THE INSPIRATION / START OF THE RESEARCH FOR THE CONCEPT
Ever since the start of my graduation I wanted to make a start of defining who I am as a designer. So I started with my roots, the first time I realised I had an interest in clothes. Here you see a picture of little me playing around in a dress, in a costume shop in Scotland. I remember the feeling when I wore the dress. Free, flamboyant, happy and totally myself. I remember everyone in the shop smiling at me. “A boy in a dress, how fun, how cute”. But if I were to wear this dress now, as a 23-year-old boy, I don’t think I would get those same associations. It such a shame that the more we grow older the more serious our view on garments get. And how much stronger the line between masculine and feminine is defined. Why? Why don’t we see garments as just garments. Who do we have to add all these meanings and rules to it on who is or isn’t allowed to wear it. And how come we take these rules so serious? I mean, what does masculine even mean? Why do I have to contribute to the masculine ideal as a man and who even defined that.. This was the start of my research question. What are the rules, who made them and how can we break them.
AGAINST THE DRESS CODES
The collection is heavily inspired by the terrifying rules I found during the research. Multiple style guides told me how I should act/look while being a man. All those rules just furiated me and I wanted to show that those rules arre not the only rules to live your life by. Finding your own form of being is so much more fun. Prints and graphics are inspired by the warnings visualised in those styleguides, and in the collection I play with their rules to make it my own.
The best example of my version of play is the heart pinstripe. I refrence the traditional tailroing rules, an iconic print for tailoring the pinstripe. But instead of a boring line, the stripe is constructed of little hearts. From a far it looks like a regular pinstripe, but once you get closer you can see the little hearts. It plays with our associations. It reflects how we look at people. You can think something on first glance, but once you get closer you see the true meaning / the real beauty.
STARTED THE DESIGN PROCESS WITH
FINDING MY WAY OF “PLAYING” IN DESIGN
I found out that “Play” was the best way to break free from the dress codes and the standard. This was actually the most important ‘ingredient’ in my design process. I combined all the ways of Play I found in my research, added visual elemts to it and the sweet spot were they all met should be my collection.
This collection is designed for “The Rebel in Progress”. A group that wants to break free from the dress codes of society, but who do not have the confidence to go fully against the grain yet. One of my favourite designers Raf Simons once said in an intervieuw that he designs for the Confident Outsider. A lot of us are outsiders, not all of us are confident. My collection will be a stepping stone away from the dress codes. By referencing to the “traditional garment” but visualised in a completely new way it’s easier to cross those boundaries. And if the garments won’t do the trick we can always count on.
Toetie is our superhero, your own personal guardian angel. Use the Toetie pin as a token. A reminder to keep that inner child in you alive. A symbol of safety, comfort, and warmth. Toetie was the bunny I had when I was a child. We all have that stuffed animal. It gave us comfort, safety, made us feel good. Why do we let go of that feeling when we grow older? That stuffed friend is something that can give us that extra boost of security, tenderness and comfort in our lives. Valuable emotions we sometimes need to be who we are. With that extra boost of comfort and confidence (because you got your superhero on your side) it’s easier to go against the grain, the standard, the norm.
As a big boy I sometimes feel left out of fashion. Like it’s something unreachable. This is because the fashion industry has a limited size range. Most brands go from XS to L, XL if you’re lucky. The enthousiasme I get while watching a fashion show turns into a sting when I see only size S/M/L in their shop. With that they say: “you don’t fit into the people we see buying our clothes, this is NOT made for you” That is something I never want anyone to feel. Thats why all my garments are either one size fits all or adjustable to your own size. The superpants in my collection go from a size 3XL to a M without any trouble. Going in production I will have 2 sizes, size 1 that fits 3XL to M, size 2 that fits M to XXS. So that no one can feel excluded from wearing Ruben Jurriën, and that they can hold on to that enthousiasme fashion can bring. I found a nice way to alter the waist in this collection, but this is an on going process. I will keep this aspect of my collection in the core identity of my brand.
Inspired by the silhouette of a kid playing in their parent’s wardrobe. “Pak van mijn Hart!” (Dutch saying for a great relief) Is a collection inspired by the image of clothing in our current society. A society in which we sometimes feel insecure, unsafe, or not ourselves. The collection is intended as a playing field to discover what kind of superhero is hiding inside of you. The collection will weave the superhero suit into the traditional suit which now has dubious associations; The disguise for the successful businessman, the politicians, but also for power abusers. By playing with the traditional dress rules I can create free garments that allow you to distance yourself from the great gray masse and its negative associations. This way you can use the suit carefree for the power it carries, and free the superhero in yourself. I have designed 20 looks, but don’t see it as something written in stone. This is how I as a designer would style the collection, but every item is wearable on its own or easy to combine with whatever you want to wear. Play around with it! Find what’s good for you!
“PAK VAN MIJN HART”
GRADUATION RUBEN JURRIEN
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Ramon de Iongh
Julian op de Laak
Liam de Cler
Lea van de Pol
Pascal de Vormer
Dank voor alles <3