April fashion exhibitions

This April, London’s V&A museum is set to open an exhibition that explores how fashion has relied on nature as a source of visual reference but also how fashion can be used as a tool to create a more sustainable future. Meanwhile, Margiela, les années Hermès, that was originally on display at Antwerp’s MoMu, will travel over to Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film is hosting a retrospective of Pierre Cardin’s futuristic fashion work. 


 

Ensemble, Stella McCartney, Winter 2017. Source: Stella McCartney

Fashioned from Nature at V&A (London)
until January 27, 2019

A pineapple fibre clutch-bag, Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles and a cape of cockerel feathers are amongst the 300 beautiful, intriguing and unsettling objects from the V&A’s next major fashion exhibition.

Fashioned from Nature will trace the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world since 1600. It will show how fashionable dress recurringly draws on the beauty and power of nature for inspiration, with exquisite garments and accessories from Christian Dior, Dries van Noten and Philip Treacy. It will explore how fashion’s processes and constant demand for raw materials damage the environment, featuring campaigners and protest groups that have effectively highlighted this issue such as Fashion Revolution and Vivienne Westwood. It will also look at the role of design in creating a better, more sustainable fashion industry.

The exhibition will showcase contemporary designers of desirable, creative and sustainable popular fashion. Menswear and womenswear from Stella McCartney, known for a commitment to and success in developing new alternative sustainable materials, will be displayed alongside an upcycled dress by Christopher Raeburn. At the 2016 Met Gala, actor Emma Watson wore a Calvin Klein look made from recycled plastic bottles. With separate parts, it was intended to be re-worn in different ways. The look was created as part of the ‘Green Carpet Challenge’ with Eco-Age, an initiative to pair sustainability with glamour. It will be shown with a floral dress from Erdem’s Green Carpet Challenge collection.

Fashioned from Nature will draw attention to the use of innovative fabrics. Vegea use grape waste from the wine industry to form a leather-substitute and their Grape gown will be on show, as will a Ferragamo ensemble made from ‘Orange Fiber’ derived from waste from the Italian citrus industry and an H&M Conscious dress made from recycled shoreline plastic.

The exhibition will look to the past 400 years of fashion to explore what we can learn from fashion practice in the past, with objects dating to the early 1600s. Items include an 1875 pair of earrings formed from the heads of two real Honeycreeper birds – a hugely popular item sold in enormous volume at the time – and a 1860s muslin dress decorated with the iridescent green wing cases of hundreds of jewel beetles. They will be shown alongside natural history specimens to indicate the ways fashion has used animal materials in its designs and production.


 

Hermès, Spring / Summer 1999. Source: Studio des Fleurs

Margiela, les années Hermès at Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris)
until September 2

From 22 March to 2 September 2018, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is hosting the exhibition Margiela, les années Hermès originally devised by the ModeMuseum (MoMu) in collaboration with Martin Margiela and presented in antwerp in 2017. This unprecedented project highlights a collaboration between Hermès and the belgian designer, from 1997 to 2003, that was as surprising as it was fertile.

This tribute to Martin Margiela provides the first ever opportunity in France to exhibit his women’s ready-to-wear collections for the famous parisian house in contrast with his own creations under his eponymous label. The interplay of 98 accessorised silhouettes that move between innovative deconstruction and timeless luxury, offers an understanding of and an insight into Martin Margiela’s very personal approach. The fashion designer’s two worlds thus provide the starting point for the Margiela, les années Hermès exhibition, for which the artistic direction is to be undertaken by Martin Margiela himself.


 

Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film (Atlanta)
until September 30

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film is honored to feature the designs of the legendary fashion futurist Pierre Cardin in Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future, a major retrospective exhibition. A revolutionary force in the fashion industry for seven decades, the indomitable 95-year-old designer continues at the helm of his creative enterprises and has earned numerous accolades for his contributions to fashion and humanitarian causes. In 2008, Cardin was honored with the SCAD Étoile for his contributions to the fields of fashion and design as well as his role in the historic restoration and cultural life of the medieval village of Lacoste, site of the university’s study-abroad location in France.

Best known for his 1960s space-age style, Cardin has pushed the boundaries of fashion by exploring new materials and silhouettes. The exhibition presents iconic looks for both women and men from the 1950s to present, borrowed mainly from the Pierre Cardin Museum in Paris, and includes several dresses from the SCAD Permanent Collection. Cardin has said, “The clothes I prefer are the garments I invent for a lifestyle that does not yet exist — the world of tomorrow.” The exhibition celebrates Cardin’s spirit and vision, both unwaveringly inspired by the future.

In addition to his contributions to fashion, Cardin is a design innovator whose pursuits extend to accessories, costume design, jewelry, product design, fragrances, furniture, theatrical production and more. The designer is also recognized as the first haute-couture designer to democratize design; in 1959, Cardin broke from tradition by debuting a runway show of affordable “ready-to-wear” clothes inspired by his couture lines. This move revolutionized the fashion business and made his designs accessible to a modern clientele.

Cardin has been the subject of several major international exhibitions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and his garments are in important permanent museum collections worldwide. Three times he has received the prestigious Golden Thimble award for French haute couture, which rewards the most creative collection of the season (1977, 1979, 1982) and was recognized with the Council of Fashion Designer of America Award in 2007. In addition to receiving numerous honors, Cardin was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and is decorated as a Commander of the Legion of Honor, the highest order of merit given by the president of France for military and civil distinction.


 

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