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.
Designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (also fondly known as JC/DC) has turned the fashion world upside down with his one-of-a-kind designs. From crafting a teddy-bear coat for Madonna to designing threads for the Pope (yes, the very leader of the Roman Catholic Church!), JC/DC is the architect extraordinaire of chic.
This French designer (whose birthplace was originally Morocco) began his career at a very early stage: by the age eight, his collection of art and other assorted crafts had grown considerably. Perhaps this early interest in art influenced his exploration into fashion design and weaving elements of art into clothing. Or perhaps it was a childhood interest in Lego that is to be credited for his 2009 Spring/Summer collection that debuted with an animated Lego fashion show.
The collection is filled with bold and vibrant colors, with tees drenched in pop culture references. From polka dots to sculls, this collection is contemporary and yet holds true to JC/DC’s signature style. JC/DC is best noted for pushing the fashion envelope through his whimsical creations that revolutionized ideas of what was traditionally deemed “fashion -compliant”:
“From this first collection in the ’60s, Castelbajac has treated his work as a perpetual art project, a meandering commentary on contemporary society referencing pop culture (as in a dress shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle), street culture (graffiti prints) and everything in between.” -Laura Hensley