Emanuela Potorti 14 November, 2017
NEW YORK'S MOMA ‘ITEMS: IS FASHION MODERN?’ EMBRACES NEW DESIGNERS
Tags FASHION, TECHNOLOGY, MOMA, WGSN, MUSEUM, EXHIBITION, MODERN, ART, ITEMS, NEW YORK, SUSTAINABILITY, INNOVATION, EMERGING DESIGNERS, EMERGING TALENT, SUSTAINABLE DESIGNERS, TE, ASH, DESIGNERS, DESIGNER
From ‘Savage Beauty’ to ‘Christian Dior Couturier du Reve’, fashion exhibitions attract extensive media attention and record crowds. While these shows are typically curated around established houses, MoMA’s new exhibition “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” looks into typologies of fashion with contemporary renditions from emerging designers. It focuses on the importance of each garment and accessory over the last century; the meaning it holds in society; how it shaped fashion history; and what it could become in the future.
MoMa’s senior curator of Architecture and Design, Paola Antonelli, always believed that, “you cannot tell a complete history of architecture and design without including garments and fashion”. For the Italian curator, this exhibition has been a work in progress for nearly twenty-three years. That’s because, with the exception of a few pieces, fashion is the only creative discipline not included in the museum’s permanent collection.
The display covers 111 items ranging from the familiar white t-shirt to Coco Chanel’s iconic Little Black Dress. Antonelli invited rising designers among other disciplines to rethink some of these “indispensable items” with pioneering materials, approaches and design revisions.The result is an interesting pairing of fashion’s quintessential pieces with their modern interpreters.
Parsons graduate Lucy Jones, who designs for differently abled persons, was asked to create a pair of seated pantyhose for the event. Her collections are designed to be comfortable and inclusive of all bodies by addressing issues of fit and function specific to wheelchair users. Since winning the Parsons Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2015 for her seated designs, she has gained extensive press coverage and support.
Japanese designers Verbal and Yoon from Ambush produced a deconstructed version of the Cartier "Love" bracelet with real screws - a timeless from the 1970’s. Ambush's own extravagant jewelry line has a substantial celebrity following and the label has collaborated with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Colette.
I am Chen was commissioned the pencil skirt. She produced a bold coloured and seamless knitted version. She often considers herself a technician rather than a designer. Chen creates her collections by coding computer programs for machines that produce densely knitted fabrics with wide stretch capabilities, which she uses to build on her designs.
Richard Malone was asked to rethink the classic 70’s jumpsuit, bringing a new modern geometrical form. He sees the jumpsuit as a kind of uniform, a unisex garment with a modern and contemporary feel. The abstract twisted shapes of his jumpsuit are completely machine washable, and graphic effects are done using leftover acrylic yarns.
Mary Ping made modern the Hermès Birkin bag with a new slow and steady philosophy. She is best known for her label, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, founded in 2001. Her bi-annual collections sell in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, offering limited edition pieces at affordable prices while maintaining high-quality sartorial wit.
The 1990’s Levis Chino Dockers were reimagined by the Sartists, fashion’s self-proclaimed storytellers from South Africa. They created Khaki Chinos inspired by South African culture and Urban Zulu traditions. The multidisciplinary creative collective does it all - they design, style, shoot campaigns, and customise clothing. Their ready-to-wear line ‘Wanda Lephoto’ is inspired by modern subcultures infused with traditional symbolism and experiences.
Next to Paul Poiret’s 1930’s Harem Pant, stands Miguel Mesa Posada's revised version, using Haute Couture devoré techniques. The Colombian designer is often inspired by pre-hispanic cultures that inform his textile manipulations, complex silhouettes and oversized proportions of his garments.
Liz Ciokajlo, in collaboration with architect Maurizio Montalti, were commissioned the Moon Boot - a 1970's example from Tecnica’s archive. The new product is a shoe that grows itself from walking, made from mycelium - a mushroom-like fungus. It is a discovery into the way the human body can be used to source natural materials for fashion products. Liz Ciokajlo is a conceptual footwear designer who uses natural elements and technologies to alter footwear construction with 3D printed forms. She graduated from London College of Fashion with a Masters of Fashion Footwear in early 2013, and since then has won several awards including The DATO Jimmy Choo Cordwainers Award.
Pyer Moss was asked to rethink the Space Age Collection by Pierre Cardin. His take on the shift dress is made from waterproof and recycled fabrics adaptable to hostile climate environments. This fashion prodigy started working in the industry when he was only fourteen years old. He worked closely with Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig at Marchesa, focusing mainly on creating womenswear early in his career. Now, he designs menswear lines using high-end materials, unique pattern making, and modern tailoring to create functional luxury sportswear. Pyer Moss was a finalist in the debut DHL Exported Prize presented by IMG Worldwide, and was named on Forbe's '30 Under 30' list in 2015.
MoMa’s second-ever fashion display is not only an exploration of garments and their significance in design history, but also an insight into some of fashion’s most innovative young designers. It’s a podium for this new generation of creators, to tease the near future of fashion with cutting-edge technologies and sustainable solutions and forms.
Designers who have wholesale showrooms currently open-to-ORDRE:
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ORDRE is an online wholesale showroom for the luxury fashion industry that allows wholesale orders to be placed and managed through sophisticated yet easy to use technology.