Chet Julius Bugter: re-thinking the influence of fashion on our bodies
"During my time at MA Fashion Strategy, I found the words and phrases I needed in order to describe how I want to work within fashion, and developed a concrete critical fashion practice geared towards researching the value and position of the body within fashion. Very importantly, I learned how to build a practice that is very critical of the system of fashion, without severing all ties with said system. I benefited a lot from the course’s focus on the immaterial aspects of fashion: this strengthened my research into the underlying codes that make up our approach to fashion."
"In Bodies Making Meaning, my ongoing practice and research project, I work towards opening up the fashion system towards the many possibilities that our bodies have to offer. Using embodied research methods, and a wide array of media such as performance, video, photography and writing, I strive towards creating a more inclusive and diverse approach to fashion, that allows for our bodies to create meaning of their own."
"My motto as a practitioner connected to this course is that research is everything and everything is research. With the students, I work on the development of congruent (research) practices, that are focused on intrinsic values and often very personal starting points. By trying to work without hierarchies, and from a relationship built on equality, my aim is to circumvent the capitalist structures that are still so inherent to fashion and subsequently fashion education. I try to show students how a practice that is based on their own lived experiences can hold a huge amount of power. Using embodied and auto-ethnographic methods, I aim to challenge the students to re-think the position of their own body within fashion, and subsequently create new embodied ways of relating to fashion."
My most important message to students is that in order to thoroughly analyse and critique fashion, it is of the greatest importance to be aware of the influence fashion has on our bodies: re-thinking this influence can lead to radical perspectives on fashion’s system, and how we wish to interact with it in the future.
Want to discover more of Chets work? Listen to the Podcast Loose Fit - about diversity in fashion about inclusivity, diversity and a more embodied way of fashion, recorded during the two-day conference Fashion Colloquium, Searching for the New Luxury (31 May – 1 June 2018) in Arnhem. Or check Chets Instagram account 'Bodies Making Meaning'.