As fashion exhibitions at museums and galleries become increasingly popular around the world, new ideas in curation are emerging to challenge what a fashion exhibition can offer to the increasingly informed museum visitor. Here are three videos on new ideas in fashion curation that Worn Through would like to highlight for their innovation and unique perspectives. Have you been to any exhibitions recently that engaged or surprised you with their originality? We welcome your comments below.
1. SHOWstudio: 1914 Now
A series of conceptual videos and accompanying essays by imminent curators, designers, filmmakers and historians, 1914 Now offers four different perspectives on a single year in history, one hundred years after the fact. Commissioned for SHOWstudio by Alison Moloney, curator of the international exhibitions program at the London College of Fashion, the project includes the interpretations by Amy de la Haye, Judith Clark, Walter van Beirendonck and Kaat Debo. The video above is Judith Clark’s manifesto for a fashion exhibition, in response to Giacomo Balla’s Il Vestito Antineutrale Manifesto (The Manifesto of Antineutral Dress) of 1914. The rest of the videos and their accompanying essays can be found at SHOWstudio.com.
2. Behind the Seams: Conservation and Fashion Assessment
This short video introduces the Mint Museum Randolph’s current fashion assessment and conservation project. Visitors to the museum’s fashion galleries will witness the de-installation of the previous exhibition along with the photography, assessment and conservation of some of the museum’s vast costume collection, with museum experts occasionally on hand to answer questions. Unlike traditional museum conservation projects, which are often conducted behind the scenes in store rooms and laboratories, Behind the Seams aims to provide ‘an insider’s experience’ of these museum practices.
3. Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting
Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting is an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada that ‘invites visitors to think critically about the relationship between function and fashion in our daily lives.’ The exhibition showcases Canadian designer Izzy Camilleri’s IZ Adaptive line of clothing designed for men and women who use wheelchairs, alongside 18th and 19th century garments also designed for a seated frame. This video features curator Alexandra Palmer and designer Izzy Camilleri discussing the inspiration for and motivation behind the exhibition, which brings focus to a practical side of fashion design that is rarely given attention.