Over Desire: On Vans x Van Gogh

Let’s start with an anecdote, shall we?
 Waiting in the queue has always been a real struggle for my friend, and with more than 2o people ahead of us, the situation was not one you’d look forward to. From deep sighs to aggressive scrolls down the gram feed, it seemed like the time was passing and the queue was doubling instead of moving forward. The sky was fairly clear – after all it was the beginning of summer – and you could see the few clouds reflected on the building’s windows like on a canvas. At the thought of it, I found myself smiling at the coincidence since we were in line to enter the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

And so I find myself, a year later, in a similar queue in London. Similar concept, but fairly different circumstances. Minus the friend and my own gram feed to stare at, the sky was again clear. However, the 20 people ahead of me were different: more starved from patience and wilted by heat, craving for exclusivity, more than quality, people were ready to storm in the Vans store and savor their piece of the new Van Gogh x Vans collection.

Art and fashion have always had a yin and yang connection – different and yet complementary – and so this collection is not really unexpected. What it is, however, is how we get lost in transition. Visiting a museum on a trip, it may seem as a one-time thing – since you don’t know whether you’ll be able to get back, and so you appreciate every step, every sound, every single souvenir at the gift shop. I can vouch for the fact that museums also have tees with your favorite painting printed on, so what changes when fashion brands take over? We have a hunger, and as we do eat that extra slice of pizza even if too full, we get sick. “The Sunflowers” will not seem as exclusive in a while, and we’ll have a hunger for some other artists soon.

And so as I find myself ready to buy a hoodie double as expensive as the one I thought was out of my budget at the museum a year ago, I realised I’d rather spend the same amount to buy a plane ticket to Amsterdam and experience the waiting, the overwhelming, the staring for hours, the painting in hallways, the reinforcing of a memory one more time, instead of trading it for two and a half seconds inserting my pin and pressing okay to buy a piece of clothing which will most certainly end up at the back of my closet in a couple of months.