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An intention to do something in sports stemmed from her studies in Psychology –which she realised wasn’t for her– before that evolved into the desire to flip to the other end of the spectrum and pursue Fashion Design. Marianne Pap enrolled on a course that introduced her to different kinds of artistic practises, something she’d do on Saturday’s in-between working. She landed a place at the Fashion Academy in Arnhem despite the fact that she’d never used a sewing machine and hadn’t drawn since she was 12 – making her graduate collection all the more curious.

I asked the designer what three words she would use to describe her collection and they were perhaps three words that bear more relevance now in fashion than they have in a long time. The first was “organic”, intended in terms of raw, fluid and natural design but also providing connotations of environmental awareness and an ethical responsibility. The second was “sport”; one of her pivotal interests, even titling her graduate collection No Excuse, explaining that it’s intended as “no excuse” not to work out and “no excuse” not to look good while doing so.

Everyday sports materials are given sleeve and shoulder structure that seems inspired by something J.W. Anderson would magic up, moving with and around the shape of the body, as would be required to enhance athletic performance. Sports bandages serve a function of protection and support but they look like some kind of Margiela-esque statement accessory in their particular placement – leading swiftly on to the third word choice of “couture”. Athleisure and sportswear have transcended your local gym and the streets but in order to give it relevance and exclusivity, brands need to find a way to make it desirable both design and quality-wise. From Chanel’s sparkled trainers to Givenchy’s graphic t-shirts – the most highly regarded of couture institutions have spearheaded garments that would simply fall apart if you so much as attempted a light jog, leaving a trail of sequins in your path.

Photographer Peggy Kuiper used Pap’s graduate collection in her latest photoseries, telling the story of a woman who’s a perfectionist. “She is really focused on working out, cleaning, eating, staying fit and personal hygiene,” the designer told us. With every photo a time frame out of her day, we’re allowed to peer into the life of a woman who doesn’t make excuses.


Photography & concept
Design & styling

Ailidh Maclean
Peggy Kuiper (Cake Film & Photography)
Marianne Pap
Set design
Hair & make up
Lotte (Ulla models)
I O I A 
Dennis Micheal

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