AMSTERDAM – For the 10th year of the fashion trade event Modefabriek, Floor Knaapen and Grietje Schepers formed a two-woman-team to formulate Nude vs Naked, a shop slash exhibition which coincided with the two-day-long event.
The biannual event acts as a platform where tens of thousands of professionals from the fashion industry encounter hundreds of high quality brands and labels which are leading the way in setting today's trends, all under one roof. Having her hands in Modefabriek's exhibitions for the past few years, Schepers again takes on the concept and exhibition design for this year's expo with a quirk: visitors may purchase curated items. Knaapen steps in to helm product and garment curation, styling and photography. Equipped with a honed eye for today’s trends – which takes cues from all walks of life – Knaapen selects fashion, design and art works from up-and-coming and renowned talents. Shown in every shape, shade and size, the human body becomes a spatial experience.
In its 10th year, the Modefabriek trade event doubles a recurring exhibition as a functioning store. A rack displays undergarments by Wolford and La Fille D’O, Liselore Frowijn-designed leggings and a jumpsuit, velvet shorts by Rodarte x & Other Stories and a jacket by Malene Birger.
Sitting amid a landscape of soft curves in skin tones, products by global brands to the likes of Nike, Wolford and La Fille d’O cosy up to fresh designs by Fatma Kizil and Jule Waibel. Interior furnishings by Muuto and Moroso meet pieces from local stores Restored and Mobilia. Work by Dutch designers – Aldo Bakker's polished vessels and Studio WM's Gradient Table Lamp – meet the work of Danish designers Louis Poulsen and Ole Jensen. iPads alongside products display the webshops of individual creators or brands to let shoppers order on the spot. Schepers and Knaapen delve more than skin-deep into their joint venture:
Fatma Kizil's I Am Under Construction collection appears to be crafted from human flesh. Flanking the garments, the Miller Lounge chair by Functionals and MSDS Studio's Pleated collection for Umbria Shift from Amsterdam store Restored.
What led to the concept of the all-in-one store and exhibition space combination?
The idea behind Nude vs Naked is to reconnect to the countless designs we surround ourselves with in our daily lives. These objects are designed to ‘serve’ our needs and often feel alienated from our body in terms of shape, colour and texture. The selected works shown in Nude vs Naked convey a familiarity and seduce the visitor to explore.
What did you want visitors to feel when passing through the space?
We aimed to create sensorial experience using shapes and textures in every shade of nude imaginable. The eye can travel through a scenery resembling the human landscape with its unique curves and folds. The designs on display collectively create a world of their own. We wanted the visitor to question the designs; how do they function and what purpose could they serve in our private domain?
Buro Belén's Bodycloth paints a straightforward backdrop alongside a jacket from La Fille D’O's Skin collection. Exaggerated rolls of flesh become intermittent pedestals for Knaapen's selection of product and fashion designs. Ruched cognac leather from Ligne Roset's Togo from Mobilia and the pink handle of Hay's DML sidetable emerge from nude-hued valleys.
How did you select the diverse range of products which were on display?
We came across the works either online or through our circles of clients and friends, some whom are designers themselves. What binds them together is a sense of skin, showing the diversity of the nude concept. Some designers literally use skin, yet in a way we haven’t seen it before while others searched for materials which resemble skin.
Atop a pigmented peak sits Pierre Paulin's Butterfly Chair for Artifact from Co van der Horst while Louis Poulsen's PH5 lamp from Mobilia hangs overhead. Maarten Baas's Anarchy vase from The Frozen Fountain appears in the foreground.
What was the reaction from visitors?
The response was exactly what we had hoped for, one of curiosity and exploration.
Photos Floor Knaapen