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Fashion as Encounters

Start Date 03 June 2022
End Date 10 July 2022
Venue State of Fashion Biennale
Location Arnhem, Netherlands
Curator NOT____ENOUGH Collective
Four mannequins stand in front of pasted posted, each saying 'Cholita Chic' and showing an illustration of either a smiling central American woman smiling, or a two-faced head.
A long label, printed on fabric, hangs from the ceiling. The title reads 'Santiago Utima, Siviwe James, Widi Asari & Riyadhus Shalihin - bodies that make, bodies that consume'
An extended tutu skirt is hung from the ceiling.

State of Fashion is a platform for showcasing alternatives to the current fashion system. We connect fashion, explicitly and honestly, with the societal questions and challenges of our time, such as inclusivity and fair practice, the impact of globalisation and the climate crisis. Our leading question is how fashion can contribute to a better world?

Within our activities we bring together visionary ideas from local and global points of view, and explore with our audience alternatives to the dominant industrial fashion system, which causes pollution and inequality around the world. Once every two years we organise a large public event: the State of Fashion Biennale, with on each edition a new team of curators who examine the current fashion issues in a totally unique way and involve the public.

The State of Fashion Biennale in 2022 was compiled by Fashion Open Studio – the initiative by the global activist NGO Fashion Revolution – in collaboration with the NOT____ ENOUGH Collective, consisting of three critical South American women who investigate the role of the oppressor and the oppressed in fashion. To select our curators for this edition, we held an Open Call for Curators, which attracted 118 applications from 31 countries. With the help of our international Creative Advisory Council, we selected not one curator but two curator teams to compile the programme together.


The two teams joined forces to develop a wide-ranging multi-voice programme aimed at both professionals and aficionados. Inspired by the original meaning of the word ‘curator’ – derived from the Latin cura, which means ‘care’ – the team behind this year’s biennale chose as its central theme Ways of Caring.

With the central theme Ways of Caring, this summer’s State of Fashion Biennale looked for ways to make the fashion industry more sustainable and caring. With 7 programme parts, over 5 weeks more than 70 designers, artists and makers from all over the world and the public worked on the broken relationship between the production of fashion and the wearer. State of Fashion 2022 comprised an exhibition, 85 activities at 5 locations in the centre of Arnhem, city of sustainable fashion. Every day the range of activities was different, interactive and created together by creators and visitors.

Photo 1. Cholita Chic; Guardiana de polleras, 2022.

Photo 2. Santiago Útima, Siviwe James, Widi Asari and Riyadhus Shalihin; bodies that make, bodies that consume, 2022.

Photo 3. Molly Vaughan; Project 42, 2012 – ongoing.