Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Modekern Institute for Fashion Heritage co-organised the one-day conference Re-Source: Fashion Heritage in the Digital Age on 20 June 2014. Het Nieuwe Instituut invited an international trio of experts to give the keynote speeches as part of its International Visitors' Programme. They were Marco Pecorari, a PhD student specialising in fashion ephemera at Stockholm University; Rita Airaghi, director of the Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré; and Nadia Magnenat Thalmann, director of the University of Geneva's MIRALab. On the day preceding the conference, they extensively discussed research questions with experts including Boris Debackere of V2, Aldje van Meer of the Willem de Kooning Academy’s CrossLab, Museum Rotterdam fashion curator Sjouk Hoitsma, the virtual fashion designer Jacob Kok and the clothing designer Jeroen van Tuyl. A visit to Het Nieuwe Instituut and its archive rounded out the programme.
About Marco Pecorari
Marco Pecorari, a PhD student at Stockholm University’s Centre for Fashion Studies, is researching the symbolic and cultural significance of fashion ephemera – catalogues, look books, and houses' and designers' invitations. Pecorari has observed that collectors, museums and researchers often concentrate their attention on clothing. Meanwhile, the related invitations, advertising materials and other ephemera are often overlooked, poorly preserved, and inaccessible to the public. Through his research, Percorari demonstrates that these media are inextricably linked to the garments: together, the two make up the designer’s concept. In recent years, Pecorari has conducted research in the archives of important Belgian designers at institutions such as MoMu in Antwerp.
About Rita Airaghi
After studying the humanities, Rita Airaghi taught at various educational institutions before agreeing to help her cousin Gianfranco Ferré set up a fashion business in 1970. The house of Gianfranco Ferré grew steadily, and Airaghi became head of communications and PR in 1978. After Ferré’s sudden death in 2007, Airaghi established the Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré, of which she serves as director. The foundation manages materials documenting Ferré’s activities and makes them available to the public in order to highlight the artistic and cultural quality of his work; it participates in exhibitions, seminars and workshops and produces publications. Airaghi frequently lectures at various academies and institutes. All these activities have their basis in an extensive database of Ferré’s work, which includes sketches, photographs from shows and campaigns, promotional materials, and writings.
About Nadia Magnenat Thalmann
Professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann has pioneered research into virtual humans over the last 30 years. She variously obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology, biology and biochemistry and earned a PhD in quantum physics from the University of Geneva in 1977. In 1989, she founded the MIRALab interdisciplinary research group at the University of Geneva. Virtual humans and social robots constitute her global research domain. With her PhD students, she has published more than 500 papers and books on the topic, with research themes such as 3D clothes, hair, bodily gestures, emotions modelling, and medical simulation. She has been invited to give more than 300 keynote lectures for various institutions and organisations, among them the World Economic Forum in Davos. She is editor-in-chief of The Visual Computer, co-editor of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds and associate editor of many other scholarly journals. She recently received Germany’s prestigious Humboldt Research Award, given to outstanding academics. Besides directing her MIRALab research group in Switzerland, she is currently a visiting professor and the director of the Institute for Media Innovation at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.