fashion after Fashion at MAD
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York presents “fashion after Fashion”, an exhibition that seeks to redefine the term “Fashion” by presenting the work of six designer teams who are thinking – and making us think – about fashion anew. On view until August 6 2017
Featuring some of the most innovative work being produced in the context of contemporary fashion, with new commissions by Eckhaus Latta and Alexa Karolinski, ensæmble, Lucy Jones,
Ryohei Kawanishi, Henrik Vibskov, and SSAW Magazine, fashion after Fashion focuses on commissioned, site-sensitive installations to offer an experience that is immersive, affective, and
mentally stimulating. With no mannequins in sight, the exhibition considers fashion as an expanded field of practice that is determined by concept and context, incorporating performance, photography, video, and sculpture.
The exhibition uses “fashion” (in the lowercase) to signal a more reflective, concerned, and creative process that is not determined solely by commerce and passing trends. The practitioners included in fashion after Fashion call into question the state and nature of “Fashion” (in the uppercase) and challenge some of its main constructs, including the myth of the individual designer as author, short-lived and commodity-driven products, gendered dressing, ideal bodies, and waste.
“By featuring commissioned site-specific works, not garments and artifacts, the exhibition channels a current ethos in design,” said curator Ilari Laamanen. “The focus is on
collaborative and interdisciplinary practices. We highlight the process, not the product.”
Fashion is a shared endeavor between creators, producers, and wearers, a message that is fundamental to the newly commissioned film by Eckhaus Latta and Alexa Karolinski. Set in a bathroom, Coco features a cast diverse in age, gender, and race, wearing outfits from the Eckhaus Latta fall/winter 2017 collection while answering questions from a deck of cards. Their responses remind us that fashion can exist within the intimate and empathetic interactions between strangers and friends, rather than as a mere by-product of our hypersaturated visual and consumer culture.