CultureEventsWhat's New

Chaotic Skateshow: Groningen’s Skatepark turned Fashion Runway

On March 5, instead of skaters carving out the place, models catwalk around the ramps and rims of Colosseum Skatepark in Groningen. In an event titled Chaotic Skateshow, skaters, designers, and musicians came together to create an atmosphere all its own – and certainly a chaotic one at that.

Skateboarding has long had an impact on arts and culture. What started out as people showing they could have infinite fun on a piece of wood with some wheels attached, became a movement of rebellion. Skaters demonstrated to the people that public space should be used for them to make what they want. Who is to say that you can’t jump down some stairs and slide over benches? So what if you get hurt? It’s your choice. People are going to get hurt anyways, at least this way you have some fun. 

It peaked in popularity in the early 2000s, with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk getting his own video game series, skate videos taking over TV slots, and Avril Lavigne singing “Sk8er Boi” – before new waves of alternative movements shifted many people’s attention away. Yet even after, skate culture never died, and those who were truly there for the thrill of it stayed loyal.

While skateboarding reigned, fashion changed. The fashion world often acts as a cultural thermometer – taking in the measurements of what the broader public regards as hot or not. Designers react to this, creating outfits that communicate what people want to say about themselves without even opening their mouths. 

The cheap baggy clothes and ripped jeans of rinks were suddenly to be found on stages and magazine pages going way past their original value. Slowly, it transformed into indie sleaze – with outfits become less about being worn down and more about just not giving a fuck about  –“rules”- and having fun, echoing the mentality of skaters, but removing itself from skateparks and the practicalities of casual wear. 

Chaotic Skateshow comes at a time when the cultural zeitgeist has returned its attention to indie sleaze and has found it entangled with its predecessor of skate-fashion. 

The whole thing started out as a college project by 3 young MBO students from Noorderpoort Kunst & Multimedia – Yvon Munnik (@yvon.mnnk), Vosse Smit (@_vosse.x _), and Senna Cinar (@sennanevriye).

Ena (@lihovena) enjoys a well-deserved beer after slaying the catwalk in the fit she designed and created

The fashion show featured clothing that reflected themes of DIY and willful defiance of the glossed posh outfits connected with order and the upper class. Upcycled clothes were painted and re-stitched. Many outfits were comprised of jeans-on-jeans, reminiscent of a certain Timberlake and Britney outfit that sent waves in the Y2K era. Pant legs were all wide, absolutely no skinny jeans to be found. 

As models walked around, they threw off articles, only to reveal more layers of carefully chosen and woven fabrics and accessories. Girls on roller skates glided in and out of the paths of the models. One model had “something with needle and thread” painted on the back of his jean jacket; he stopped to cartwheel in front of a hollering crowd.

After the fashion show, skaters came out to reclaim their rink. Meanwhile, attendees divided themselves between the bar, smoking outside, playing pinball, or just staying to watch the tangle of skateboards and people carrying drum kits and microphones.

Eventually trapper Jintra took the stage. The crowd bopped in their beanies and chains as the microphone was passed down different musical acts before ending with local metal band Disdain. A mosh pit ensued with girls and guys falling in complete disarray as they tripped over ledges. 

Overall, the event was fun, chaotic, and left people smiling at something totally rad hitting Groningen.

P.S. I dedicate this to Uisca. If not for him giving up his bike and his chance to see the event, I would have never been able to write this article.