Going beyond mere retrospective, the Museum of Modern Art Arnhem’s latest exhibition, The Mirror Has Two Faces, offers a look behind the creative curtain of designers Truus and Riet Spijkers. A reflection on ten years of fashion by the Dutch twins, the show takes an Alice in Wonderland-like approach to the process and products of this acclaimed design duo. The result is a multi-faceted portrait of the designers themselves as well as a meditation on fashion as both a projection and a reflection.
Graduates of the Art Academy (alongside Viktor & Rolf) and the Institute of the Arts in Dutch fashion capital Arnhem, the Spijkers sisters have a distinctly Northern European modernism in their aesthetic, but are uniquely intricate in their approach. Inspired by strong women of the early 20th century—from Picasso’s muse Dora Maar to poet Dorothy Parker to Hollywood rebel Louise Brooks—each Spijkers en Spijkers collection features tributes to feminine icons of independent thinking and the cultural backdrop from which they emerged. Using style elements that specifically refer to the Art Deco era, their designs often incorporate geometric shapes and patterns that subvert traditional female aesthetics and expectations. For ten years, these masterfully tailored designs have been sought out in fashion capitals like London, Milan, Tokyo and New York, but the duo has recently expanded to a broader consumer base with pret-a-porter line SIS.
Curated by stylists Maarten Spruyt and Tsur Reshef, The Mirror Has Two Faces captures the complicated process and vision behind Spijkers en Spijkers. With a decade-spanning overview of the label’s best designs as well as an incisive look at the minds and models of the designers themselves, this is a fashion exhibition that will appeal to fans of the brand as well as appreciators of the artistic process itself.
The exhibition is open through August 21.