Five boys, spread across the Dutch landscape, conducting a silent protest to demand change in the fashion industry. This is what we see in fashion designer Leonore Boeke’s film: ‘Lieve Mode’ (Dear Fashion). During her final semester at Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Boeke had to create her graduation collection from home due to Covid. This made her think in retrospect about her relationship with fashion: how it is today and what it once was.
Prior to her studies, Boeke looked up to fashion, admired it as the perfect medium to communicate stories with. However, during her studies, she discovered the dark flip side of the industry and found herself in a conflict of hate and love. This resulted in the creation of her first-ever fashion film: ‘Lieve Mode’. A love letter to fashion and everything she admired, but also one to say goodbye with.
For her fashion collection, Boeke took inspiration from destruction and reconstruction, which she translated into the act of vandalism and elements from the building site. “We, our society, the industry: it’s all under construction”, she says. The pandemic brought us all to the realisation that things have to change drastically. But in order for things to change, everything must burn down to the ground, after which we can start to rebuild again. By only using recycled materials, she transformed the debris of a previous era into something new.
But in order for things to change, everything must burn down to the ground, after which we can start to rebuild again
The decision for Boeke to make a fashion film for her graduation project started merely as an alternative for the graduation fashion show, that was cancelled because of Covid. However, by exploring the medium of film, she eventually realised her place within the industry. Boeke’s film came about through collaboration with other students (Nederlandse Film Academy, Willem de Kooning, HKU), shifting the focus from her as the centred individual, to the collective. ‘Lieve Mode’ is Boeke’s answer to not only a personal crisis but also a global one: only together we can build change.
Leonore Boeke is a 23-year old fashion designer living in Amsterdam, and an Amsterdam Fashion Institute graduate. She views fashion as a way to express what can’t be told any other way. Her work can therefore be characterised by a persistent element of storytelling, challenging paradigms and dominant culture. After her film-debut, Boeke will continue to express her counter-cultural and critical vision through both the medium of fashion and film.