Very Berry People #18

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Very Berry People #18

Fashion icon, journalist and occasional pineapple. Aynouk Tan is a ‘parody of fashion.’ By dressing up, she likes to question why we wear the clothes we wear. “The fashion industry creates a system of values, that we have internalized. We value new above old for instance, fast above slow, skinny above big. I want to make people aware of the fact that we dress according to standards which are not natural, but constructed for economic purposes. We enable this industry by feeling better in a new dress or when we have lost weight.”

That’s right. Everybody who dresses themselves, is involved in the system we call ‘fashion’. Once we realise that, we can move things around. But how can we change an industry that’s all about being new, fast and skinny? "Sometimes its not enough to just talk about how we want or could change the way we buy and use our clothes. We should also experience what it means to, for example, make a piece of clothing. By doing so, slow fashion can become a new standard.’

One of the initiatives Aynouk is involved in is called a ‘Golden Joinery.’ ‘Their workshops are inspired by a Japanese repair technique called kintsugi, in which broken pottery is fixed with molten gold. Each participant brings a piece of clothing to the workshop that is precious to them, but broken, and in about five hours you fix it with gold thread. The clothing gets new value by honoring its ‘weak’ spots and by experiencing the time and attention it takes to (re-) create it. The intention is to create value yourself and with others during the workshop, instead of just buying something in an anonymous store.’

Next to dressing up and consulting labels that are offering a fundamental alternative for a better way of making and using fashion, Aynouk is writing a book, speaking at conferences such as Dutch Design Week 2015 and is a teacher at different art academies. We’re picturing Aynouk in a strawberry suit, stitched together with gold thread…..