O  P  E  N  I  N  G    CLOTHES                                        ‘Practicing Solidarity’   ArtEZ Fashion Professorship

O   P   E   N   I   N   G     CLOTHES

Painted Series explores solidarity through ‘opening' already existing garments. Several groups of young people who have a bond (classmates, friends, bandmates) are invited to cut a piece from a loved garment to be exchanged and integrated into a piece of clothing owned by a friend.
A ‘fashion band-aid’ developed by Painted Series reconnects the cut-outs by ironing. Sharing and exchange creates something new, that is connected to the other. Both garment and identity of individual and group are ‘opened’– creating new bonds.
A simple gesture, designed and facilitated by fashion designers, executed by amateurs, lead to garments with Designer credibility.

O   P   E   N   I   N   G    CLOTHES  is an adventure in opening your mind, opening up to each other, letting go of 'result thinking'. The project explores means and methods to turn practicing solidarity into something do-able that is challenging and joyful at the same time!

Fashion is able to connect people, not only focusing on their individuality. Altering something (Make Do and Mend) can be used as a method to let (young) people experience that you can make a piece of clothing work again using your own hands.

Making something new from what you already have can be way more satisfying then an afternoon of shopping.


‘The last session of our research in a high school, with 14-year old kids, was mind-blowing and reassuring for what we try to evoke with our project. In just 2 hours, their garments

(they often didn’t realize they owned them before bringing them) transformed in unique pieces and expressed their bond. They were so exited about their ‘new’ clothes that they spontaneously decided to all wear them the next day to school.

They didn’t know each other that well before.’

4e Gymnasium, Amsterdam  with  Renske, Loulou, Tessa, Karel, Dimas


Drawing a line by turn, we will sketch various four-side shapes on paper together. From these sketches, one shape is chosen by consensus. We pin this shape as a paper template onto each other’s garment while wearing it. The placement is done directly on the body; looking at each other's piece, we help each other make a choice. We are each other's mirror. The shape is the same for everyone, the placement differs. We will all cut out this shape from our own garment.