The Future of Fashion is Now: a foretaste of fashion of the future
The Future of Fashion is Now and is in Rotterdam, open until January 2015 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
The exhibition presents the works of more than 50 designers from all around the world, including big names such as Hussein Chalayan, Viktor & Rolf and Martin Margiela, together with emerging talents like Rejina Pyo and Craig Green.
Aim of the exhibition is to investigate what the future of Fashion is, and how it will deal with social and environmental changes in the following years, facing new challenges on sustainability and identity. In order to explore those themes the exhibition is divided into four sections: Materiality and Experience; (Re)Definition of the Human Figure; New Values and New Stories; Fashion Activism: Community and Politics.
The first thing visible at the beginning of the exhibition is a paper pattern by Maison Martin Margiela (Pattern for a long coat, autumn/winter 1997-1998). It works as a sort of reminder to never forget what the basic element of Fashion is and the key process behind it: manufacture. From this starting point the visitors might not expect to see nothing familiar or common, but only revolutionary visions of a possible future: biolace produced by the roots of a basil plant (Carol Colette);
hand woven toilet paper to create beautifully knitted white garments (Wang Lei); a 3D printed dress immerse in a bath of ferriferous fluid (Iris Van Herpen) or a dress made of solar cells that can recharge a smartphone while the wearer walks in the sun (Pauline Van Dongen).
The space where the exhibition is built reflects the narrative value of clothing underlined by the designers. In one room white plastic boxes are used to create paths and walls inside the spaces of the museum, focusing again on materials and sustainability. While in another room an uncanny and uncomfortable red atmosphere helps the visitors to change their perception of shapes and human anatomies that have been reconstructed trough the garments.
The space itself becomes a further symbolic representation of the themes touched by the exhibition in such a way that it constantly remember us how the objects build our environment and our perceptions.
The future of Fashion shown by this exhibition allowed the visitors to rethink about everyday objects like clothes, which we regularly wear without keeping attention to what lies behind them. Clothes, indeed, are used by designers as tools to explore new possibilities for the future, questioning identities, genders, stereotypes and the way the whole industry is run nowadays with all its contradictions and boundaries.