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

31/05/2018 – 01/06/2018 > Creative Practice Presentation – Fashion Colloquium: Searching for the New Luxury, ArtEZ Arnhem, NL

06/04/2018 > Workshop – Conversation Pieces at The Community: Living Room, Paris, FR

26/01/2018 – 10/03/2018 > Exhibition – Omega Workshop: An Experiment in Counter-Fashion curated by Rational Dress Society with work by Nick Cave, Sky Cubacub, Frau Fiber, Friends of Light, Abigail Glaum-Lathbury, Ruby Hoette, KOVR, Fawn Krieger, Jennifer Moon, Marloes ten Bhömer, Marisa Williamson and Andrea Zittel. Hosted by EFA Project Space, NYC

MODUS – a platform for Expanded Fashion Practices

modus: a mode of procedure, a way of doing something

MODUS is a project to bridge the divide between theory and practice in fashion as well as explore and support expanded fashion practices: experimental methods, curiosity and criticality that have the ability to interrogate the social, cultural, political and environmental impacts of fashion and point to a future that transcends the current capitalist paradigm. The central idea of MODUS is to use ‘modes of practice’ as a starting point for creating an international network of practitioners. The glossary of practices forms the central thread of the first MODUS publication launched with an open studio at Onomatopee Projects during Dutch Design Week on the 25th October 2018.

MODUS will develop a platform and network for alternate value systems and thus different ways of thinking, doing and being fashion. It will facilitate 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 new perspectives on fashion taking different various forms from publications to events and workshops.

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)
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

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
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


dress-series/walk is a visual conversation registering moments connected to dress in NYC. Drawing on street photography, which captures the subject from one perspective and in one singular moment. It is a study beyond this static staged snapshot as dress is in constant flux. Using our I-phones as registration devices, we simultaneously filmed two perspectives of one subject. The result is a series of videos consisting of two synchronized but different viewpoints presented next to each other.

View the complete project at

Dress-series is a platform for projects and research developed in collaboration with Elisa van Joolen.

Could the raising and dropping of hemlines be a metaphor for the fluctuations and complexity in the current fashion system? dress-series/measure explores this question by documenting people on the streets of New York City from the waist down. It features a pink dress that is standing motionless on street corners. The dress functions as a constant against which to measure different hemlines as they pass by.

View the film at

This project was exhibited during the Arnhem Mode Bienniale (2011) and also featured in the Chapter on Speed by Caroline Strauss in the Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion edited by Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham (2015)

Dress-series is a platform for projects and research developed in collaboration with Elisa van Joolen.

About / Bio

Ruby Hoette is a designer/researcher exploring fashion in context through the intersection of theory and practice. Her projects reveal patterns of use and often investigate the construction of value and meaning in fashion. She works as a collector. These collections take the form of photographic series, publications, clothing and interactive projects. Her work proposes alternate modes of accessing and engaging with fashion. It frames the garment as a unique artefact carrying traces of social and cultural interactions and transactions.

Ruby also works as a Lecturer in Design and Programme Lead of the new 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 thinking, doing and being fashion. / /