Milan Design Week, one of the world’s largest dates in the calendar for industry-types and creative aficionados, kicks-off this week in the heart of Italy. Among the countless presentations throughout the city, this year will see a most unusual exhibit touching down for those interested in the ongoing debate between advocates of sustainability and the dilemma brought upon by mass consumption in society.
Progressive denim experts, G-Star RAW, and the acclaimed Dutch artist and designer Maarten Baas, are collaborating on a series of design and art pieces made entirely from recycled denim waste. The installation, entitled “More or Less,” is set within the historic 17th century church of San Paolo Converso, and explores the never ending – battle for the desire for more and the need for less.
The exhibition, lasting from April 18 to 23, will showcase a collection of cabinets in the shape of jeans, and a fifteen-meter-long private jet, all made using recycled G-Star jeans.
Maarten Baas is regarded as one of the most important designers of our time, with a history of using the element of surprise which is used to maximum effect in Milan for those not expecting to see a life-size jet airplane inside an ancient church.
Baas was the obvious choice as a creative partner for a project, that explores the boundaries of denim design. G-Star approached the designer, who has also worked with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior and Hermès, with a brief to create a series of artistic pieces from a new textile board material derived from recycled denim.
“Every year in Milan I witness the tragicomic dialogue between green design and mass consumption,” says Baas. “When G-Star approached me to collaborate, it was the perfect opportunity to focus on this relevant dilemma. After all, we are all part of the same puzzle: we enjoy our prosecco next to this private jet made from recycled materials. We are not saving the world, but are we contributing to an improvement? More or less…”
Also included in the exhibit is a series of “cabinets” made from denim, which appear both playful and functional, all shaped to resemble a pair of jeans. Created for storage, all three cabinets are made of textile board material created from recycled G-Star jeans, especially developed by the Danish textile firm Really / Kvadrat. The jeans were collected from G-Star stores across Europe through the ‘Return your Denim’ program which allows customers to return their old jeans for recycling. During the exhibition, visitors can also bring their worn garments to screen print with the signature message ‘More or Less.’
“At G-Star we believe that there is no limit to what denim can do,” says Gwenda van Vliet, CMO G-Star RAW. “In this case we’re spotlighting what our denim waste can become, and how we can change waste material into something meaningful that stands out – and that makes you wonder and think. Because we all want more, but our planet needs less.”
While designing the initial idea of the cabinets earlier this year, Baas came up with the wild concept of a real life fifteen-meter-long jet that, like the cabinets, was built using waste denim. This was painstakingly created for the bold statement it makes on the duality of sustainability issues.
‘More or Less’ is open to the public from April 18 to 23 at the Chiesa San Paolo Converso, Piazza Sant’Eufemia 1 in Milan. Entrance is free. The cabinets, which are available to purchase, are made to order with price and delivery time available on request. The Denim Waste Plane will become part of the G-Star RAW art collection.
Designers keen to stay ahead of the fashion curve were thrilled to hear that coveted Dutch brand, A Flying Dutchman, had recently touched down for Milan Design Week with their latest collection of denim apparel.
Drawing from denim’s industrial heritage, the range combines traditional technique with modern innovation to create unique garments which unparalleled in design. Using the highest quality cotton, A Flying Dutchman’s jeansets, trousers and shirts have been meticulously crafted to evoke a sense of warmth and comfort.
A Flying Dutchman’s CEO and Chief Designer, Marcel Takken, sees his new collection as a representation of the Dutch aesthetic: “The unique combination of industrial heritage and modern innovation found here in the Netherlands is something we are very proud of”, he explains. According to Takken, it is this combination that sets A Flying Dutchman apart.
What sets this years range apart is the introduction of innovative new features such as the “multi-ply” denim construction, which has allowed A Flying Dutchman to create garments that boast greater wind-resistance and insulation than ever before.
This year, A Flying Dutchman’s jeans are available in a variety of cuts and washes, with the added bonus of a range of customisable designs. From bold floral details to more subtle distressed effects, the range of garments allows for plenty experimentation and creativity.
With each season brings new inspiration, A Flying Dutchman remain ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative designs with a timeless appeal. Retaining the classic charm of denim, their expert craftsmanship and sharp design sense has kept them at the forefront of the fashion industry for years.
This year’s collection proves that A Flying Dutchman continues to serve as a source of inspiration and creativity, as they aim to keep pushing the boundaries when it comes to denim design.
For all denim lovers, the latest offering from A Flying Dutchman is one to keep an eye out for. From bold florals to unique construction techniques, this range offers something for everyone, ensuring that the brand remain an influential name in the denim industry for many years to come.