Blue Jeans

Two exhibitions on Denim, the everlasting blue fabric, both include shoes and can be found in Utrecht, the Netherlands. At the Centraal Museum, an exhibition called ‘350 years of Blue Jeans’ runs from November 24th till March 2013.
Around the same time (ending January 6th) the DepARTmentSTORE by Gumbs will show and sell works by artists and designers in an ‘Underground Store for Art & Design’.

350 years of Blue Jeans at the Centraal Museum
An iconic street symbol that can be found in almost every wardrobe blue jeans. Worn for more than 150 years, the garment holds an even more longstanding tradition. In spite of this it has repeatedly proven to be modern and innovative. The Centraal Museum presents the first large-scale exhibition in the Netherlands on this unique material. Through a series of themes, the exhibition shows new work by renowned artists combined with national and international loan pieces – showcasing both craftsmanship and innovative technology. The exhibition includes the traditional 19th century Levi’s for miners, Jurgen Bey’s window installation commissioned by Levi’s RED and Dutch design label Droog, as well as designs by Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Martin Margiela and Marithé + François Girbaud and Yves Saint Laurent.

As Yves Saint Laurent often repeated: ‘I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes’.

Blue jeans from 17th century to present day. The exhibition is divided into a number of themes showing the experimental and creative side of jeans: from their origin as work wear in the 17th century, to high fashion in the 20th century, to modern-day jeans – including internationally renowned Dutch labels such as G-Star. Special attention is reserved for national and international subcultures, in which the jeans is a product for the masses that expresses uniformity, but at the same time can be a most personal garment that reflects individuality. The exhibition also looks at the DNA of jeans: the materials, buttons, labels and their typical indigo blue colour. The highly polluting production process and current innovative sustainable alternatives, such as ‘zero water waste’ and ‘ozone’ treatments, are also part of the exhibition.

Denim at the DepARTmentSTORE by Gumbs
DepARTmentSTORE provides a space for artists and designers to present and sell their work. An underground store for art and design. DepARTmentSTORE 5 by Gumbs simultaneously in time and space with the Blue Jeans exhibition and workshops in the Centraal Museum. To take advantage of this unique opportunity a number of participating artists were asked to make designs from Denim fabric and there will also be unique Denim items for sale.

On show will be works by Anne Meyer, Barbara Broekman, Reinoud van Vught, Made by Rens, Marek Effmert, PL3 Designs, Bernard Heesen and many others. And finally the 1.5 meter Converse All Stars, made ​​from the wood of old basketball courts, by Diederick Kraaijeveld. In addition to these art objects Liesel Swart designed, together with her students, Denim shoes. Liesel teaches shoe technology and design and is connected to the Dutch HealthTec Academy.

A hand crafted shoe made from vintage jeans by Liesel Swart, 2012.

A pair of corset shoes from the series Jeans by Lola Pagola, 1991
Donated to the Centraal Museum Utrecht in 1998.

Centraal Museum
24th of November 2012 till 10th of March 2013
Nicolaaskerkhof 10, Utrecht

DepARTmentSTORE 5 by Gumbs with Galerie Zand
25th of November 2012 till 6th of January 2013
CM Studio, opposite the Centraal Museum