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The Closer One Looks, the More Clear It Becomes

For centuries, folk clothing has allowed people to freely express themselves. Individuals creating distinguishable garments have helped cultures shape their own identity. In a way, they define the owner and tell their story. The creation of their clothing pieces is a delicate process, handmade and passed down through generations.

But for all their differences, these distinct garments do share some similarities as well. Through specific shapes and functionalities used in the clothing, a sense of connection can be discovered between different cultures. Focusing on the similarities made me realise that this can be a key to different parts of the world. It shows a certain commonness we share and making us realise we are not so different after all.

For my graduation collection, I decided to only focus on the similarities between Dutch and Indonesian folkloric clothing. Being partly Dutch and partly Indonesian made me always fly “in-between” these different heritages. Finding these similarities in the folkloric garments felt like a relief. It showed me one physical form what directly expressed and connect something that felt so far away from each other.

In a world where everyone is so separated from one another, the clothing pieces in this fashion collection provide people with an opportunity to reconnect. They form a visual synonym to display this connection between different cultures, but also allows you to express it at the same time. The collection has a unifying role and maybe help us think in a more universal way instead of nationalistic. But also reflects on the goal of a garment, they have much more value than how we treat clothing nowadays.


The process book of this collection.

Research paper.

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