The Textile Museum needs YOU to ‘Build A Garment’!

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

– Laura Hensley