRY I curated in 1999 in Antwerp was a start of understanding shapes and patterns in fashion in different cultures around the world as well as in the history of dress. The PATTERN container will analyze shapes, meanings, cultures and attitudes related to fashion and society.
10. THE BRAIN CONTAINER
Anthropo/centrism and humano/centrism are the belief that human beings are the central or most important entity in the universe; this concept of humankind is seen as separate from nature and superior to it; the BRAIN container will analyze that feeling of human supremacy on animals, plants, threes or apes. Studies of functions of the brain will relate to cultures who are expressing their identity true clothes; plants are expressing their identity true colors, animals as well. The “brain” container will speak about togetherness and collectives learning from each other. Science & Art are merging in a new consciousness; the most important reason of existence of the BRAIN container is to highlight the fact we have to use our brain by developing personal statements and actions. The brain is too important for not using it properly! many studies are made around the brain; let’s invite speakers and philosophers to understand better the use and the function of this wonderful organ. (See Prada Foundation: Human Brains: Conversations)
11. THE DINNG CONTAINER
Can two realms like art and fashion converge? Can two realms like economic success and creative illusion converge? Can the analogue and the digital converge? We must map networks and social relationships; we must find human connections and diversities to create debate and simultaneously new energy in a (fashion) world tired of talking exclusively about turnover and investment capital for growth. The DINING container is the most fascinating possible connection between people, creators or curators of different worlds. Around the table offering nice food people mostly talk freely; Human connections are easier with a glass of wine, sake, water. They can unite in a common interest focusing on cultural and economic forces working in different local communities understanding the need to collaborate. We appreciate the food of the restaurants in our neighborhood but do we appreciate and understand our cultural differences? The DINING container will bring us together. It’s the best ‘eco-system’ in the world.
October 6th, 2021