06/2023 > Lost and Collected featured in Vestoj: On Everyday Life
(Edited by Anja Aronowsky Cronberg)

18/06/2023 > HAVE/NEED Forum: A zone for critical discussion about the environment of fashion with Emanuele Coccia, Gabriel Figueiredo, Ruby Hoette, Hubert Crabières, Alexis Etienne, Flora Bouteille and Ethics Angels Company, River Yarra. Organised by Léa Domingues & Aapo Nikkanen, Paris, FR

31/10/2022 - 20/01/2023 > MODUS Hosts @ Fashion Space Gallery, London UK  

26/08/22 - 28/08/22 > Group Exhibition – Correctionville #2.
Curated by Institute of Cartopology, Hoogcruts, NL   

23/06/2022 - 26/06/2022 > Group Exhibition – JVE Open Studios, Maastricht, NL

12/04/2022  - 31/05/2022 > Group Exhibition – Domestic Monsters, Constance Howard Gallery,  London, UK

01/11/2021 - 01/10/2022 > Designer in Residence – Jan van Eyck Academie: Post–Academy for Art, Design and Reflection, Maastricht, NL




A Field Guide to Lines and Clothes

My current research (working title: A Field Guide to Lines and Clothes) takes DIY garment patterns and mapping as points of departure to explore physical, geographical and political orientations in relation to the global infrastructures of fashion production and consumption. The research builds on a set of abstract 'navigational devices' developed during a residency at Jan van Eyck Academy in 2022 and aims to create a dialogue between the fashion industry (objects/clothing, materials/processes and infrastructures) and wider social, cultural, economic and political contexts and networks. Oscillating between scales, it explores the tensions and relationships between individual bodies and the shared geographies we move in and through.

Garment patterns as cartographies and textile objects such as moving blankets made from reconstituted clothing, give form to processes and materials that represent relationships between bodies, movement and commodities. The technical process of translating the three-dimensional interface of clothing into flattened lines is positioned in dialogue with the mapping of contexts and scales of the garment industry (for example shipping distribution routes) interconnecting multiple temporalities, economies and cultural interactions.

Performance: 'Notes on Lines and Finding Ways' (April, 2022) JVE Open Studios (June, 2022)

MODUS – a platform for expanded fashion practice

MODUS is an international network of practitioners and bridging theory and practice in fashion. The central thread is a glossary of verbs or ‘modes of practice’ serving as a starting point for all MODUS initiatives including the MODUS publication (2018) as well as various events and exhibitions during Dutch Design Week (MODUS in residence 2018, MODUS: Annotated 2019, MODUS: Conversations 2020, MODUS Hosts: Unfolding Inter-local Practice 2021 and MODUS Hosts @ Fashion Space Gallery 2022/23.

The MODUS online network invites practitioners to link their work to verbs from the glossary. As it grows the network connects and supports the community of practice that is collectively pushing the boundaries of the field and exploring how it 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, MODUS supports diverse modes of operating as belonging to fashion, reclaiming the word and connecting the people that are redefining it. The platform facilitates 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 led by Ruby Hoette and Caroline Stevenson in collaboration with Roland Brauchli and Floriane Misslin as research assistant.

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. Subsequent 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), ArtEZ Fashion Colloquium: Searching for the New Luxury, Arnhem, NL (2018), The Community: Living Room, Paris and Tenderbooks, London, UK (2018) and Omega Workshop curated by Rational Dress Society, EFA project Space, NYC (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) and will be included in the forthcoming publication Radical Fashion Practices edited by Laura Gardner and Daphne Mohajer va Pesaran, Valiz (2023)
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.

Lost and Collected has been featured in Press & Fold Magazine Issue #0 (2018) and Issue 11 of Vestoj: On Everyday Life (2023). See the collection @lostandcollected

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).

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

Ruby Hoette (AUS/NL,1983) is a designer and educator. Her work positions fashion as a cultural index of social and economic interactions, and explores how it interfaces with other fields. Negotiating existing objects, materials, and infrastructures, she unpicks and reconfigures the relationships between garments and the systems of authorship and value that produce them. Hoette's practice is interwoven with her role as an educator in which she focuses on creating conditions that support the intersection of teaching, learning, and research across and in between disciplines. She is committed to nurturing nondominant and experimental approaches to practice and research as legitimate forms of knowledge production. | | |