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Zyanya Keizer


Binhe is a Zapotec word meaning seed.  This project exposes the seed by delving into the vast and rich history that is deeply rooted in Mexican heritage.  It explores the complexities of navigating cultural appropriation within fashion.  We see how materials and techniques have been influenced and changed over time.  And how the input of craftsmen enriches the process with their knowledge and craft.  The project focuses on creating a Couture collection together with Dutch designers and various partners in Mexico.  The collection consists of 13 looks, each piece is made with a certain traditional technique and material, such as a dress, jacket and top made with palm fabric.  There are pieces made with Wixarika bead weaving, showing the intricate use of the craft with detailed patterns and color combinations.  This technique is also used in crochet beads to create three-dimensional flowers, leaves and birds.  Hammocks are transformed and interwoven with the body by using the material in a different context, creating long, flowing dresses.  Small black clay sculptures were used to create a jewelry-type top, pants, and shoes featuring birds, handmade beads, and hearts.  The collection consists of a suit and a shirt, embroidered with Tenango embroidery in shades of red, complemented by beads.  This embroidery style and technique is one of the most culturally appropriated ones from the Mexican culture.  As part of the design process, the team is looking at how these traditional methods and materials can inspire contemporary design without resorting to cultural appropriation.  The research goal is to develop a suitable design methodology in collaboration with craftsmen, who add enormous value to the design process.  It is about sharing the wealth of knowledge and culture together by working together, recognizing and compensating.

To see the whole collection visit Zyanya Keizer on Instagram.
Some of the outfits I have worked on and the proces of them.
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Rough sketch from the designer, existing of layered photo's taken of beads.


Belt made of woven beads, a craft from Mexico and the technique chosen for this dress.


Figuring out the best way to divide the body in strips of 5 cm wide.

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Digitalizing the pattern, adding a grid that correspondents with the weaving and bead size. Redrawing the dress sketch into a pattern filling design.

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This is what it looks like up close, every square is a bead.


Roughly fitting the size of the dress before continuing.

First try-out from Mexico!

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Front seams attached.

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Finished pattern.

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Side seams attached.


The finished strips from Mexico, assembling will be done in the Netherlands.

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Pattern cut up in strips, added instructions and ready to be woven in Mexico.

Idea for the skirt, vertical strings of beads.

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Headpiece, decorations and earrings.
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