Femke de Vries


Bookdesign by Hans Gremmen and Corine van der Wal
(photo by Sanne van den Elzen)
Order the book here




NL: deel van een kledingstuk dat om de arm past
EN: part of a garment that fits around the arm (sleeve)

Dictionary Dressings Workshp 04 at NP3 with Minerva Art Academy students

Spread from the book

NL: bekleding van de hand
EN: covering of the hand (glove)



Dictionary Dressings exhibition at NP3 with works by Conny Groenewegen and Ruby Hoette
(photo by Elly de Vries)

Contribution by Rena Jansen, Workshop 01 participant



(photo by Sanne van den Elzen)



NL: bekleding van de hand
EN: covering of the hand (glove)

Spread from the book featuring research by Conny Groenewegen


Booklaunch at Onomatopee

NL: bekleedsel van hals
EN: covering of neck (collar)

A Conversation Piece, a contribution by Ruby Hoette

NL: langwerpige, om de hals gedragen doek
EN: elongated piece of cloth worn/carried around the neck.

Dictionary Dressings

This is an ongoing research project captured in book form designed by Hans Gremmen and Corine van der Wal.
Published by Onomatopee.
OMP 130


Dictionary Dressings is an ongoing research project that uses the nature of the dictionary definition as a "zero condition" of a piece of clothing to decode clothes and explore an alternative fashion vocabulary.

Dictionary definitions are constructed to be factual and rational and as a consequence the entries for items of clothing show no reference to the ephemeral or immaterial character of fashion. They describe the characteristics of the items, their use and their relation to the body but never mention fashion or style. Take the Dutch definition of a glove for example: "Handschoen: bekleding van de hand" (literally translated to English as Glove: covering of the hand).

This new perspective opens up an inclusive playfield in fashion where hybrid, fluid ways of reading, seeing, defining and making are facilitated. Overlapping and interlinking theory with practice, it pushes beyond trends and accepted social and design codes offering an approach that contributes to the broader cultural discourse of fashion.

Using an archive of images and text fragments as a starting point this publication brings together theoretical contributions that address the relationship between the vestimentary word and fashion by Barbara Brownie and Joke Robaard and practice-led approaches that investigate materiality, form and modes of use by BLESS, Conny Groenewegen, Elisa van Joolen, Ruby Hoette and participants of the Dictionary Dressings workshop.

With the generous support of the LeoXIII gastatelier, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie and Kunstraad Groningen.
Thank you Mamamini and Zijlstra Naaimachines.



- Exhibition at NP3 from February 17 until April 21, 2017
- Talk at AMFI, Amsterdam Fashion Institute
- Workshops at NP3
- Bookreview MetropolisM
- Workshop at KC Grad in collaboration with Conny Groenewegen, Belagrado, SE
- Workshop at HKU, University of the Arts Utrecht

- Presentation of workshop results (workshop 04), a collaboration with Minerva Art Academy students at NP3
- Talk by artist, researcher and photographer Joke Robaard at NP3

- Workshop 04 with students from Minerva Art Academy
- Talk at University of Hertfordshire. GB
- Workshop 03 at University of the Arts Utrecht 1st year students
- Workshop 02 at ArtEZ Fashion Masters
- Exhibition at Onomatopee 22 October till the 20th of december 2016
- Booklaunch: October 28th at Onomatopee with a talk by Joke Robaard
- Workshop 01 at University of the Arts Utrecht, 2nd year students













The Dutch definitions are taken from www.vandale.nl, accessed 26 mei, 2015. The English definitions are translated litterally from Dutch, disregarding proper English definitions.

NL een van de delen waaruit de kleding bestaat.
EN one of the parts clothing exists of (garment).

NL kleren.
EN clothes (clothing).

NL aan het lichaam gedragen voorwerpen met name van textiel.
EN objects, part. of textile, worn/carried on the body (clothes).

'dragen', the Dutch word for 'to wear', also means 'to carry' – as in holding something in ones hands















She was turning away from him again ; and as he was slipping upon the next rock and saving himself with outstretched arms, she puts her hands in her pockets, took another step, and hurled herself full length into the pool.

(MURDOCH, IRIS. (1963) The Unicorn. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, Ltd. p.194)

Adrian watched as Lister's right hand went slowly to his left side and brought out, from under the lapel of his powder-blue safari jacket, an automatic revolver.

(FRY, STEVEN. (1991) The Liar. Montgomery Village, USA: Arrow publications. p.341)

Dictionary Dressings Workshop 04 at NP3 with Minerva Art Academy students

(photo on the right by Sanne van den Elzen)

Talk by Joke Robaard at Dictionary Dressings opening at NP3
(photo by Elly Visser)




NL: broek die onder een andere broek gedragen wordt
EN: pants that are worn/carried under another pair of pants (underpants)


Exhibtion at Onomatopee



Dictionary Dressings exhibition at NP3, (posterwall design by Corine van der Wal)

Trui, a contribution by Conny Groenewegen. (photography by Sanne van den Elzen)


Exhibition at Onomatopee. Work: N°39: Towelnessecaire Elegant bathroom travel sponge-bag by BLESS



Talk by Joke Robaard at Dictionary Dressings opening at NP3
(photo by Elly Visser)

Exhibition at Onomatopee with work by Ruby Hoette, A Conversation Piece



NL: alleen buitenshuis gedragen kledingstuk
EN: piece of clothing only worn/carried outdoors (coat)

‘dragen’ the Dutch word for ‘to wear’, also means ‘to carry’ – as in holding something in ones

NL: Gebreid kledingstuk voor het bovenlichaam.
EN: knitted piece of clothing for/in front of the upper body (sweater)

‘voor’, the Dutch word for ‘for’, also means ‘in front of’