In 2012, I stumbled upon the first modular collection I had ever seen and I was fascinated by it. I did a bit of research on the designer and the project to find out little was known about it, so I decided that I would reach out and see if she would be open if I wrote about her Veil and Reveal project on my then blog BEAU MONDE. So a few emails later, and there I was talking to Brit Van Nerven (VanBrit) who was across the world wondering how in the hell I found her, and her project, and she seemed just as fascinated with me as I was with her!. So what follows is an edited form of the original editorial. Why am I revisiting? Because six years later and the collection is still just as relevant, fashionable, and interesting. Timeless art that both represents and reflects the moment in time that it is being created and withstands time - ESPECIALLY in the fickle fashion world is respectable, noteworthy, and fascinating. It’s crazy to think that at the time she was just graduating college- and so was I for that matter!! Fast forward to today and you’ll find her in a new creative world: industrial design…. But we’ll circle back to that at the end. For now, meet Miss Brit Van Nerven.
VEIL AND REVEAL. Dutch designer Brit Van Nerven’s graduate project from Design Academy Eindhoven,“Veil and Reveal,” explores the role of veiling and revealing different body parts in women’s dress. In a modular collection of loose pieces, crafted from an array of different black fabrics, Brit Van Nerven, aka vanBrit, juxtaposes the exposed with the hidden. Each of her angular, black garments has a different cut-out revealing the naked skin beneath in a stark, raw contrast.
The collection follows months of extensive research conducted in the Netherlands by the designer, herself, where she discovered that each woman interviewed follows a set of individual rules that mixes social and intimate norms with the desire to express more or less conscious messages. Women alter their vocabulary of do’s and don'ts according to both written and unwritten rules. The written rules like religion, cultural costume, and subcultural dress codes are balanced with the unwritten rules created by each woman’s self-image and individual desire to manifest themselves to the outside world.
van Brit’s collection is not only avant-garde and beautiful, but useful. In this modern world, revealing skin in our every day dress is an art. While showing too much skin can seem a little desperate, showing too little can seem rather conservative and boring. VanBrit’s modular collection provides a simple-yet-classy solution: highlight/emphasize one feature, and minimize/downplay the rest. Revealing one body part and comfortably covering the other parts, translates into an outfit that has a clear focal point, and singular message.