What was the starting point for Drop the Pin and how did you navigate the process from conception to the final presentation?
The process for our collection began in June, as we were all quarantining in our home countries, we started collecting inspiration online within the four walls of our childhood bedrooms. It wasn’t until September that the physical process began. We were lucky enough to have Humanoid introduced as a key collaborator in our collection. The Arnhem based brand founded in punk roots gave us access to their early archive pieces as well as providing deadstock fabric and garments to work with as our main source of materials. This limitation of color and fabric immediately gave us a creative edge to work with. Connections were emerging at this point and the concept began taking shape. It had become clear that we were all chasing a feeling, something abstract. With the looming reality of the pandemic, our inspiration didn’t stray far from the collective craving for togetherness and human energy. Thus, a club-like attitude manifested itself into the naming and final presentation of our collection. “Drop the Pin” is derived from the party jargon of asking a friend to send their location, a long-forgotten ritual amidst Covid regulations. Ultimately, the final presentation of our collection is an invite into a world driven by human connection and nonverbal interaction, a constant pulse beating for togetherness.
Talk us through the staging and the narrative behind the choreography.
We were inspired by Gaspar Noé’s movie, “Climax”. A film with a central function diverging into side narratives all within a singular shot, driven by a dynamic vibration pushing and pulling the cameraman from one moment to the next. It’s a continuous flow- infinite energy playing on loop. This portrayal of a pulsing social scene is what we ultimately aimed for in the choreography of our presentation. With the creative guidance from spatial installation artist Dennis Vanderbroeck, and our director of photography, Daniel van Hauten, we were able to do so. We built the minimalist structure ourselves to serve as the central “heart” structure for the choreography to take place in and around. This beating heart is a catalyst for connection and interaction between the garments and models, while the side stories branched off and circled back to the center like veins of the narrative.
How did the decision for models to dress other models come about?
The primary concept behind our collection is making connections. Therefore, we knew the sole exchange between the models would be one of unity and tender proximity. In a big proportion, we had to model ourselves, as we were only allowed a small amount of “outsiders” due to Covid restrictions. Throughout our process, we were reminded of the importance of collaboration. This manifested itself into the details and closures of the garments. With the fundamental techniques of knotting and folding, we were able to communicate this by having the models dress each other with a simple gesture. The appeal of this lies in the feeling of a comforting resonance. Compelling narratives are layered within these simple gestures. Every garment tells a different story. The clothes lend the model a visceral edge to work with, a means to a beginning and an end.
Working as a group of 20 designers, how did you come to establish the logistics and assign roles?
As Collectie Arnhem begins every year, there is a group for the concept, textiles, finance, and PR. We all chose the group we gravitated towards. It was certainly a gradual process of understanding our class dynamic, but as we progressed, the roles functioned very organically. The drive we had as a collective to get this project created, completed, and publicized simultaneously is a testament to the resilience and dedication to our creativity and craft, pandemic or not. In addition to our subgroup efforts, we all had equal creativity in the design and sewing aspect of the collection. Every one of us had at least one garment or accessory of our own creation presented in the showcase. The sketching, toiling, and construction process was completely balanced among us.