Press & Fold argues the days of luxury meaning “abundance, opulence, extravagance” are over
The new issue looks into luxury within the fashion industry, presenting a new vanguard of creatives who are seeking to create alternative, more inclusive ways of defining it.
- Ruby Boddington
- 20 March 2020
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
Releasing the first issue of a magazine is incredibly exciting; seeing an idea you had however many months prior, finally being put out into the world. But following up that first issue is a little trickier – how do you rise above everyone’s expectations but also produce something in-keeping with what came before while being recognisable to those who enjoyed it?
It’s a pressure Hanka van der Voet, the founder of Press & Fold, Notes on making and doing in fashion certainly felt when it came to producing the follow-up to the first iteration of the mag that we (and many others, we’re sure) loved so much. “It was actually more nerve-wracking to make the second issue than doing the first,” she tells us. “We think it’s quite easy to make one good magazine issue, but to consistently deliver quality is quite a challenge.”
Hanka works as ArtEZ University as a research and theory tutor and has a wealth of experience working in the fashion industry. It was in response to her frustration's with the industry that she launched Press & Fold alongside graphic designer Beau Bertens, and her abundant knowledge on the subject is clear throughout the issue and in how she talks about this latest publication.
Focussing on the theme of “luxury”, issue #1 sees many of the collaborators from issue #0 sticking around but Hanka and Beau “went out of our comfort zone and approached some people via Instagram, such as Shanzhai Lyric,” the founder tells us. “We chose the theme ‘luxury’,” she continues, “because it’s so entangled with the fashion industry; both concepts do not exist without one another. But over the centuries, the meaning of the word ‘luxury’ has been shifting.”
It’s a concept which went from being “characterised as uniqueness created by anonymous artisans, to made-to-measure haute couture and the cult of the star designer at the end of the 19th century, from the merging of mass-market and prestige into ‘masstige’ (a term coined by Karl Lagerfeld, introducing his H&M collaboration in 2004) to the hunger for street credibility by luxury fashion houses causing them to sell 2000 euro hoodies, and from the conspicuous consumption showcased on Instagram to the explosion of wellness and self-care culture,” Hanka eloquently outlines in one mammoth sentence.
GalleryPress & Fold Issue #1, Luxury. Photographs by Anouk Beckers
On the other hand, Hanka feels that there is a different approach to the concept (and fashion in general), particularly among a new generation of fashion designers, researchers, writers and curators. This vanguard is motivated by the “sorry state of the fashion system and its exploitative labour practices, environmental pollution, depletion of resources and exclusionary marketing language among other things,” and is not only “critiquing the system, its individualistic approach and its limiting views on the concept of luxury, but also seeking to create alternative, more inclusive ways of defining luxury.” Issue #1 places emphasis on these new approaches, ideas and propositions.
One contribution which is particularly dear to the Press & Fold team is from Join Collective Clothes, a project by Anouk Beckers which is about creating a modular clothing system that invites people to create clothes together. “An open source manual explains how to make four different shapes that together create a complete outfit. Everyone is invited to design and make a piece of a garment,” Hanka tells us. You can join from any place in the world by downloading the manual from Anouk’s website or by joining one of the workshops and together, the pieces made by various makers form an ever-growing collection. “It is a beautiful project, that addresses important themes such as ownership, identity, originality and authenticity in a very honest and inclusive manner,” she continues.
With several other notable contributions, including an essay from Chet Bugter in which he makes a plea “for a more embodied and affective approach to creating fashionable imagery, and believes this can be used to reconfigure the fashion system on a wider scope towards being more inclusive,” Hanka hopes issue #1 will present how the days of luxury meaning “abundance, opulence, extravagance” are over. “With this issue of Press & Fold,” Hanka concludes, “we hope to show there is a richness in community: creating together, performing together, learning together, regaining agency together and experiencing joy together. We hope our readers – a lot of which are art or design students – will be inspired to follow their own path in this context.”
GalleryPress & Fold Issue #1, Luxury
Press & Fold #1, Luxury
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.