articles written for a general readership
"Identity, Mind-Body and Acceleration"
n. 15, 2020
A sollicited essay in English on the affects of dressing, my love for Jo March in Little Women and the relevance of underscoring intimacy to resist the current distanced experience of fashion and dress.
"That future boom boom boom: circulariteit in de mode"
n. 4, Mode(s), summer 2020
A sollicited essay in Dutch that discusses two kinds of circularity in fashion: the eternal-recurrence-of-the-slightly-different-aesthetic and the time structure of the fashion season. Given the global coronapandemic, the resistance towards the non-sustainable rhythm of fashion is growing. Slowing down is the new motto. Yet it remains to be seen if this so-called slowness will change the industrialised fashion system. You can read the essay here.
"Little doubts everywhere" (co-authered with Merel Lefevere)
Vestoj: the journal of sartorial matters
Spring 2021, On Doubt
A sollicited essay in English that thinks through the type of doubt that currently circulates most in the high-fashion industry, what we term ‘little doubts’. We consider the fashion system’s investment in ‘little doubts’ in relation to the more game-changing variant of ‘radical doubt’ through the lens of the philosophy and history of science. By asking the question what or who is being served by the little doubts now oozing through the cracks of the luxury fashion system, we explore the ways in which the current concerns about the temporalization of high-fashion do not offer the game-changing narrative they claim to do. Rather we expect to find such ‘interruption of continuity’ to be initiated at the periphery of the fashion system.
"Textiel: Wat met mode één jaar na de grote stilstand?" (co-authored with Danielle Bruggeman & Hanka Van der Voet
Samenleving & Politiek
A sollicited essay in Dutch that explores the pathways for the fashion industry to develop towards a humane future. We argue that a move beyond the focus on material circularity in fashion is necessary, because it keeps fueling the consumption motor of fashion. Instead we propose to view fashion as a commons in which clothing wearers will again enjoy the authority over their clothing choices. We also explore how fashion design has a role to play in this process of re-addressing who holds the agency in fashion. Read the essay here.
San Francisco, California
"Loving, Sharing, Giving"
A sollicited essay about the rugged, competitive and acquisitive view on human nature that underlies the current fashion system. The essay proposes a loving and prosocial account of human nature as the underpinning of a humane fashion system. You can read it here.
"Je draagt meer zorg voor iets waar je om geeft"
An interview in Dutch with professor Danielle Bruggeman of the ArtEZ University of the Arts (Arnhem, the Netherlands) on the need for emotional durability in the debate on sustainability in fashion. Read more about Danielle Bruggeman's research here.
"Jongeren dragen steeds vaker reclamekleding: gratis is het nieuwe cool"
A sollicited essay in Dutch that discusses why middle-class teenagers wear free clothes gifted by local stores. The essay argues that this trend is symptomatic of the loss of authority of the high-fashion world where irony rules and fashion aficionados pay large sums for DHL t-shirts. The essay was originally published online in 2017 and selected for reprint in the final bookzine of Charlie Magazine. You can read it here.
"Spieren van liefde"
A series of articles on the need for formal empathy eduction in schools. The series includes two interviews with Mary Gordon, the president of the Roots of Empathy organization. Gordon is a leading glabal empathy advocate who developed the idea to bring babies into the classroom as tiny teachers of the attachment relationship between parent and child. Read the series here and visit the website of Roots of Empathy here.
"Kan mode ons als mensen verbinden?"
A sollicited essay in Dutch tracing the often alienating experience of clothes in the Western fashion system, the origin of this alienation in the time structure of the fashion industry and the pathway to feeling at home in your clothes through cultivating empathy with the objects that surround you. The essay was republished on the website of the ArtEZ Fashion Professorship (with summary in English). You can read it here.
"Kraak de kledingcode"
A sollicited essay in Dutch on the consequence of our tendency to interpret clothes as a text that has to be decoded in terms of gender, class and ethnicity: the normcore trend as a desire 'to escape social judgement' by dressing in an outfit that cannot be read. Read the essay here.
"Waarom wij bekende vrouwen zo graag haten"
An interview in Dutch with feminist author Sady Doyle on her book 'Trainwreck: The Women we Love to Hate, Mock and Fear... and Why'. Doyle poignantly shows how feminism needs to rethink its concept of 'strong women'. You can read the interview here.
"Mode is overal en nergens - dat maakt het zo machtig"
Charlie magazine published the text of a public lecture on the all-consuming power of fashion, which penetrates every aspect of the cultural domain, from clothing, to children's names and science. Because fashion is a near empty concept, it infiltrates our social lives easily. Yet the impact of this concept is immense, for the rejection of a stilistic choice equals the rejection of a person's identity. Read the text here.
"Waarom vrouwen in Vogue nooit lachen en in Cosmopolitan altijd"
A series of interviews with sociologist Giselinde Kuipers on the sociology of beauty. The interviews discuss a.o. how the type of fashion media outlet determines the representation of female beauty, how facial beauty standards differ across Europe and the political relevance of transnational fashion media (such as Vogue). Read the interviews here, here and here
"De gêne achter de make-overshow"
This essay discusses how shame is the driving force behind television make-overshows like Hotter than my Daughter and What not to Wear. Read the article here.
"Moeder, waarom breien wij?"
This essay discusses my passion for knitting. Knitting gained in popularity among women in their late 20s and 30s over the past decade, which is remarkable since these years are often experienced as the most time-pressured in a woman's life. Knitting offers a way out the economy of time in that it fills up a time that was previously experienced as an empty container. Read the article here.