Who? Pepe Jo Kaul
What? Neo.Fashion.: Graduate Shows and Awards
Where? Berlin Fashion Week
Why designs by Pepe Jo Kaul matter?
It takes 3 minutes to prepare instant noodles. Even it takes more or less time, we get the mockery of Pepe Jo Kaul’s “Instant Fashion” collection to fast fashion. He feels that the elite of the fashion industry create clothing instead of fashion, using convenience as its method, and says, “instant is even faster than almost. Convenience food is a reflection of our generation, which has no more than 3 minutes to prepare a meal. This fast pace also affects the fashion industry. As time is short, the design process is compressed, which is why the creative elite create clothing instead of fashion.”
Thank you, Kaul, for your wisdom and sense of humor.
His composition is designed to purely to send a message, playful as it is, reminding us that fashion can be a parody shining the light on reality, communicating a point. His practice will focus on sustainable production processes that support an avant-garde design approach while minimizing the production of waste, but “fun and accessible” will be at the core of his creations with specific stories to tell. He says, “design topics that are close to my heart are gender non-conformism, sexuality and contemporary art and pop culture. Although I take design very seriously, I believe that fashion has to be fun and accessible. That’s why I always try to incorporate a sense of humor and playfulness into my work.”
“Instant Fashion” makes use of style elements from streetwear. The ensembles are a mix of oversized and body-hugging proportions, in bold colors, contrasting with the classic men’s suiting fabric, Prince of Wales check. Kaul describes this body of work as “an avant-garde examination of instant noodles”. “The idea was to create a quote about the archetypal instant noodle packaging that was as accurate as possible, yet abstract, so that the viewer is immediately reminded of the model, in the hope that he understands the criticism that lies in the name instant fashion.”
A “Look at EDGE”, a fashion library of the vanguard, curates a select few of Neo.Fashion.21 designers, like Pepe Jo Kaul, whose collections make socially relevant statements and offer storytelling through a fashion lens we don’t often see. His billboard-like message resoundingly makes fun of fast fashion, but if his work is seen as an exhibit, the seriousness of the industry’s conundrum would unfold, and his work would be looked upon as a catalyst for communicating art in this form, especially to the average consumer.
Feature Image: Pepe Jo Kaul, designer | Neo.Fashion.21, 6.9.2021, Graduate Show 2, HAW Hamburg, Alte Münze, Berlin | Photo by Julie Becquart, Illure Management for Neo.Fashion.