The hoodie,

a garment in context

Researching and reviewing the hoodie as socio-political statement in fashion and the way it reframes cultural nuances by means of acting as social fabric. → For this project I was asked by  'Het Nieuwe Instituut' to artistically research the hoodie theoretically and ethnographically by defining the local aura of the hoodie, and consult regarding of the contents of the exhibition. → The result was the narration of a personal perspective in relation to the hoodie in form of various visual translations and an essay. 

 

A selection of contemporary relevancies that were sourced in regards to the hoodie exhibit, which were researched and analysed in order to create an understanding of its current cultural context ;

 

“But girls can get away with it.”

[draft ]  to be published spring 2020  

Girls can wear oversized mens hoodies tailored specifically to the male demographic and get away with it, without too much scrutiny in regards to wearing a garment that is not necessarily ‘meant for them’.  In contrast, boys are not able to wear the mid-if bearing (thus cropped) pastel pink hoodie with trendy bell sleeves (or what’s left of its original fabric). This puts the female wearer in a position of choice regarding the ‘role’ one chooses to perform. Choosing from the various styles, proposed by fast fashion, high fashion and sports wear creates a discussion making process in which girl are now able to either consciously use the hoodie to cover the body versus using the hoodie to reveal the body (or highlight certain aspects). 

 

Retail shops that dedicate their collections towards a youthful audience tend to occupy the term unisex in order to relinquish gender biases via an *open-minded approach. Still, a lot of retailers don’t seem to understand that unisex does not mean girls-wearing-oversized-boys-clothes. Unisex garments aim to clear the gap between gender inequalities and biases  by offering the exact same garment, fit and pricing to everyone. When looking at the current local retail landscape, it seems that what the shop offers does not seamlessly fit with what the mannequins and visual merchandising portrays. 

If the retail landscape is visualising the cool and effortless ways a girl can style a hoodie, why is it that she will need to find that garment in the mens section of the shop?

The format of the essay will have a roll-out structure that holds 3 components. In order for the essay to have an active component within the exhibition, it will innate to collect data during the exhibition and draw a visual conclusion (/mapping) as a result.

 

  1. Introduction

    to launch before the exhibition opens, spread across various online channels in order to ‘prepare’ the visitor for the interactive sourcing of collective data


     

  2. Collecting Data

    throughout the exhibition & external activities


     

  3. Conclusion /mapping

    presented during the closing week of the exhibit