Fashionclash Festival Examines the many contradictions of the fashion world

by Chelsey Sanchez

Choose between sense or sensibility. To be rational or to be impulsive, to be a force to be reasoned or reckoned with - either option forces a dichotomous view of the world to its spectator. In a world teetering on the threshold between efficient minimalism and gaudy extravagance, which option should one choose to perpetuate? And, even more so, what does this duality have to do with fashion?

This year’s Fashionclash Festival (FCF), an annual interdisciplinary fashion festival aiming to spotlight emerging designers and artists, begs the question with their theme, “Fashion Makes Sense” - although they aren’t really proclaiming that statement as much as they are placing a bold question mark at its end. Does fashion make sense anymore in this environmentally-conscious society? And, if it doesn’t, why is fashion losing sense?

By sense, FCF means to spotlight the polluting nature of the fashion industry, a billion dollar business that has been known to harm the environment. In a press release, FCF also suggests that “our society approaches fashion as a purely visual phenomenon and doesn’t always see the nature of the interaction with the body (of the wearer), despite the fact that fashion is the most intimate form of art, as it is literally worn ‘on the body’!” Through this year’s 9th edition, FCF hopes to bridge that gap between the consumer and the consumed, a kind of consumer-to-designer-to-industry pipeline.

FCF will take place in Maastricht, a city in The Netherlands, from June 29 to July 2. While artistic and managing directors Branko Popovic, Laurens Hamacher and Nawie Kuiper helm the event, more than 150 young fashion designers and performing artists from around the world will have the opportunity to showcase their work to a diverse and international audience. Additionally, the Fashion Makes Sense LAB will be organized in accordance with this edition’s theme, where exhibitions, fashion talks, workshops, and guided tours will be available to viewers.

Previous FCF themes include “Age/Art of Aging,” “Gender,” and “Heritage” - all themes that intend to stretch and question the boundaries of what is conventionally known as “fashion.”

The only thought that then remains is this: will FCF provide as many answers as the questions it asked?

Written by Chelsey Sanchez
Featured Image: Courtesy of Photo by Lonneke van der Palen.