High concept and high fashion collide in the 11”x 17” Reader, a compilation of texts and images that examine and challenge the fashion industry’s prevailing value system while proposing new working methods. Through the reuse of samples, stock and archive items donated by various fashion brands, van Joolen developed two new series of products that are both conceptual and wearable: a series of unique 11”x 17” Sweaters and hybrid “inside-out” sneakers and sandals titled Invert Footwear.
Bringing together the ethical components of production with intellectual property in our hyper-branded society, the project asks what constitutes a clothing collection? To whom does a piece of clothing really belong? Merging this with a hands-on approach, Van Joolen dares to challenge and rethink the current fashion system, proposing new models of production and presentation in a time when sustainability and cost efficiency are powerful forces.
For this project, van Joolen collaborated with brands such as Converse, O’Neill, G Star, Nike and Monique van Heist. She asked the brands to deliver sample pieces and a crew neck sweater from which she cut a tabloidsized, 11 x 17-inch swatch. By mixing the pieces of different brands to create a new “collection”, the concept of branding is challenged. High-end sneakers get a similar treatment, turned inside out with dollar store flip-flops added as souls, and the rubber souls of those turned into sandals. The exposed stitching details reveal the hand of the craftsman—a nameless factory worker.
Through conversations with Lynn Berger, Pascale Gatzen, Ruby Hoette, Alexandra Landre and José Teunissen, all noted experts in the field, and model-worn photographs from renowned Dutch fashion photographers Blommers / Schumm, van Joolen explores these questions that lie at the heart of this project.
Author: Elisa van Joolen
Editor: Ruby Hoette
Dimensions: 9 x 11 in.