Thursday, July 2, 2009

Arnhem Mode Biennale 2009

Details of a mural along a property boundary off Klarendalseweg, the main trajectory of the newly identified Fashion Quarter of Arnhem. The mural is rather extensive, extending through the entire block [from one street to the next] and features several vignettes, all relate directly to the immediate context featuring shadows of the surrounding tree canopies and other defining characteristics.

Top image : The architectural detailing of the dutch half-levels and front entries can be quite beautiful at times and the opportunistic gardening that takes place is always such a cheerful addition. Bottom image : A silhouette mural on Spijkerstraat.

Atelier Route - How it's made - No. 14. Hommelstraat 57, Arnhem Keramiek Atelier. Esther was lovely enough to give us a demonstration of how she created her beautiful ceramics, and explain the processes behind the developments of the individual pieces. I particularly loved the 'Mix and Match' schaaltjes [little bowls] which were created from the amalgamation of several glass bowl casts and require a full set of four to recreate a single entity.

Melbournian Michaela Prescott is currently living in Rotterdam whilst doing a landscape architecture and urban design internship until November. I am so jealous! Imagine being surrounded by Dutch design everywhere you go - not to mention daily trips to Marije Vogelzang's new Picknick restaurant!

Lucky for us Michaela has offered to share some of her fantastic photos of the recent Arnhem Mode event! Arnhem is home to Holland's leading fashion academy, and recently celebrated Shape: The Arnhem Mode Biennale 2009 - a month long celebration of fashion and design. Michaela braved the rain(!) to go on the Atelier Route: How It's Made studio expose - a sneak peek into the studios of the designers, photographers, and artisans of the city. What a brilliant opportunity to see inside the studio spaces of such a diverse group of creative people!

Top image : This structure is the main information pavilion of the Biennale. These flat packed timber 'fashion houses' became iconic for the festival and are the key structure for the SHAPE exhibition which features 3 key design methodologies of fashion design -- 'Moulage': design through pattern and direct contact between textile and the body, including Lanvin, Jil Sander and Calvin Klein; the 'Intangibles': truly innovative and virtuosic design, such as the Japanese couture house Comme des Garcons; and finally, design through clear intent and concept, such as Dutch design designers Viktor & Rolf. [Unfortunately I haven't managed to see the exhibition yet]. Bottom images : Signage for the biennale.

Top image : Klarendalseweg Station Signage - a beautiful monochrome piece. Bottom image : Located at the Arnhem City Hall, the beginning of the main exhibition, unfortunately my dutch was not good enough to translate this, but it appears to be a dedication. The contrast in matte and shiny steel in the inset echoes the striped black and white paving featured throughout the inner courtyard of the hall.

According to Michaela, the really special thing about Arnhem and it's design industry is that they have great support in their municipality. To encourage the blossoming designers emerging from the ‘Academie’ to stay in the city, they have created a modekwartier [fashion quarter] - A designated area of the city that is design focused. The municipality have purchased numerous buildings within this area, which they then rent to designers for accommodation, studios, and stores at a reduced rate, with the opportunity to purchase in five years once they are established.

For more information on the festival or the Arnhem Fashion Quarter project visit: - This site is not in English unfortunately :(

Michaela Prescott is enrolled in a masters of landscape architecture at RMIT but is currently based in Rotterdam, NL, indulging in her love of design and taking advantage of the European summer. Thanks so much Michaela for her photos and also fantastic detailed captions! For more of Michaela's photos be sure to check out her Flickr account here!

Top image : This atelier wasn't part of the biennale but their signage, constructed from individually posted A4 sheets, was eyecatching. Bottom image : Atelier Route - How it's made - No. 23. Klarendalseweg 393, Studio Gijnig. A graphic/children's fashion design studio featured in the atelier route.

Top image : Atelier Route - How it's made, No. 17. Klarendalseweg 527a, Elisabeth de Meulmeester. A millinary studio that had an amazing storage area out the back that was stacked with hat bases. They also had a gorgeous silver antique tea service in the front window that had a little candle underneath to keep the tea warm while you chatted. Bottom image : Studio Gijnig interior - it was so cheerful with its red and white wallpaper and colourful flags - you couldn't help but smile on entering.

Atelier Route - How it's made - No. 13. Kv Gelderstraat 2a [Private Studio], Iris van Herpen. Iris is an inspiring young fashion designer who opened her private studio to the public for the day on the request of the organisers. Her work has been a highlight of many shows since graduation and she was also nominated for 'createurope', a European competition for young fashion designers in 2008.


  1. A lot of these pictures were taken near my house! How strange x

  2. I was just scrolling through your posts and found this... so good to see...I lived in Arnhem for 2 years when I was at uni (in Arnhem)... that was before moving to Australia. It's great to see it again, Arnhem is a fantastic city.