Nina Dekker is a fashion designer who graduated in 2019 from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, with the collection ‘Brotherhood’. In the summer of 2018 she got the opportunity to live and work in London during her internship at Craig Green. As a designer she investigates the interplay between childhood and adulthood, trying to find the balance between surrealism, absurdism and fantasy at the one hand and the banality of everyday life at the other hand. Textile design plays an important role in her work, using techniques such as slash, patchwork, macrame, dyeing and line stitching.
For as long as I can remember I was fascinated by military. Through the years I have gathered a collection of historical military photographs from around the world, which became the starting point for this collection. The photographs show men in their authentic uniforms. There is a tension between the practical and the decorative in these uniforms, bringing a sense of surrealism and poetry to the pictures. The uniforms represent a certain power but there is a fragility in the way these men look directly into the camera. The constant threat of death results in the paradox of these boys to me. They are as vulnerable as they are resilient. It’s as if life and death coincide in these photographs. This constant threat of death and the ultimate dependence on each other for survival creates a brotherhood. Their backgrounds, personalities and values may differ, but within their group there’s a coherence that is more intensely felt and proves to be much stronger than any kind of civil friendship, though it might not last as long. It’s this idea of brotherhood that is central to my collection. In this modern world that is so full of chaos, danger and uncertainties I want to create a brotherhood.
This is translated in the collection by referencing vintage military garments, in oversized silhouettes. It is further expressed in the textiles, using techniques such as dyeing, macrame, patchwork, line stitching (both by machine and by hand) and slash. Slash is a textile technique that involves stitching multiple layers of textile on top of each other in diagonal lines and then cutting through the top layers. This creates a modern interpretation of camouflage. These innovative materials are complemented by recognizable workwear- and technical fabrics, such as nylons and recycled tents. The colors are in contrast to the known army uniform and they relate to the youthfulness I am aiming for. With this collection I would like to propose a new perspective on boyhood and traditional military garments.