T-shirt for Kiki NiestenMaastricht 2013
Quotes which touch you
Kiki Niesten Maastricht is an established name in the world of fashion. The collection is characterized by international top brands as Prada, Gucci, Lanvin, Alaïa, Balenciaga and Dries van Noten and is always on the cutting edge of trends. It's a tradition for the proprietary label 'K IK I' to have T-shirts designed once a year by a well-known designer. This turns a simple basic piece into a genuine collector's item. The collection has seen designs by Studio Job, Spijkers & Spijkers, Piet Paris, and Alexander van Slobbe - and now it's Maurice Mentjens's turn.
taking a page from the designer's book
The interiors and interior objects designed by Maurice Mentjens could rightly be described as theatrical. His concepts are known for their deep contextual layers. Maurice Mentjens sees interiors as a three-dimensional storyline, rich in associations and hidden messages. He is often inspired by the viewpoints of artists, philosophers, and writers. For more than twenty years he's been collecting quotes which touch him in some way and recording them in a notebook. Maurice Mentjens has selected some of these quotes and is now publishing his personal sources of inspiration on the most widely-worn 'billboard' of all time: the T-shirt.
art, philosophy, crisis
The quotes he's chosen to print on the shirts can be organized into three themes: art, philosophy, and crisis. On the T-shirt with the 'art' theme, rings of text playfully float over the background like dreamy soap bubbles. On the 'philosophy' T-shirt, on the other hand, the quotes are carefully organized in evenly spaced lines like text on a page. The 'crisis' T-shirt features a chaotic jumble of lines of text. The pattern resembles lashes from a whip on skin, symbolizing a traumatized community.
external meets internal
Together, the three designs display more than one hundred quotes - surprising quotes, critical quotes, and quotes offering a sense of perspective. They reflect Maurice Mentjens's design process, in which nothing is taken for granted and clichés are just the starting point of the search for the unknown. The often confrontational quotes are deliberately printed in a small typeface, in basic shades of black, white, and grey. What one person may see as merely a pattern, another may see as wearable food for the soul. “All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, until they take root in our personal experience” (Goethe). The T-shirts allow the superficial exterior layer of the body to gradually make contact with the private interior of the mind.