As an extension of their travelling guerilla store concept, AKTION, which began in Antwerp in 2009 and has since moved to Knokke and Ghent, Belgium, A.F. Vandevorst has subsequently created a completely new and unique idea, The Smallest Travelling Store In The World (TSTSITW).
The purpose behind the AKTION project is not only to present the A.F. Vandevorst image which since it’s debut collection for the Autumn/Winter 1998 season has alluded to a fascination by the starkness of hospital furnishings, the respect commanded by uniforms, the chivalrous attitude and an ever-present equestrian aesthetic but also to reinforce the connection and inspiration that A.F. Vandevorst draws from the art world; further strengthening the complimentary dynamic that art and fashion share.
TSTSITW, a distilled version of AKTION, is meant to be a “shop-in-the-shop” installation bringing together visual elements alongside ideas that illustrate the concept behind the A.F. Vandevorst brand; thus being able to export the A.F. Vandevorst image on a smaller scale.
The installation allows the observer and customer alike to wander into the world of A.F. Vandevorst; the same as if entering into one of the AKTION traveling stores in Belgium. The space begins with a center: a hospital bed. Connected to the bed is a screen with a mirror, a rack of A.F. Vandevorst garments from the current seasons’ collection, a closet, antique dentists’ lamp, cabinet, as well as a television; all mirroring the image of a patients’ room at a hospital, which reinforces the brands’ interest that circles hospitals, hospital uniforms, and medical symbols.
This new travelling installation proves to be a common ground where both fashion and art interact, creating an experience for both viewer and customer while allowing A.F. Vandevorst to continue to show their designs in a unique and special atmosphere which invokes the spirit of the brand.
After debuting the concept in September 2010 at Dover Street Market in London, the installation has since been set-up in the Netherlands to exhibit at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven in October 2010, followed by Jones in the Netherlands in conjunction with Arnhem Mode Biennale in June 2011 and Selfridges in London in October 2011. The installation now moves transatlantic to make its’ U.S. debut in New York City at Patron of the New on February 6, two days before New York Fashion Week begins and will be open to the public until February 23 when it breaks down to travel onto the next leg of its’ U.S. tour.