Nominated by Carlo Wijnands:
for Body Archive
I nominate Marga Weimans for her Body Archive collection, which combines fashion, technology and architecture in a powerful, innovative manner and makes a personal statement in the process.
Body Archive is a fashion collection made up of colourful outfits with graphic prints covered by three-dimensional cubes. The prints and designs are based on Weimans’ own DNA. She has converted her genetic information into pixels and incorporated them in graphic and three-dimensional patterns. Using a tablet or iPhone and a special app, one can read information from the garments in the collection, creating an augmented reality. In reading the pixels, one reads Weimans’ DNA and thus in fact scans the designer’s body.
Architecture, technology and fashion have in common that they create a protective, interactive space in which construction and communication play important roles. This space is Weimans’ terrain. She approaches fashion as a concept and an art form and is slowly building a “fashion house” in which all the elements necessary for running a professional fashion brand come into play – inspiration, craft, innovation, organisation. In Weimans’ fashion house, the Body Archive collection also functions as a literal form of archiving.
Wearability of the garments is not a guiding principle for Weimans, though she does not rule it out. At her January 2013 show at Amsterdam Fashion Week, she exhibited Body Archive in two parts. A conceptual segment featured the three-dimensional blocks, made from materials such as Plexiglas, and a second part showcased the clothing layer beneath, printed with the patterns Weimans had designed. Prints consistently play an important role in her work, and she constantly continues to develop them.
I find it fascinating how Weimans repeatedly manages to surprise the fashion industry by defying expectations. She takes risks and manifests ambition and self-will. Body Archive is constructed out of the most essential yet hidden information about us: our DNA. Technology is making this data visible and accessible. Weimans’ collection evokes questions about the increasing self-knowledge enabled by technological advances. She does not wait to see what will happen but takes the lead, embracing technology and steadily building her “fashion house”.
Weimans is a designer who views innovation as a matter of paramount importance and dares to integrate other disciplines into her work. With her guts and belief in her own mission, she serves as a great inspiration in the Netherlands and abroad. I therefore regard her as a unique designer who deserves our recognition.