In ‘The Mirror has Two Faces’ the Museum of Modern Art Arnhem presents an Alice-in-Wonderland-like exhibition about the fashion designers Truus and Riet Spijkers. Not only does the exhibition reflect all the collections that the duo have designed over the past ten years, but it also offers a look into what fashionistas don’t get to see on a daily basis: a peek behind the scenes and into the heads of the designers, a journey through their ideas, thoughts, role models, and sources of inspiration. The spotlight is on the many faces of this international fashion duo and the various facets that accompany the processes of inspiration, creation, and presentation. This look behind the scenes is stylish and surprising. Stylists and exhibition designers Maarten Spruyt and Tsur Reshef have made the exhibition a fascinating experience.
Truus and Riet Spijkers grew up in Hardenberg (1970) and live and work in Arnhem, the fashion capital of the Netherlands. Immediately after finishing the master’s program at the Fashion Institute Arnhem, they started producing and selling exclusive designer clothes under the label Spijkers en Spijkers in cities such as Amsterdam, London, Milan, Tokyo, and New York.
Recently they have launched a new prêt-à-porter line, SIS, designed for a broader consumer base. Twice each year Spijkers en Spijkers introduces a new collection. Strong women as muses Themes that run through all Spijkers en Spijkers collections are the influences of their muses and the times in which these women lived.
Strong, exceptional, and distinctive women from art, literature, film, and design are sources of inspiration for the twins’ designs. Scarlet O’Hara, the heroine of the book (and film) Gone with the Wind, is one source of inspiration, but so are Dora Maar, Picasso’s lover, and the American writer and poet Dorothy Parker, to name just a few.
The collections reveal the essence of these inspiring women through Truus and Riet’s eyes. Typically, these women or girls lived (or came to life in books, paintings, or films) in the early twentieth century. The twins are fascinated by the Art Deco era and the political, social, and cultural changes that took place at that time and have paved the way for who we are today: modern, self-aware women with our own opinions and style.
Every Spijkers en Spijkers collection, from 2000 to the present, features style elements that refer to that earlier era, characterized by geometric shapes and bold patterns. With tailoring that is seen as not typically feminine, the duo make a powerful statement against stereotypical views of femininity, and, at the same time, achieve an elegant, powerful form of self-expression.
The exhibition is a colourful journey in which the visitor is immersed in an experience full of surprises that offers a new view of the phenomenon of fashion. Maarten Spruyt and Tsur Reshef, stylists and exhibition designers known for their work on the exhibitions ‘RED’ in the Tropenmuseum and ‘Marlies Dekkers’ in the Kunsthal, are a guarantee that this show will be an exciting visual spectacle.
Short biographical timeline
Completed final exams in design at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem (currently ArtEZ).
Robijn Fashion Award
Completed master’s program at the Fashion Institute Arnhem,
presented first collection ‘Girlfriend’ in Paris,
launched their own fashion line Spijkers en Spijkers
Marie Claire Prix de la Mode 2010: best national fashion designers,
launched second line SiS,
created an eyewear collection for Specsavers.
Retrospective exhibition at the Museum for Modern Art Arnhem.
Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Utrechtseweg 87, Arnhem, The Netherlands. Tel.+31( 0)26 3775300. http://www.mmkarnhem.nl/.
Open: Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed: 25 December, 1 January, 30 April. Under 18 admitted free.