Last time we spoke to democratic fashion collective Patchwork Family, their member count was at six and their idea to embark on a European tour was still in its conceptual phase. Barely a year later, the collective established a series of showcasing events in Berlin, Paris and London, and recruited brand new members to join them on their last On Tour stop: Amsterdam. On the 31st of August, Patchwork Family is officially scheduled on the Amsterdam Fashion Week Edition 2023 programme, flaunting their new collections in the notorious Club Church.
“Our first showcase at Club Church in September last year and the energy that was created this evening, was what inspired us to go on tour. Even though we consider the tour a success, we never were able to feel our community and its energy as strong as that one night in Amsterdam. We feel that Amsterdam’s young, queer and DIY community connects to us more than any other, so we are proud to be back in Amsterdam” – Patchwork Family
As Club Church is the birthplace of Patchwork Family’s authentic performances, the collective returns to the place that created its first moment of recognition. For Amsterdam Fashion Week, the new as well as existing members take over the stage at Church to showcase the sexiest up-cycled couture by the coolest young designers in the hottest club in Amsterdam. Newcomers Salomé Jeanne (NNAEJ), Kika Perben, Berber Struiksma and Darwin Winklaar (NIÑO DIVINO) will prove themselves alongside established members Wolter Pot, Meike van Lelyveld, Marco Blaževič, Rachel Klok, Papa Yorick, and Billy Jansen (Characharaboy).
Darwin Winklaar (NIÑO DIVINO)
NIÑO DIVINO or Darwin Winklaar, is an AFW familiar face. Winning the 2020 Lichting prize, Darwin debuted with a solo show during AFW September 2021. Under the wings of Patchwork Family, NIÑO DIVINO presents ANEMOIA the EP: nostalgia for a time yet to be transformed, and will serve us a performance where Caribbean rituals, music, mysticism, and fashion meets.
Meike van Lelyveld
As one of the two founders of Patchwork Family, Meike has developed a humorous re-interpretation of the girl we all wanted to be, Cinderella. This princess however, will not transform into a lust object for some guy. Using techniques that are familiar to Meike’s repertoire such as live transformation, graffiti and archetypical garments, Cinderella will take charge.
Another new member that will be showcasing on the 31st of August is Kika Perben. ‘Gutted the performance’ is a live experience putting the spectator’s morals into jeopardy by inverting the spectator-audience relationship. ‘Gutted’ uses the streets as a metaphor for a hierarchically unbiased zone. This translates into designs that come to life by juxtaposing discarded common-use materials such as toilet paper, safety vests and cotton T-shirts, against gentry silhouettes. This creates friction as to what the obtained worth is of the conceived artefact, urging the spectator to question why we put the worth of possessions and people onto hierarchical ladders.
Rachel Klok joined Patchwork Family in 2021, but had already made a mark with her graduation collection on the Lichting stage. Using raw materials such as leather and denim and contrasting them with the elegance of classic couture, Rachel uses inspiration from stage wear, Punk and Glam Rock as the pillars of her new collection. For this specific showcase, she collaborated with tattoo artist Remon Smit who created custom prints for the new pieces.
“The fashion industry depends on a certain level of pretentiousness. But does it have to be that way, or is there an alternative?” Berber Struiksma just graduated from Utrecht School of the Arts with the collection ‘The FOOL who planted the baked potatoes.’ Applying her signature do-it-yourself ethos, she pokes fun at the pretentiousness in the fashion industry and looks for an alternative.
Salomé Jeanne (NNAEJ)
Salomé Jeanne (NNAEJ) is one of the newest additions to Patchwork Family. Inspired by the bodybuilding culture and the theatrical display of masculinity within gym settings, NNAEJ has put together four looks exploring gender identity and performance. Poking fun at the macho atmosphere of gyms, the silhouettes draw inspiration from typical workout attire and formal masculine dress code, transforming them into stereotypically feminine outfits, while using unconventional materials and funky slogans. Her new collection is a statement on feminine beauty standards and the silliness of ‘gym bro’ culture. Expect to see hairy looks and plenty of pink in a ballroom-inspired drag performance.
Marco Blaževič (Humble Hustle)
Besides running their personal brand Humble Hustle, Marco Blaževič is one of the founders of Patchwork Family and will be showcasing a new collection during AFW Edition 2023 alongside newer members. After releasing their summer collection “Humble Resort”, Marco Blaževič goes back to exploring the never-ending Hustle of working-class heroes. With the new Humble Hustle collection ‘Stacks = Packs’ they tell the story of young people growing up at the bottom of our society and their attempt of overcoming their and their family’s situation through whatever means necessary. This materialises in a fully up-cycled collection featuring different kind of post-consumer waste in the form of drug packaging (“packs”) and 20€ bills (“stacks”) made from left over denim with the help of House of Denim in Amsterdam.
Wolter Pot is one of the original Patchwork Family members and gained recognition with his towel-centred it-items. As Wolter sees this as an ongoing project, the designer will once again make use of vintage towels, turning them into staple pieces for the modern wardrobe and showcasing them in a one-of-a-kind performance.
“Pay your respects in the upcoming show. Papa Yorick is being pigeonholed”. Papa Yorick graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2022 and joined Patchwork Family right after. Taking a magnified look at the archetypes in gay porn through the lens of our voyeuristic generation, Papa Yorick uses satire and fashion as commentary language on our society.
Billy Jansen (Characharaboy)
The Creative Director of Club Church, Taka Taka the Priest became involved with Patchwork Family as a coach and presenter of their latest performances. This performance, Characharaboy created an outfit specifically for Taka in collaboration with Marco Blaževič. The ensemble is inspired by streetwear and Billy’s background as a stylist. Entirely made from repurposed basketball jerseys, it defies gender roles and symbolises the value of Taka as a valuable coach and confidante during the Patchwork Family On Tour events.
Patchwork Family x AFW
Club Church, Kerkstraat 52 Amsterdam
August 31st 10PM
© Credits Cover Image
Models: Aryelle Hopelezz, Kendrick Mugler, Nikki Ggucci, Keisha Miyake Mugler, Herby Way
Photographer: Patchwork Family