A month ago, the WORN staff had the privilege of being taken on an intimate curator tour of “The Cutting Edge” exhibit at the Textile Museum of Canada, on until July 7th, 2009.
It’s a wonderful collection that highlights the developing shape of garment design through past and present cultures:
Trying to isolate a garment’s shapes from the textures and patterns of its cloth is a bit like attempting to hear only one instrument during a richly orchestrated symphony. Each component of a piece of clothing – simple or complex cut and construction, stiff or limp “hand” or feel of the cloth, small or large surface patterns or no patterns – affects the other components.”
Did you know that in order to be properly washed, the pieces of a traditional kimono have to be un-stitched, then re-sewn once became dry? Or that Adrienne Clarkson was an early patron of Japanese designer Issey Miyake? (The collection includes a couple of his haute couture pieces.) The juxtaposition between contemporary and historical designers created connections in the craftsmanship and intricate detailing involved in garment making, from the kimono form of washing, to Miyake’s ground-breaking patterns with eliminated seams.
At the end of the tour, curator Patricia Bentley encouraged visitors to participate in the interactive ‘Build a Garment’ space, where pieces with attached velcro dots can be arranged/re-arranged into your own versions of Japanese deconstructions. We gleefully took part, and photographed as well. However, from the bare cork board and small Flickr selections, it looks like the Textile Museum needs help!
Take advantage of their PWYC Wednesdays (5-8pm) — check out the exhibit, participate in the ‘Build A Garment’ space, and email .jpegs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Laura Hensley
In the late 60s, Anton Perich ran an underground film program in Paris that screened the early works of Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas. When he moved to New York City in the 1970s, he freelanced photography gigs for Interview Magazine and ran one of the very first ‘underground’ cable access shows. He was even an ‘early pioneer’ of digital art, having invented in the late ’70s an ‘electric painting machine’ that was a precursor to the ink-jet printer.
Mr. Perich’s most accessible legacy however, lies in is his YouTube channel, and the uploaded classic fashion show footage he shot during that hedonistic Loft Party/Studio 54 era (the above photo is a Perich — see Andy, Jerry, Paloma and Truman). The videos are shaky and even blurry at times, but don’t let that get in the way of your viewing pleasure. It’s a wonderful documentation of how ye old fashion show might have been presented — on a stage, minus the runway. Given the recent inclination for designers to eschew the typical Fashion Week presentation for more creative events and installations, it’s a wonderful reveal that the more things might change, the more they’ll stay the same (ie. let’s put on a show!).
There’s a Kenzo show where the models prance out in high leather boots, twirling with style to the deep disco and if you look closely, you might spot Jerry Hall, Iman, Patti Hansen (cause everyone was there). Perich even caught a few historical firsts, such as Issey Miyake’s 1975 FIT show (his first in NY). It’s high drama via fuzzy black and white video: models coolly stride out (oh my, is that Pat Cleveland?) to wailing Robert Fripp guitars and Kraftwerk blips (a perfect accompaniment for his billowing and transformative windcoat shapes).
My favourite footage? Grace Jones getting her hair cut. Srsly. It’s a quiet moment between performer and hair dresser that’s incredibly intimate. Get thee to Perich’s channel and watch it for yourself.