By HS Creative (and AMFI graduate) Valentina.
Last week, a couple of us from the team went to Amsterdam Fashion Institute’s graduation show at the majestic Zuiderkerk. One of the most remarkable collections on the line-up was ‘Oma Gertrude’ by young designer, Joseph William Raidt.
Nine years ago, Joseph’s grandmother Gertrude was diagnosed with Alzheimers. Not only did it shift her relationship to every person in her life, but also to every object. She used to be a seamstress in her younger days, and Joseph’s idea for the collection was sparked during a workshop they had together, constructing patterns completely according to her altered perception of what was right and wrong. This culminated in interesting compositions and silhouettes, as well as highlighting the duality behind the beauty and complexities of her unrestricted and intuitive self.
Originating from that notion, Joseph started imagining how she interacted with the objects in her home when nobody else was there. Objects that are obvious and simple for us to identify and use – such as a washing machine or a water jug – had suddenly become foreign to her. Joseph envisioned these perceptions as being wearable, picturing his grandmother dressing up in her lampshade, her towels and even her toilet. Through mixing avant garde-like foam sculptures covered in white leather with her flower-patterned underwear and tablecloths, his collection radiates a gentle yet confronting light on Alzheimers, while also paying homage to dear Oma Gertrude. We all left feeling emotional, empowered and inspired.