Traditional costumes and the specific attire of a country or a region have often inspired fashion designers throughout the decades. At times contemporary designers reinvented and adapted traditional elements or mixed various details and motifs from different eras and countries in the same piece, coming up with original transnational styles (that in more recent years generated infringements of copyrights or cases of cultural appropriations...). Yet there was a time when people created their own transnational styles without the intervention of a fashion designer, but simply by getting to know other cultures.
A great example? The old Frisian port town of Hindeloopen in the 17th and 18th centuries. This was a golden time for the town: people would spend money on goods imported by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the houses of local sea captains were a mix of richly decorated wooden Dutch furniture, fabrics from India and Chinese porcelains.
Through these many influences Hindeloopen ended up looking very different from the rest of the Friesland: the town created indeed its own trademark style characterised by a juxtaposition of Dutch and exotic elements, local crafts and handmade pieces from all over the world.
By the late 18th century trade collapsed and Hindeloopen was isolated. The population focused on fishing rather than trade and the flow of foreign influence stopped, but by then the mix of styles had already been established, it continued and came to be known as trademark Hindeloopen.
In 1878 the colorful Hindeloopen room captured the hearts of visitors to the World Exhibition in Paris. The room showed a typical Hindeloopen interior and came to be known as typically Dutch. After the World Expo, the room travelled all over the world.
An exhibition at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) currently retraces the history of Hindeloopen. The event allows to explore a traditional Hindeloopen room with wallpapers and old furniture and prints, but the museum also wanted to show how the Hindeloopen style influenced contemporary artists.
To this aim the curators brought in new pieces by modern designers: Christien Meindertsma (well-known for her textile and knit projects) created, in collaboration with Roosje Hindeloopen, a new furniture collection - comprising a table, chairs, cupboards, a stepladder, a box, spicemills and rugs - decorated with Hinderloopen motifs such as flowers, birds and garlands.
Last week a new fashion piece was added to the event, an embroidered dress covered with flowers matched with traditional Dutch clogs from Viktor & Rolf's "The Fashion Show" (A/W 2007) collection. The gown was inspired by the quirky Hinderloopen style and gave an avant-garde twist to the display. The exhibition is on at the Fries Museum until July 1, 2019, but V&R's gown will be on display until October 29th 2017.
Image credis for this post
1. The Hindeloopen Room, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden; Collection Het Koninklijk Fries Genootschap.
2. Hindeloopen women on ice, Van der Ceijl, 1924, black and white photograph, Fries Museum - Collection Het Koninklijk Fries Genootschap.
3. Christien Meindertsma for Thomas Eyck, Oak Inside, created by Roosje Hindeloopen, 2011, Fries Museum, partly purchased in collaboration with the Zuiderzeemuseum Enkhuizen.
4. Viktor & Rolf, Anna Maria, 2007. Collection Zuiderzeemuseum, Enkhuizen. Photo: Erik & Petra Hesmerg photography.
5. Viktor & Rolf, Anna Maria, 2007 (detail). Collection Zuiderzeemuseum, Enkhuizen. Photo: Erik & Petra Hesmerg photography.