We congregate at clubs, skate parks, exhibitions, concerts and even fashion weeks. We have higher awakenings on the dance floor and in the bedroom. These spaces have replaced traditional places of worship, yet we go to them in good faith. Along with 150 talents from The Netherlands, South-Africa, Brazil, Italy, Poland, and China, we made a pilgrimage to Maastricht for the 2018 edition of Fashionclash.

Religion is having a fashion statement at the moment. We all got the cues last month at the Met Gala, and like the Met Gala, it can be an easy trend to adopt by adding a symbol of faith. Sometimes, its this superficial adorning that can make fashion a joke to the outside world as seen through thousands of memes. In many ways, religion is the taboo subject that we don’t want to discuss because the discussion has been going on since the beginning of humanity and has left us with nothing but grief. Is religion out of season because it can’t keep up with advancing societies?

Fashionclash raised many questions through installations, performances, lectures, discussions, and runway. We kicked things off in an inflatable pink church set in the city center. Mayor Anne Penn-te Strake gave the benediction dubbing Maastricht the “Bible Belt” for the weekend.

We seem to always focus on the differences rather than similarities. Like fashion, religion can be both constructing and emancipating. Dress can be both protest and an identity marker. Both fashion and religion are massive industries based around emotion. Like praying, stitching can be meditative.

The opening dance performance BEKHOMORENA by Zahra Hosseini set the tone for the weekend. While not all of the collections focused on the theme of “Fashion is my Religion”, what we did see was young designers sharing their talents and passion through their work. One thing I know, whether you want to be a preacher or a designer, you have to not be in it for the money and stick with your convictions because at times you will be judged.

We are at the bottom and somewhere there is light. We need a little faith at the moment. Here are some of the emerging designers whose emotion, passion and details caught our eye:

Alessandro Trincone

Carlijn Veurink

Mies Loogman

Emilie Thirion

Emilie Thirion

Enclothed Cognition

Enni Lähderinne

Filipe Augusto

Henk Jenz

HUNTING by Nora Ramakers and Timo Tembuyser

Jacqueline Loekito

LUX by Sally Dansgezelschap

Nathan Klein

Nathan Klein

Matteo Carlomusto

Matteo Carlomusto

Pu Tianqu


THE JOKER by Anthony van Gog