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  • “Dictated” collection by Begüm Yildirim© Begüm Yildirim

  • “Outrospection collection” by Daniel Ramos © Daniel Ramos

  • “Objects of enduring value” collection by Mirja Pitkäärt © Mirja Pitkäärt

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Fashion Artefacts: The Concept

By Anabel Cuervas

Over the last few years, we’ve borne witness to the birth and consolidation of fashion artefacts, objects that are by their nature interesting for anyone who loves and defends fashion as a form of expression. In order to stay faithful to our principles, we should add that fashion artefacts are a necessary and natural next step that the world of fashion will, eventually, take. If fashion is indeed one of the most influential forms of expression in our culture, it’s logical to think that it also reflects our social behavior, our curiosities, and our desires.

The London College of Fashion defines fashion artefacts as “a post-modern metaphor of what occurs in today’s society. Consideration of the fashion artefact in its theoretical and social contexts allows us to gain an insight into complex underlying meanings and open them up for discussion and contemplation”. The LCF has a Master’s program in the discipline and we’ve decided to take a closer look at three of its students who, for their depth and ability, help define the field: Daniel Ramos, Begüm Yildirim and Mirja Pitkäärt, although we could name many more.

Daniel Ramos, from Colombia, surprised us last year with his “Outrospectioncollection, an assortment of porcelain pieces that become extensions of the different parts of our bodies. Daniel is interested in fashion when it works together with art and other disciplines like dance or performance art. According to his own words, “their common interests are to understand and to explore the being, the body and the human psyche”. His concepts are deep, his execution is flawless and his way of looking at fashion is revolutionary.

On the topic of the need to consume less and better, we talked with the Estonian designer Mirja Pitkäärt. Her “Objects of enduring valuecollection is a selection of exquisite pieces (a comb, a pen, a glasses case, a notebook, etc.) that exist to remind us that the objects we use from day to day can also be beautiful, have meaning, last a lifetime and be small works of art that help us to reflect on the importance of responsible, and not massive, consumption. Her work won her the Accessories Collection of the Year award during the 2014 edition of the prestigious International Talent Support competition in Trieste, Italy.

And finally, we absolutely must tell you about Begüm Yildirim, a young Turkish designer residing in London who recently graduated from the LCF program. Her collection of fashion artefacts, titled “Dictated”, is composed of bags, bracelets and other pieces in crystal, leather and metal. Her objective is to create awareness about the established standards of beauty, those that dictate and manipulate our perception of the human body. Begüm questions the cannons of beauty, from wearing painful heels or altering the way we look by modifying parts of our bodies, to the socially imposed ideals for beauty.

The future of fashion artefacts is yet to be written and the young people who are setting out on these studies are enjoying quite a bit of success, both academically and professionally.The fascinating thing about fashion artefacts is that, since it is a relatively new discipline and is based on the individuality of the artist, there is still quite a bit of innovation ahead of it and you’ll rarely see two collections alike.

Before we finish, we’d like to point out that artisanry and the power of handmade goods are the common unifiers for all of the artists mentioned above. For us, a fashion artefact is a form of expression, an artistic necessity, an intermediary step between the popular and much sought–after world of slow fashion, and the most creative artisanal work.

Anabel Cuervas is a Spanish journalist, co-founder and editor of So Catchy! Where fashion begins, a fashion site that provides a voice and a face for emerging design and creativity. Check out their keen eye on trends and innovative talent here, as well as their interviews with Daniel Ramos, Mirja Pitkäärt and Begüm Yildirim here, here and here.