BuroBELÉN / 18-11-81 with Indigo Jacket
National Museum of World Cultures Foundation / Inuit coat, Collection Number RH-1070-62
Designers Brecht Duijf and Lenneke Langenhuijsen describe themselves as 'materializers'. BuroBELÉN is the driving force behind the label 18-11-81, which takes a fundamentally different approach to clothing than today's fashion industry. 18-11-81 concentrates on the timeless qualities of materials and approaches clothing from the ancient need to protect and cover the body.
For their contribution to the exhibition Dressed by Architects, they drew inspiration from an Inuit coat from East Greenland, made from seal intestines, which is on loan from the National Museum of World Cultures Foundation. In this piece of clothing, the designers recognized several qualities that are also important in their own work: sustainability, intelligent use of material properties, and the aesthetic quality of the unusual material.
In the design of the Indigo Jacket 18-11-81 used similar principles. In the choice of an indigo colouring, they refer to the clothing of the Miao people in the southern border areas of China. By colouring the fabric multiple times and treating it with a hammer in between, the fabric is virtually waterproof and windproof. This process also gives the fabric an almost futuristic gloss. Like the Inuit coat, the Indigo Jacket is made up of long, narrow strips. No fabric is discarded. The width of the fabric determines the size of the garment. The high collar highlights its function as a windbreaker.