Fetishism in Fashion. The Arnhem Fashion Biennale

Photography / Performance By Federico Poletti
8 June marks the start of the Biennale in Arnhem, this Dutch city recognised for its creativity and venue of a unique event of its kind where big-name fashion houses and designers from all over the world come together with installations and performances balanced on the fine line between art and fashion. The fifth edition of the MoBA (Mode Biënnale Arnhem) is curated by Lidewij Edelkoort, world famous trend-forecaster, who has selected “Fetishism in fashion” as the theme. The project will see not only a huge exhibition open until 21 July 2013, but also a series of parallel events and workshops that illustrate the culture of fetishism through clothes, accessories, films and photography. Edelkoort herself told MFF: “We were all born into bondage, with the umbilical cord wrapped around our bodies at birth. What is most interesting about this biennale is the possibility of exploring how the instinctive and shamanic world of fetish blends perfectly with the sensual charge. This triumph of opposites and the union between spirituality and eroticism is exactly what represents a very important new trend”.
The big exhibition dedicated to Fetish spreads through thirteen themed rooms and includes a series of creations by international designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano for per Christian Dior Couture, Maison Martin Margiela, Prada, Moschino, Manish Arora, Walter van Beirendonck, Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh, to name a just few. On show there will also be some younger yet well-known talents from the widest range of countries, such Juun J (Korea), Barbara I Gongini (Denmark), Tex Saverio (Indonesia), Little Shilpa (India) and Yiqing Yin (China). The video section just had to feature a selection of fashion films on the subject organised by Diane Pernet, whose festival A Shaded View On Fashion Film (ASVOFF) will be giving out awards to the best entries on 5 July.
Arnhem is also home city to the ArtEZ Institute of art, where Edelkoort herself studied and which celebrates its 60th anniversary with its Fashion Department. As a tribute to this important Dutch school, Lidewij Edelkoort has invited the most important schools around the world to create a series of installations. Together with Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art in London, Italy is represented by a site specific work called “Momenting the Memento”, by Polimoda, curated by Linda Loppa. A “statement” built on the words of Danilo Venturi and photos by Ruggero Lupo Mengoni, who visualise the relationship between clothes, architecture, city and education. A theme that will be developed in view of the IFFTI (International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes) conference to be held in Florence in 2015, at the Polimoda headquarters at Villa Favard.