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In De Maak

Bijenkorf bringing it back to basics!


This one is for our fellow Dutchies! In De Maak – Dutch for ‘In The Making’ – is a virtuous exhibition spread out over all seven Bijenkorf stores in The Netherlands, starting in Eindhoven and ending in Amsterdam. In collaboration with dress – and art – historian Inge Raadgever, the Bijenkorf has gone down memory lane to pinpoint its essence ever since the store was founded in 1870. In doing so, this exhibition is highlighting how revealing fashion can be about certain periods in time and marking it down for all to see. The project is an initiative from Room On The Roof, Bijenkorf’s own ‘Artist in Residence’ department. By bringing it back to that Bijenkorf essence, the project simultaneously promotes inclusivity, body positivity and sustainability. All vital topics every big (and small) player in the industry needs to consciously effect change within. 

Over the past year and a half, the chosen artists in residence have continuously been building their work in the stores’ windows, leaving a very realistic impression of how much time goes into the production of one single garment. So, next time you stroll past the Bijenkorf, look up from your phone and treat your eyes to their miraculous end results. Alongside the designers’ works (to mention only a few: a recreated corset from 1912 and more than a meter wide wedding dress), gracefully draped fabrics will also be exhibited – the very product which Bijenkorf started out with. The full exhibition is completely made up of 3D white toiles, since these make the most efficient canvas, providing space and room for perfecting and alterations throughout the work processes.

During the digital event, we got to know the participating designers and had the opportunity to indulge in the creative processes and explanations behind their works. The three ladies from Studio PMS have fused the old with the new by creating digital outfits using ancient techniques, for optimal sustainability! Marie Lamberechts has revived a crazy wide dress from the Rijksmuseum. The dress in question apparently used to be so wide that the woman couldn’t move around in it, resulting in her being trapped at her own wedding party! Elaborating on this idea, Lamberechts has translated this into the present with her version. Similarly, Tess van Zalinge has recreated the first corset that the Bijenkorf has ever sold (the antique one is from 1912!!), as seen in different perspectives that each hug and show off the female figure in their own way. And if all this doesn’t make you curious for more, Romy Yededia has sculptured a female torso that’s distorted by an invisible rope. Her use of the soft lines versus the harsh pedestal that the sculpture rests on creates a clear contrast that both marks and mocks the history of beauty ideals in relation to fashion. We love to see it!

We are thrilled to see how a pioneering business like Bijenkorf is taking a big step towards a better future. The exhibition takes off in Eindhoven on the 26th of March and travels all the way to Amsterdam until the 6th of June. However, you can already take a look at the fabulous fabrics that are being showcased in the windows next time you’re in town!

Check out here which location is closest to you!

Words by Brechtje Polman