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past project:Amsterdam, Platform21

No Reference - Christophe Coppens

Couture Accessories

No Reference of fashion designer Christophe Coppens was an installation in Platform21 that functioned as a temporary studio. Here, Coppens continued to work on his new collection consisting of 33 couture accessories, which were not yet finished. The making process could be followed for two months, during which Coppens worked during public opening hours for several days.

Last year, the Belgian Coppens was the first winner of the H+F Fashion Award presented to him by Han Nefkens. The award, a €20,000 cash prize, was given in order to realise a special project.
Coppens took the award as an opportunity to buy his freedom: to let go of all his usual sources of inspiration, to ignore what he and his colleague designers have created before and to forget what he is usually good at. He questioned his own work and went back to square one. Abandoning all baggage: No Reference.

The Couture Process Made Visible
Coppens already worked on his new accessories collection in his Brussels studio before taking it to Amsterdam. He finished it at Platform21, inside an installation that blended museum-style presentation and workshop, with accessories displayed as work in progress.

Visitors witnessed the last part of a process full of blood, sweat and tears. Those who are handy with needle and thread were even invited by Coppens to help on the days when he was present.

The creative process, normally kept strictly hidden from the outside world until the accessories are presented in Paris, was hereby made public. We looked over Coppens’s shoulder at the handicraft of couture – the term refers to the art of sewing – and the designer’s specialisation and concentration.

No Reference - Christophe Coppens took place from 21 November 2008 - 18 January 2009.

  • report

    No Reference now in book form

    Coppens: It was one big exercise

    33 Haute couture accessories coming into being, searching for their own form and style, might be the best description for the…

  • press

    No Reference in newspaper Volkskrant

    Click on the image and then click 'download' to read the article (in Dutch).

  • partner

    H+F Fashion Award

    The H+F Fashion Award is given every two years to the most promising designer working at the boundary of fashion and art.

  • closing party:Amsterdam, Platform21

    Book presentation and ‘finissage’

    Sunday 18 January, 16:00

    The book No Reference offers an intimate report of the exceptional making process of the ...

  • workshop:Amsterdam, Platform21

    Christophe Coppens sewing studio

    Watch the master at work

    We called on all seamstresses, perfectionists and people who have got the patience of a saint to ...