ScotchShirt

Total view on the "Scotch and Soda" shirt.

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Sashiko stitch detailshot on the left sleeve elbow.

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Elbow pad with the sashiko stitching on the right sleeve.

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The sashiko-stitch repaired sleeves together.

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The front view on a in 2010 bought "Nudie Jeans"...

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...is not as interesting as the backside.

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Looking closer on the reparations makes...

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the layering more visible.

LevisShirt

Classic "Levi's" shirt with left elbow reparation.

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Closer look on the reparations...

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...makes visible that the first reparation teared up again.

Personal Wardrobe

How can the wardrobe of a designer really represents the unique him- or herself in what we call our ‘twenty-first century’? It is a question I started to doubt about in the past years, and I believe I can never have the right answer to. But by trying to avoid falling into a system that doesn’t match my ideals I think I can at least try to give ‘an answer in progress’. 

 

Since starting Fashion and Design on Amsterdam Fashion Institute and getting more knowledge about the industry and reflecting on the consumption society we live in, I catched myself guilty.

 

Looking at my closet I thought about the ridiculousness of the clothes that were om there. Why did I had 7 t-shirts and felt the need to buy more. Realizing that buying was equal to get a lucky feeling I felt that I was caught by the trap of capitalism. The realisation and reflection of brands who create story’s to make you buy more of the same over again made me feel empty. Through my life I gathered all these clothes, but actually none of them were really representing me…

Also knowing I am paying a multiple time of the real costs, for only letting the brand tell a story so they could ask more for the garment, felt meaningless. It has become a system that keeps feeding itself from which I hope it willl collapse some day. Because in the end it doesn’t do anything else then be a harm to nature, and make someone else pay the price for your benefit. 

 

Reflecting to the fact this system also got me, I decided I needed to step out of this system. Because I believe that anyone who has the knowledge about the problems in his or her work field can also be hold responsible for not making the change. And that change starts by me on own behavior. 

So I stopped buying clothes and just kept wearing till holes came in the garments. At the same time we got into a semester about Denim. The positive side of the denim totally grabbed me. About the craftmenship and how Cotton de Nimes can be a fabric that represents your live. Also how you can really distinguish someone who makes the denim his own and want the clothes be an extension of it’s life, or someone who buys the story the brands made up for them. 

Diving more and more into the denim industry and also traditional ways into repair clothes, I was slowly generating my own fingerprint into my closet. The desire to buy clothes is gone for me now. I only want clothes in it that are personal, that really are telling a story about me as designer and person.  

This page on my website is a documentation and dedication to the question: how to show clothes can be personal and unique again. How the closet can be a responsible system in which quality overtakes the quantity, and value is represented in personal stories and time of life.

Garments representing my life...

So mainly I don’t throw clothes away anymore but keep wearing and repairing them, so they will get complimentary to my life. With exception of underwear and socks, I do mainly manage to still wear the clothes I wore five years ago. Only add-ons are a unprinted Capture The Flag t-shirt and another sampling shirt I sew myself for a small company, which I eventually took because else they were throwing it in the bin.

 

My last buy was the "Scotch and Soda"-shirt which I got in the sale. The minimal on detail and light chambray was the main reason to buy it. From day one I did like to wear it because of its comfort, and soon the fabric on the elbow became thinner till it teared. First the left, because I’m left handed, and then the right. I started with small repairs and after some time the reparations started to become bigger. But as more reparations are needed the more my personal wear pattern become visible.

 

This pair of "NudieJeans" I bought starting second year GraphicLyceum and eventually became the first step into toward the fashion industry. They were actually some of the first male pants with stretch, and are also not a denim because they are grey. That the quality wasn’t as developed as it is became really visible after a small while. Tears came in just by washing it and after some reparations I lay it in my closet because I started to dislike them because of the tearing.

Until I found them four years later again and started to repair the holes inspired by the Boro-technique of Japanese ancient times and also start to wear it again. The wearing and tearing became the identity of this pants. As my personal lifestyle becomes more and more visible in the layering of the reparation I really start to like them more and more. And actually wear them with more pride then ever before.

This classic lumberjack shirt of "Levi’s" out of 2010 also has a great history. I bought them when I went out shopping with my dad to buy a winterjacket for my birthday. After we found a winterjacket (one I also still wear) we went for my dad into the Levi’s store to get himself some Levi’s 502 jeans (more about that in the atelier collection). And because we had that much discount on the jacket he offered me to buy this shirt for me as well. It was exemplary of his thought of clothes, that they needed to be a kind of timeless because you must wear them a long time. 

So after his passing away, I still keep having a relationship with it. It memorizes me to how much we enjoyed each others company that day while we actually didn’t like shopping that much. And that I still wear it nowadays would make him happy because that would definitely made worth the money.

The “Uncle Jan” Jeans

While we thought year 2017 would be an okay year the tail had a bad ending for me and my family. After losing my father in 2012 we lost his brother Jan, so my uncle, in just two weeks time.

‘Uncle Jan’, as we pronounced him, was being a story on its own: while his mom was pregnant of him she got pancreas-cancer. He was only 7 months in there, when they decided he had to come out so they could intensify the treatment. Against all expectations he finally made it, but his mother died. Jan came out strong and healthy, only his brain was damaged and he was mentally impaired. 

His father Jaap and his aunt Rens (sister of Jaap) took great care of him in his younger years and tried to manage as long as possible when getting older. Eventually when Jaap died and aunt Rens was not always capable anymore, of her high age, he started to stay in the weekends at our house.

While he was not daily around us, we grew up next to Jan. When there was something to do, Jan was there and we made great memories together. The relationship felt as much as a older brother, but one who we cognitively overgrew. 

 

 

Because while his body got older his mind stayed young till his death. And learning to take care of himself only succeeded partially. Learning him something took time and everybody around him a lot of patience and energy. But in the end his gratitude overshadowed it all. When he managed, his words “Good job done by Jan” to himself said it all. 

In his life he learned to cycle (not too fast because he hated sweating) and to swim, tapping beers and even managed to shave himself, although he had a natural aversion to it. He was an example in being positive, taking no hurry, being complimenteus and enjoying every small thing in life more than you ever can imagine.

When I inherited two of his handkerchiefs I knew immediately how I could use them to be part of my life. While struggling with his loss I made myself a tailored pair of jeans as homage to Jan. It felt like the right thing to do, carrying something of Uncle Jan close with me and let eventually the fade of indigo to become a metaphor as fade of grief.

 
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Frontside of the 4 pocket jeans. Didn't put a "coin-pocket" on there, because Uncle Jan didn't live with time.

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Just a clean backside, and nothing more than that.

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The pocketing and facing of the yoke are made of 'Uncle Jan's' handkerchiefs

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The by hand stitched on button is representing the tailoring of it to me, and I like it as contrasting detail to the big-blue jeans

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The tailored jeans are worn up higher on the waist and for that reason has a extended 5-buttonfly.

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Small pieces of leather prevent the buttons to tear the fabric over time.

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Made the jeans slightly longer so the selvedge can represent the heritage.

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Stitched my label on it to really make it a personal pair of jeans.

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The last time Uncle Jan stayed a night with me in the atelier we did something he liked a lot, sitting on a terrace and drinking a beer. It are the memories that must be kept alive...

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After one year wearing it about five of the seven days in a week.

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The denim is breaking in nicely, here you see some whiskers in the making.

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In the kneehole the first signs of honeycombs start to appear.

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A the back it is clearly visible that the wear is making it marks.

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It is nice to see a blue print of my body in this pair of denim. Some creases and marks can be translated to the pattern to make it even more tailored and fitting to my body if I would sew myself another pair.

Scotch gets better with ageing...

My last buy was the "Scotch and Soda"-shirt which I got in the sale. The minimal on detail and light chambray was the main reason to buy it. From day one I did like to wear it because of its comfort, and soon the fabric on the elbow became thinner till it teared. First the left, because I’m left handed, and then the right. I started with small repairs and after some time the reparations started to become bigger. But as more reparations are needed the more my personal wear pattern become visible.

A year since my last documentation has past and no other shirt in my closet did feel the wear and tear of my life as this shirt does. Sometimes I repaired it and a few days after a new hole appeared.

 

 

But it just takes some care and as the stitching is quite relaxing to do, it even helps me sometimes come out of bed and start up in the morning. Just sitting with a cappuccino, needle and thread and this shirt enjoying the morning sun. 

 

The biggest tear came along the back just under the shoulder yoke. Because I didn't had such big of a waste piece I decided to just make some nice color blocking. Also other stresspoints as the collar and cuffs started to become white of the 

ScotchShirt

Total view on the "Scotch and Soda" shirt.

ScotchShirt_1

Sashiko stitch detailshot on the left sleeve elbow.

ScotchShirt_2

Elbow pad with the sashiko stitching on the right sleeve.

ScotchShirt_3

The sashiko-stitch repaired sleeves together.

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