Melting Pot (Smeltkroes)
- Fashion Design
Visual cultural anthropology is the starting point of the collection Smeltkroes (Melting Pot).
The different stories we tell through the way we dress and the differences and connections between different societies. What is the meaning and feeling behind the choice in how we express ourselves in clothing and accessories?
The goal of the collection is to spread a fusion of cultures and to provoke conversations about cultural appropriation, openly discuss the diversity and inclusivity. The collection ‘Smeltkroes’ examines the visual elements and meaning of subcultures analysed in Rotterdam. What kind of effect do these subcultures have on each other and on society?
What can we learn from each other? Which subculture enriches the other? What is positive and negative about some subcultures? What do they want to express to society through their clothing style?
The melting pot of Stitching stories makes combinations of iconic clothing pieces that are typical for some Rotterdam subcultures. To visualise the collection under the new circumstances due to COVID-19 restrictions, I have designed it with secondhand clothes that were bought in different stores. Some pieces are donated by Het Leger Des Heils. These garments are fused together by means of moulages, draping, reconstruction and deconstruction.
In this way differences and connections of these (sub-)cultures are visualised as a new harmony. This gives the insight that a person can belong to different groups at the same time. This gives the person who wears this a more human face. They will no longer get the label that we had in mind. We can no longer clearly place this person in one box. We are forced to think less in stereotypes.