Fashion as Point of Departure / H+F Fashion on the Edge
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 16 October 2010 / 30 January 2011
This autumn Fashion on the Edge is presenting a small display of four recent acquisitions. The common link between the four objects/installations is that they have all been conceived from the perspective of fashion, but have then deviated from this: the item of clothing is part of an installation or a performance or has become a sculpture in its own right. Each of the designers/artists regularly uses disciplines such as film, photography, installations or performances to express his or her ideas as clearly as possible.

Alet Pilon, ‘Not Yet’ 2010

Alet Pilon has a longstanding fascination with dead animals. For many years she has incorporated feathers or pelts in still lifes and objects. ‘My work is about the balance of power between mankind and animals. I try to turn humans into animals and vice versa in order to establish a different balance of relationships.’ In her new series entitled ‘Not Yet’, often omits the truly animal elements. She thus creates remarkable objects that are simultaneously human and not human. For example, this object is trussed up like a shot pheasant and placed on a table. Pilon makes still lifes with creatures that occupy the grey zone between life and death.

Klavers van Engelen, ‘Glass Dress’ 2009

In 2008 the National Glass Museum in Leerdam invited the fashion duo Klavers van Engelen to develop a series of glass decorative elements. The designers incorporated the results in their spring/summer 2009 collection. For example, a glass droplet is used as an accessory and also to counterbalance the neckline. The dress itself (and the rest of the collection) was inspired by the effect of oil on water, playing with the lustrous ripples and the shades between blue and brown. For the presentation at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the duo have teamed up with the design practice X+L to create a special display that further emphasises the underlying concept. The dress is presented against a mosaic backdrop of glass and mirrors in various smoky shades that reinforces the notions of reflection and refraction. H+F Fashion on the Edge acquired the dress in 2010.

Pyuupiru, ‘Mercury’ 2008

Themes such as man versus woman and life versus death play an important role in the work of the transgender artist Pyuupiru. The artist attempts to create a personal world in which s/he feels comfortable. The works consist of objects, films, portraits and performances. H+F Fashion on the Edge recently acquired a knitted object entitled ‘Mercury’ from the Planetaria series. Pyuupiru will visit Rotterdam during the final week of the exhibition in January 2011 to discuss a follow-up project.

Hussein Chalayan, ‘Laser Dress’ 2008

In 2007 Hussein Chalayan approached H+F Fashion on the Edge to participate in the installation ‘Readings’. H+F Fashion on the Edge invested in a dress and a large laser hat that will be presented in a laser display at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The Readings collection was not presented as a live catwalk show but as a film by Nick Knight during Paris fashion week. The film, which was later shown on www.showstudio.com, shows models rotating on a platform lit by laser beams that ricochet off the Swarovski crystals applied to the clothes. Chalayan based the style of the crystal decorations on traditional clothing from a variety of cultures. The designer uses this installation to question fame: the worshipping gaze is reflected by the crystals onto the body.

The work of Hussein Chalayan is only on show from 13 November.

This year the International Film Festival Rotterdam is devoting a film programme to the relationship between film and fashion, including films by Pyuupiru and Hussein Chalayan.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

The ArtAids foundation was set up in 2006 at Han Nefkens’ initiative. ArtAids fights AIDS with the power of art as its most important weapon. ArtAids invites leading artists to produce work that is inspired by AIDS and related problems. These works of art are used to raise the public’s consciousness and to encourage their involvement.

Fundació Han Nefkens

The Han Nefkens Foundation is a private non-profit organisation that was set up in Barcelona in 2009 with the aim of promoting the production of contemporary artworks. The mission is to stimulate artistic creation in Barcelona by offering international artists an opportunity to create artworks and interventions in the city, and to promote other fields of contemporary creation.


Han Nefkens started to collect art in 2000. The H+F Collection, named after himself and his partner Felipe, is in long-term loan to various museums in The Netherlands and abroad. Nowadays Han Nefkens is not only active as a collector but also as an initiator of international art projects, often in collaboration with museums and other art institutions.