WE Curate: Fetishism in Fashion

A creation fascinates when it stimulates obsession. It’s no Christian Louboutin’s privilege; it lives within every designer. Because what keeps us constantly after fashion is the crave for excitement, fetishism comes as a natural topic to explore when it comes to clothing aesthetic. The current exhibition at Mode Biënnale Arnhem, ‘Fetishism in Fashion’ offers a reflective journey through our self-esteem, desire and the different perspectives on beauty.

Every two years, MºBA (Mode Biënnale Arnhem) displays the current state of affairs in worldwide fashion and design. Now in its 5th edition, this biennial has the unique quality of being a cultural event which both the fashion industry and a broad public flock to. In June and July 2013 one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters Lidewij Edelkoort, will give her vision on fashion within the theme of Fetishism in Fashion through exhibitions, seminars, workshops, pop-up stores and films.


Fetishism as a starting point for the biennale deals with more than just the sexual connotation certain items of clothing and accessories can have. It is also about the emotional and, sometimes even, obsessive relationship we have with the way we come across. We communicate with each other both intentionally and unintentionally thanks to our appearance. We have our favorite items of clothing, favorite colors and the accessories we collect. We dress ourselves and are led by intuitive and seemingly irrational processes.

Famed as a trend forecaster, Lidewij Edelkoort authored a namesake publication Fetishism in Fashion, a collection of eccentric designs with disturbing visual effects but sensational characters. Having been in the business for three decades, Edelkoort grabs the pulse of the industry and reckons “fetish is mostly an artefact  an extension of oneself that allows you to link with other things or people.” [via]

As the curator believes that a fetish can be any kind of object the exhibition showcases 150 outfits by  one-of-the-kinddesigners, and is welcoming more young designers to share with her new ideas. The main exhibition includes the work of Manish Arora, Walter van Beirendonck, Damir Doma, Iris van Herpen,  Gareh Pugh etc. from the West. WE also see Asian names like Issey Miyake, Kosuke Tsumara, Undercover, Juun J, Tex Saverio from Indonesia, Little Shipa from India, and Yiqing Yin from China.

 “As a devotee of clothing and textiles in particular; I decided to analyze and dissect our obsession with fashion by dedicating a theme to the phenomenon of fetishism.” Edelkoort said. “An analysis of our desire to know and express ourselves; from covering and veiling to the most eccentric extremes which the desire for beauty can lead to. I wanted to look for the strong links which exist between an item of clothing and the wearer; the passion which can be caused by a pair of shoes or the emotional experience which the tactility of a textile can give us.”

Fetishism of Fashion
June 9 – July 21
Mode Biënnale Arnhem

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  • Wear WE Are: Katharine Says “The Best Form of Defense is Attack”
christian louboutinDamir DomaFetishism of FashionIssey MiyakeLidewij EdelkoortManish AroraMode Biënnale ArnhemYiqing Yin

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