Rewilding Fashion

Rewilding Fashion 01, photographed by Fenna Koot..

Rewilding Fashion is a research/publication project developed in the context of the master program Critical Fashion Practices. In my thesis and graduation project I presented an exploratory research about rewilding strategies in the field of fashion.

Rewilding Fashion explores wilderness as a foundation to develop alternatives to the industrial fashion system. What I call wilderness are the non-conforming realities that already exist outside the framework of neoliberal society. As weeds that grow in between human constructions, wild realities remind us of a world underneath the structures that often seem so settled, with its own driving force. 

At the root of rewilding stands the idea of de-organization; a fundamental reconfiguration of the framework through which we understand and systemize order. In the context of fashion
de-organization can seem an abstract proposal, however it is made tangible throughout countless critical practices. These practices prioritize community and kinship, manifest a renewed understanding for materiality, dismantle hierarchies and question settled principles such as ownership or success. The methods that these practices put forward I call rewilding strategies. They seek a deeply rooted transformation of the fashion system through the incorporation of other worldviews into the narrative, implying a more plural definition of fashion(s).

Rewilding Fashion: a publication

Each issue of Rewilding Fashion conveys a set of rewilding strategies, explored in practice through a process of collaborative artistic research. The thematic of the publications unfolds along critical practices in different workfields and contexts, building upon an interdisciplinary collection of strategies.

Rewilding and de-organization are at the core of the production process behind the publication, actively proving into organizational structures through a continuous exploration of work methods and design strategies. In practice this manifests through a collective research process, in which the shape and content of the publication are redefined each time. 

Rewilding Fashion 01

The first issue of Rewilding Fashion positions at the intersection between fashion and art. The publication is based on a collaboration with Sofie Hollander, an artist who creates performative interventions that seek to interact with/react to the preset conditions of an environment.

Sofie and I explored rewilding through the materiality of performative garments/objects, proposing embodied fashion as a vehicle towards a renewed agency over our bodies in relation to space. In the course of recurrent workdays we made pants with long trail legs, meant to expand the wearer’s sensorial experience of space. Simultaneously, we developed a pair of boots with soles of ice that lure the body into a sculptural setting and an inherently temporal set of ice jewelry.