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Flat: by Borre

At the opening of their gallery exhibition in Amsterdam, spoke with Borre Akkersdijk and Daan Spangenberg of by Borre about ideas, materials and hopes for the future.

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 24-01-2013

Fashion, textiles and techniques take pride of place at Gallery 33 courtesy of by Borre for an entire month.

Suspended from the ceiling, pressed between sheets of  glass or hanging 15 metres high, there is no ‘normal’ way of showing the designs made by by Borre. Both Design Academy Eindhoven graduates, Borre Akkersdijk and Daan Spangenberg set up the brand a number of years ago and have quickly made a name for themselves in the Paris fashion scene. Creating innovative knits, thick textiles and heavy, almost sculptured jackets, the duo’s style is recognizable and very ‘now’.

“It’s the first time we’ve shown our work at a gallery,” says Akkersdijk as he looks around Gallery 33 satisfied. “But, yes, I’m very pleased at how it’s turned out. I think the space dictates what any exhibition will look like and I immediately saw we needed to suspend the blankets from the ceiling.”

At the gallery, visitors will have the chance to work together with by Borre, cutting out strips of their signature fabric and creating scarves by ‘locking’ the fabric together with the designers, a very hands-on approach to fashion. “We want to show people what’s behind the garment,” explains Spangenberg.

Indeed looking around the gallery there are only two actual garments on show – a huge padded jacket and even bigger jumpsuit. “What we are much more interested in, is the technique behind the materials. On show here is a series of processes which led to the collection we showed last Amsterdam Fashion Week.”

From a cutting machine to a set of bobbins and a stop-motion video (in collaboration with another well-known DAE graduate Niels Hoebers) the objects presented at the gallery are rather surprising for a fashion brand. Akkersdijk: “Well, we don’t see ourselves as exclusively fashion designers. In this exhibition we’ve pulled apart various techniques used for making materials and shown them as objects.”

Spangenberg continues: “They aren’t the real techniques but how we see it in our mind. Of course clothing formed the basis.” As cross-over designers themselves working in fashion and textiles but also creating installations, the designers and the recently opened gallery – which aims to show work by multi-talents – turn out to be a perfect fit.

And what are the hopes for the future? Akkersdijk: “We have tried some collaborations with big-names but they seem to be unsuccessful, we want to continue having fun with our material research, find new processes and express our ideas.”

Flat: by Borre is on show at Gallery 33 from 23 January until 24 February

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