Project: 'The Volution' (2006)

Description: 2006's conceptual fashion collection & and theoretical/scientific research developed during my Masters studies at MAHKU's Fashion design department in Utrecht.

A series of fashion studies into the creation of the human form, the Volution is a fashion collection that sets out to appeal to the mind in a time where most fashion collections appeal only to an aesthetic instinct. The collection itself is built from 15 items/outfits which are all related to one another by a process of development and evolution, as each outcome in the series is a logical research to its predecessor - the previous study.

In the thesis discourse, I use the Volution as a study tool in order to track the origins of fashion design and prove its direct connection, as a language, to the field of semiotics.

The collection book & the thesis discourse are available for download via the follwoing links:

The Volution Book 1 (2006) - Thesis

The Volution Book 2 (2006)- Collection book

Concept book Open The Volution:
[From left to right]

1. Proconsul Heseloni
2. Proconsul Nyanzae
3. Proconsul Major
4. Proconsul Africanus
5. Sivapithecus
6. Sahelanthropus
7. Orrorin
8. Ardipithecus Kadaba
9. Ardipithecus Ramindus
10. Australopithecus Anamensis
11. Australopithecus Afarensis
12. Australopithecus Africanus
13. Paranthropus Aethiopicus
14. Paranthropus Robustus
15. Paranthropus Boisie
Proconsul Heseloni Proconsul Nyanzae Proconsul Major Proconsul Africanus Sivapithecus Sahelanthropus Orrorin Ardipithecus Kadaba Ardipithecus Ramindus Australopithecus Anamensis Australopithecus Afarensis Australopithecus Africanus Paranthropus Aethiopicus Paranthropus Robustus Paranthropus Boisie The Volution & Evolution:

The naming of the studies after mankind's genetic ancestors (according to the theory of evolution) is not with out thought or relation to the design process.

As a series of fashion studies into the creation of the human form many aspects of human evolution were taken into effect in the design, process and progress of this collection.

From the first squirrel like ancestor, that walked on its 4 feet, through the first apes with their long arms and low body balance, followed by the 'Paranthropus Robustus' with its large intestines, ridged skeleton and extend bone surface for stronger muscles and ending almost at birth of prehistoric men with the 'Paranthropus Boisei' the first man-ape that knew how to cook, many of the structural & 'designed' characteristics of these human ancestors were implemented in the design process of the outfits of the series together with other biology and human aspects like the golden cut, stem cells symmetry and the development of the human fetus.
Evolution The Volution - Discourse Starting Points:

I have taken a direct and aggressive approach towards fashion with the theoretical part of this project, pin pointing the things that really bother me the most in it and the things that I don't want to do (or repeat).

Many of my choices (like Faceless models & photogenic fabric) in the practical part of the project resulted from this attitude. And eventually besides using the collection itself to prove my point about the 'Volution' as a design/study tool in the thesis I also want to communicate the starting point for my Master study through the collection and its outfits.

The following photography & illustration series is called 'Fashionable Arguments' and is featuring the 7 questions that set up the attitude for this project in its start.
Questions <----- Q1
The Photo-Model:

Not may people realize it, but the photo models that we see, adore and admire every few pages in any given magazine are such a 2 dimensional thing.

Questions <----- Q2
Applying Your Lifestyle:

What began with the I-Pod and maybe even before that with the Senseo coffee machine, is continuing today with objects like the I-Phone, or Nespresso machine.

Therefore it's not that hard to imagine that by the end of next decade brands like Gucci and Adidas will no longer sell just fashion articles & accessories but will move and sell their own home interiors and kitchen appliances as well.
Questions <----- Q3
TV Media

From 'FashionTV' to the 'Runaway Project' the relationship between fashion and television is like a modern egg and chicken, or chicken and egg thing:

Did TV media took over fashion first or was fashion the first to take over the television?

Questions <----- Q4
The Printed Media:

Fashion has always been coupled with the linguistic science of semiotics, yet today it seams that the only direct connection between fashion and languages exist in lifestyle, beauty and (aber-natuerlich!) fashion magazines.

However, the more you read about it the more you realize that fashion is less & less about what people do and more & more about what people think.
Questions <----- Q5
'Shoe-welry':

Looking in retro perspective on brands like Nike, All-star & Adidas, it's amazing how a functional thing such as a shoe ever became a fancy piece of jewelry.
Questions <----- Q6
Fashion Now What(?):

The dressing up of past styles & trends for future masses and then selling it back to them as the new 'now', has become the trade mark method of so many brands that we have to stop and ask ourselves if there is really such a thing as contemporary fashion in the 21st century?


Q7 ----->
"It's Good to be The King!":

Speaking about that money making cycle and future consumer masses which power it, did you ever ask yourself why do you go shopping? Is it the act of choosing the best items for your wardrobe? Is it the service and attention you get? Is it the prestige you'll receive by being the first to wear fashion's latest creations? Will all this make you feel superior over your fellow individuals? And after thinking about it will you consider yourself as a member of the new modern aristocracy, a royalty of the bourgeois?

Questions The Volution - Parctice & Theory:

The Volution is a holistic project, which means that either way you look through it -via the practical path or the theory path- the message is the same, as each part of the whole is the whole.

This also means that what the theoretical path says with words the practical path says in images; however both paths also support each other and even intertwine:
The theory path I develop and use the Volution as a study tool to explore and search for a meaningful design process in existing fashion collections while in the practical path I use the Volution as a design tool in order to create a meaningful design process in a new fashion collection according to the Volutionary rules, thus proving that the Volution is a reliable study tool for the theoretical path.

Very confusing...

Anyway, the following sets of illustrations and images are dedicated to the philosophies and the theories which I have explored and examined through this project & my research.
The Modern Foff The Volution - Parctice & Theory:
[The concept]

It's very hard to start speaking with someone (especially men) directly over the subject of fashion design theories/tools and fashion collections, but with cars it's much more easier, understandable and down to earth.

A Volution:

A visible solution (path) that represents a sequence of progress, or growth, through successive stages of time and/or process.

It may as well represent a series of numerous products that are all related to one another by a progressing process of development and/or evolution (De-Volution).

In order to explain what this actually means I used the BMW roadster series (to the right), from 1930 till 2003, as my first example, before moving on to study fashion collections by Yohji Yamamoto & Diesel with it.

For a detailed presentation of the BMW roadster Volution please refer to Book1 – Thesis; chapter 2.
Volution of BMW Roadster The Volution - Parctice & Theory:
[Darwinism & Design DNA]

"By the theory of natural selection all living species have been connected with the parent species of each genus... and these parent species... have in their turn been similarly connected with more ancient species; and so on backwards... but assuredly, if this theory be true, such species lived on earth."

Charles Darwin, On the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) pp. 281-8

To give you a small push in the right direction I have rephrased his first sentence:

'By the theory of fashionable selection all designed species have been connected with the parent species of each archetype ...'

(Caricature from 'The Hornet' 1871.)
The Hornet 1871 The Volution - Parctice & Theory:
[Der Aesthet/The Aesthete]

There is an old rumor that states that Gerit Rietfeld used to stick this song (from Christian Morgenstren) under each of his classic Rietfeld chairs*:

"Wenn ich sitze,
will ich nicht sitzen,
wie mein Sitz-Fleisch moechte,
sondern wie mein Sitz-Geist sich, sasse er,
den Stuhl sich floechte."

Today we dont buy fashion because we need, we buy it because we want to. We don't waer fashion beacuse we need to, We wear it and no matter how uncomfortable it is, because we want to.

That's the 'Sitting-Spirit'.




(*which were better suited to become book holders than sitting furniture due to their un-comfortable design)
If I sit... I do not want to sit... the way my seat meat want to sit... However in the way my seat spirit would sit there... the chair would twist itself. The Aesthet The Volution: Parctice & Theory
[Post Modernism]

There is no way of researching the contemporary fashion world with out looking into Nietzsche:

"What is Love? What is Creation? What is Longing? What is a star? Thus ask the last man and blinks."

Nietzsche, Thus spoke Zarathustra.

So what is Love actually?
What is Creation?
What is Desire?
What is a Star?

This is what every designer should ask, preferably themselves, blinking is optional...
If I sit... I do not want to sit... the way my seat meat want to sit... However in the way my seat spirit would sit there... the chair would twist itself. The Aesthet The Volution Fashionshow:

Performed on 12 of June 2006.

Photos of MAHKU Graduation Fashion Show from MAHKU's fashion department website.

There is also a video of the show in that page under 2006 - 'Video Fashionshow'.

The Video is also available via this link.
Volution from HKU Fashion Show The Volution Expositions:

'NEXT Generation - Fashion Forest', Modefabriek Amsterdam, July 2006.


'DARE #1', HKU Academie Galerie Utrecht, Spetember 2006.

'The Best of 2006 - Items Magazine end exams selection', De Krabbedans DDW Eindhoevn, Oktober 2006.

Studio Lidewij Edelkoort, Premier Vision Paris, Februar 2007.

'Family of Form - Design Academy celebrate 60 years', Solone di Mobile Milan, April 2007.

'Family of Form - Design Academy celebrate 60 years', Designhuis Eindhoven, October 2007.

'Design Species', The Smalle Haven, Dutch Design Week Eindhoven, October 2007.
Exposition Items Magazine Exposition Studio Lidewij Edelkoort Exposition Studio Lidewij Edelkoort Exposition Studio Lidewij Edelkoort Exposition Studio Lidewij Edelkoort Exposition Design Academy-Family of Form Exposition Design Academy-Family of Form 9. The Volution (2006)

Concept & Design by: David Luxembourg
Art Direction: David Luxembourg
Photography & illustration: David Luxembourg
Models: Ralph Nauta & David Luxembourg.

With special thanks to: Margot Hlotman, Marjolein Heij, Karin Katenpek & Ralph Nauta.

Documentation of fashion show courtesy of MAHKU.

Support illustrations taken from:'BMW Driven to Succeed'(2006) Published by Jaynes Publishing & form the 'Complete World of Evolution'(2005) Published by Thames&Hudson LTD.

(c) All rights reserved, yeah! All of them.
+++ Yoad David Luxembourg 2012.