EVENTS

01/04 -  06/06/2021 > Exhibition –  United Fashion Festival: Hungry for  Less? Hungry for Better? at MAD Home of Creators, Brussels, BE  

21, 22, 23/10/2020 > Symposium – MODUS: Conversations in collaboration with Caroline Stevenson at Onomatopee Projects during Dutch Design Week 2020, Online

31/01/2020 - 26/03/2020 > Exhibition – Fashion Constellations: blueprints towards expanding fashion practice, a teaching project with Katherine May at Constance Howard Gallery London, UK

22/10/2019 > Symposium – The Politics of Practice-based Fashion Research organised by the Austrian Center for Fashion Research in collaboration with MAK in Vienna, Austria

19/10/2019 - 27/10/2019 > Exhibition – MODUS: Annotated in collaboration with Caroline Stevenson and Roland Brauchli at Onomatopee Projects during Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, NL

04/03/2019 – 30/03/2019 > Exhibition – Patternmapping curated by The Community in residence at Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, UK

25/10/2018 - 31/12/2018 > Exhibition and Book Launch – MODUS in collaboration with Caroline Stevenson and Roland Brauchli at Onomatopee Projects during Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, NL

16/06/2018 – 30/06/2018 > Exhibition – Conversation Pieces curated with Caroline Stevenson at Tenderbooks, London, UK

 



MODUS – a platform for expanded fashion practice

MODUS is a platform to explore and support expanded fashion practices creating an international network of practitioners and bridging theory and practice in fashion. The central thread of the project is a glossary of verbs or ‘modes of practice’. This serves as a starting point for all MODUS initiatives including the first MODUS publication (2018) as well as various events and exhibitions during Dutch Design Week (MODUS in residence 2018, MODUS: Annotated 2019, MODUS: Conversations 2020).

In August 2020 the MODUS online network was launched inviting practitioners to contribute their work by linking it to verbs from the glossary. As it grows the network will connect and support the community of practice that is collectively pushing the boundaries of the field to explore how it links people, places and processes and thus is woven into broader social, cultural, political and economic flows of value and meaning. By gathering these critical and experimental approaches to fashion production and presentation in one shared database MODUS aims to support diverse modes of operating as belonging to fashion, reclaiming the word and connecting the people that are reinventing the field. The platform aims to facilitate ongoing conversations between the practitioners working in this expanded field and writers/theorists from a range of disciplines from cultural and critical theory to politics and economics to formulate alternate systems of value and nurture expanded ways of thinking, doing and being fashion.

MODUS is initiated and led by Ruby Hoette and Caroline Stevenson through Onomatopee Projects and in collaboration with Roland Brauchli.

Conversation Pieces

What if fashion were a discussion, an exchange, a negotiation or even a heart to heart? And what if conversation were a mode of production? Are there new perspectives this might this reveal in terms of materials, processes and value?

Conversation Pieces is an on-going research project that investigates the potential of garments as discursive objects and dress practices as dialogues. The project employs tools and techniques that are related to both text (highlighting) and textile (unpicking) to generate perspectives on fashion practice that are embedded in everyday dress practices and associated language.

For the publication and ongoing project Dictionary Dressings: Re-reading clothing definitions towards alternative fashion perspectives (2016) by Femke de Vries Conversation Pieces #1 explores the relationship between the sleeve and the scarf using their definitions, functions and everyday adaptations as mechanisms to reinterpret. The publication was launched with an exhibition at Onomatopee during Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven in October 2016. Editions of the project have been presented at Everyone and Everything as Material Conference hosted by The Swedish School of Textiles and RMIT, Borås, Sweden (2017) and Fashion Colloquium: Searching for the New Luxury, ArtEZ Arnhem, NL (2018) as well as The Community: offline, Paris and Tenderbooks, London, UK (2018)

Unpicking the Fashion System

Unpicking the Fashion System is a practice-led method developed to collectively explore innovative and inclusive modes of ‘doing’ or ‘making’ fashion. Participants experiment with dissection and collage as tools with which to actively engage with the fluid and dynamic relationships that constitute fashion and the shifting role of the (fashion) designer. Unpicking garments along original seam-lines functions as a metaphor for the unravelling of the mechanisms that constitute conventional fashion practices and production processes. The garments are dissected, documented and analysed: Is there a personal story connected to the garment? Are there traces of use and wear? Which materials and techniques have been used? Where was it made and by whom? How has value and meaning been created in the garment? The resulting loose garment elements can then be rearranged into new formations or mappings – experiments in collective fashion production or the creation of a new fashion ‘collection’.

The method has been applied in various contexts since 2013 including workshops at NORDES: Design Ecologies conference, Stockholm (2015), during Ljubljana Design Biennial (2017) and features in Opening Up the Wardrobe: A Methods Book edited by Kate Fletcher and Ingun Grimstad Klepp, NOVUS (2017)
col·lec·tion – part 1

The use of the word 'collection' within the fashion context refers to a set of garments that relate to each other, produced and presented seasonally by a brand or designer. However a 'collection' can have many different definitions and be bound by various conditions that have the potential to extend beyond one season or one designer. This project is an exploration of alternative understandings of the 'collection'. The focus lies on the processes used and the resulting garments are critical reflections on the workings of the fashion system and proposals for how we might begin to subvert these.

Found in the Salvation Army this series of dresses were each dissected and reconstructed to form two parts from each original. These pieces were presented in two different contexts: An exhibition space and a Runway show during New York Fashion Week, September 2012. View the show here.   The project was also presented during the Research Through Design conference, Cambridge (2015) and as part of the  United Fashion Festival: Hungry for Less? Hungry for Better? at MAD Home of Creators, Brussels (2021).  
col·lec·tion – part 2

By dissecting or fragmenting the garments into pieces along original seam lines each garment essentially becomes a collection of loose elements. These elements can be repeated, isolated, combined and layered in different ways. Through this process our normal patterns of wearing can be transformed and the body framed and revealed in new forms. Through dissection the clothing can be understood not as something stable or fixed but as being just at another stage in its history. Just like fashion itself, the garment becomes moveable: a fluid object. While still referring to the 'original' designer it reveals the more complex reality of fashion production.

Second-hand garments dissected along seamlines and reassembled in a collage, which changes each day of the exhibition. (May 14th – 23rd, 2012). The project was also presented during the Research Through Design conference, Cambridge (2015)
Lost and Collected

Lost and Collected is part of a series of projects that explore multiple histories of the origin, ownership and use of clothing. It is a reflection on the perceived ‘value’ of a garment and how this fluctuates over time and as a result of societal and cultural influences. Historically clothing and textiles have been considered highly valuable, even used as a form of currency. In stark contrast the current fashion system renders garments as ‘disposable’. Lost and Collected documents and maps items of clothing found in public spaces. The archive provides a reflection on the quest for ‘newness’ inherent to the current fashion system and lays bare the mechanism of the intangible brand value outweighing that of the material or functional qualities. The unconventional ‘fashion collection’ that emerges over time shifts the abject used and mass-produced garment back into the unique and ‘one-off’, subverting the hierarchy of value in fashion

View the complete project at www.lostandcollected.com
WORN_RELICS©

WORN_RELICS© is an interactive online archive that was live and open for participation from 2007 - 2015. It operated as a platform on which the stories and memories attached to garments could be collected and shared. The project explores the idea that clothing acquires value through being worn. In contrast to the temporary value attached to it in the fashion world, it presents clothing as a relic, something treasured for its past associations. It became a document of our relationships with clothing over a period of time and a communication of the creativity and innovation that can be found in the diverse ways we interact with clothing in everyday life.

The project was included in Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change by Kate Fletcher and Lynda Grose (2014).

www.wornrelics.com

WORN_RELICS was developed in collaboration with Clare McNally, Lane Gry and Hanno ten Hoor
FOLD workshop

FOLD workshop was organised with Beata Wilczek as part of her exhibition dedicated to art and fashion. During the workshop participants explored fashion both from material and theoretical perspectives. Working with existing garments and experimenting with various approaches to folding opened up a wider discussion around contemporary fashion culture. The material and symbolic dimensions of folding, pleating, and draping and the physical movements embodied in these actions functioned as tools to reflect on the fluid and dynamic relationships that constitute fashion in a wider social and cultural context.

FOLD workshop was developed and facilitated in collaboration with Emma Hoette

Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Poland 2015

Work Circles workshop

Work Circles is a space to explore and implement models for co-creation and co-production. It facilitates the construction of a quilt using second-hand clothes contributed by participants. The quilt becomes both a physical reflection of the collaborative research and a means to explore socially and economically sustainable forms of labour, production and exchange.

This project was conceived and organised in collaboration with Pascale Gatzen and Cathy Leibowitz and made possible by all those who participated.

This Red Door and Textile Arts Center, NYC 2013

ABOUT/CONTACT

Ruby Hoette is a designer/researcher/educator exploring critical and experimental modes of engaging with and producing fashion. By framing the garment as an artefact carrying traces of social, cultural and economic interactions and transactions, her work aims to unpick and reconfigure relationships between object and system, theory and practice.

Ruby is a Senior Lecturer in Design and Programme Lead of MA Design Expanded Practice at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. This unique programme provides a platform for critical practice and challenges conventional disciplinary boundaries. As part of the programme Ruby contributes to the Fashions and Embodiment Studio to explore social, cultural, ethical, political and economic contexts and experiment with new and inclusive ways of operating within and beyond fashion.

modus.onomatopee.net / www.lostandcollected.com / www.wornrelics.com /

rubyhoette@gmail.com
r.hoette@gold.ac.uk