How Artisan Challenge Contender, Ruttloff-Garments Ended Up In A Museum With A Pair of Jeans
Wandering around in museums is always a very zen moment for most of us, at least for me it is. I always enjoy the calm serenity that can be found amongst people in museums and the objects on display, especially when you consider we live in a very vibrant, mass-communication society nowadays.
I make weekly trips to museums, and I’m always very fond of seeing exhibitions that focus on older (or extinct) civilisations, as you’ll always find some exciting textile cloth. With the use of indigo throughout the centuries in all sorts of fabrics, it’s always very amazing to see which functional fabric they used to make.
But those were the old days; when museums primarily collect decade and centuries-old objects and artefacts. And that makes it even more interesting to hear about Artisan Challenge contender Johann Ruttloff and his AC jeans ending up in a museum present-day!
Ruttloff’s Artisan Challenge Vision
When the AC kicked off, we had a chat with Johann Ruttloff to get to know him and discover what his angle was for the AC.
I believe this challenge and its exposure will create even more awareness amongst people, a platform to share experience between artisans.”
Johann’s creation for the AC was a so-called ‘Katagami-jeans,’ referring to the Katagami printing on the pocket bags and yoke lining.
With a preference to create clean-look jeans, Johann considers the inside of the garment as his ultimate playground.
‘Denim Art’ At A Museum
With the announcement of the Artisan Challenge, Johann quickly got discovered by the Deutsche Hygiene Museum Dresden (DHMD). He was asked to become a part of an exhibition about the fashion industry.
Once they discovered my work and learnt about my passion and love for working with denim, they became interested in creating an additional room within the exhibition, the so-called Alternative Room.
The purpose of the display was to show the new wave of German makers who are all focused on long-lasting quality clothing. I’m very proud the Katagami-jeans became a part of it, and that I was able to show the inner values of the denim industry and their function.”
Despite the exhibition being closed now, Johann still benefits from the positive vibe it gave to the visitors of the museum.
With the DHMD setting up the Alternative Room, Johann (and other like-minded designers) got a chance to create an atmosphere in which the dialogue between visitors and designers became crucial to understand the future, and learning more about the effects of consuming fast-fashion.
The public reacted very positively to the expo. It showcased the dark side of fashion production and the textile production, alongside the alternatives that are becoming more and more available these days. The way fashion is consumed and how it can be consumed was very shocking to most visitors.
By having the ability to start a dialogue between the visitors and myself, I was able to show them a bit of how I make my jeans and help them understand the value of my craftsmanship. This also resulted in many new customers, most of them looking for a new way to get solid jeans that last long. I believe in giving respect to be given to the garment, and with more and more people understanding this vision, the future will look good!”