New Identities

Dirk Vaessen

Part of the MA Footwear Graduation Collection, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, 2022.

We are at the dawn of a global system, or maybe we are already there? A system where technology and nature work together in harmony but where standardisation and conformity prevail the human existence. Due to dematerialisation and advancement of technology, people no longer own physical products. The only thing we still own is our own body. Humans have become uniform by adapting characteristics prescribed by their environment which define their identity. This leads to a loss of self-awareness, to disorientation, and despair. What made us internalise these destructive narratives created by society.Brave Hendrik pioneers Social Reconfiguration by reshaping movement which modifies posture. Posture modification challenges the status quo by exploring the contrast and fragile balance between identification and self-expression. This implements, reinforces, and reconnects internal structure by replacing social structure.

This way Brave Hendrik’s restrictive footwear artefacts function as therapeutic tools that adjust human posture based on restrictions of joints. It is believed that by choosing the appropriate restriction, a person’s true self can be restored and uncovered from which a new form of physical and metaphysical identification can emerge. This tale addresses those who don’t fit in nor haven’t found a way out, for whom this reconfiguring movement came too late. It calls for those who reject conformity in favour of true autonomy. Uncover the true self. Oppose the standard!

Live imagined, not unimagined! Live as we are, what we are, that we are; Live your inner Brave Hendrik.

© Dirk Vaessen


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