People who are required to wear the same outfit for work or school often have a tendency to add something ‘different’, to personalise their appearance or to rebel. My graduation collection at the Utrecht School of Arts was based on that desire for personal elements in clothing regimes at institutions such as boarding schools and the army.
Many of the elements in that collection are easy to adapt. For example, variations can be made using the outfit itself: a jacket with the collar on or off, a skirt with or without a split, a handbag carried separately or attached to the clothes, a lot of folds or only a few, etc. Yet despite all these small personal differences, the regime’s uniformity always remains intact. Line up ten people wearing this outfit in a row and it will still look like a single regime.
The photographs were conceived as ‘mug shots’: the front and side views taken at police stations of criminals (holding a board with a number). This concept visibly reflects the regime while at the same time creating a sense of strictness.
© 1999 / Photographer: Edwin Molenaar / Model: Linda Grootegoed