Boro Threads of Life - Expo at Somerset House London 2014

"Boro, Threads of life" - Somerset House, London, April 2014
Reflecting about the significance of exhibitions opens to review them once they are closed.
They stay as documents living in catalogues and archives, that means extending the life
or existence of exhibitions.

This article is about a show called Boro, Threads of life, at Somerset House, London 2014.
It was a beautiful, delicate, and knowledgeable exhibit featuring a carefully chosen collection
of pieces of "Japanese indigo patched textiles ..... to become exquisite objects of abstract art",
as it is stated in leaflet's text.

The installation was almost monastic with a clear intention of drive the interest to the pieces. 
The display space was in plain white walls, with one only distracting element (apart from 
the architectural features) being the hangers, that talk about the origin and use of some of 
the pieces: clothing and wearing.

Boro was the name for a a practice in rural Japan some centuries ago when peasants who could 
not afford silk for clothing, would stitch and reuse their cheap fabrics, in sleeping covers and 
clothing until they were almost unrecognizable.  These pieces speak about a society who would 
look for utilitarian solutions.

The title of the show offer a real meaning of the pieces in display, they are not a luxury commodity,
 they are a labour of necessity, and they tell stories of lives lived.  These patched pieces are a tribute
 to the modest inventiveness of human nature when it comes to necessity.  But here most of them
are shown losing some of their meaning, they look more work of art more than real garments.
The visit offers a moment of indulgence for is the aesthetic attributes of the pieces what captures
the attention at first and then comes the understanding of the origin and value of the pieces.

Some images as a visit to the exhibit.

"Masters of Black in fashion and costume", at MoMu, Antwerp (2010)

The Momu Mode Museum Provincie Antwerp) scheduled in 2010 an exhibit about "black and wearing that color" from various perspectives, being the show called
This is a reviews of the exhibition that has been edited and updated. 

photo from MoMu website
Plan of the exhibit
Sounding very attractive by title, the content of the show ends being a little sort in pieces.  The display is divided by sections, up to 22, each one with a title that aims to explain the different concepts treated in the exhibit.  

At the entrance of the show the visitor receives a leaflet with very concise information and a list of pieces, names of couture houses and designers presented and labels for other objects.
The scenography honoring the title of the show is most powerful and the darkness embraces the ambience, which is interrupted by spotlights that focus each of the pieces on display, most of them standing on huge irregular black tables, offering the notion of islands in the middle of a "black sea", a very dramatic effect.  Temporary wall, also painted in black, divide some of the sections and also serve as surface where to hang paintings or display other objects, that are the artistic or historic reference to the concept presented.

The exhibit covers some milestones in the history o fashion, such as a replica of the Chanel's "Ford T dress", the celebrated prototype of the "petite robe noir", the elegant and always in fashion black dress. There some paintings used to contextualize costumes and cloths.
Pieces shown are from the Momu's own collection, loans from other museums, and private collectors or the couture houses.

Among the designers presented are some of the famous Antwerp Six from Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Fashion Department) plus other well known international designers and couture houses, Givenchy, Chanel, Viktor & Rolf, alexander McQueen, Yves Saint-Laurent, Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pug, etc.

Modamorfosis, exhibition at Museo del Traje Madrid

Exhibition review

MODAMORFOSIS - Museo del Traje, Madrid. Dates: 3 March - 29 May 2016

The idea and concept behind this exhibition recently closed at Museo del Traje Madrid is construct, deconstruct and reconstruct.  And from there the curators, Lucina Llorente and Juan Gutierrez have laid out, or better said, displayed their thesis about the evolution and re-volution of the ever lasting process of dressing the body.

By choosing some pieces from the Museum's collection, they present their statement about the ideal of a three de-codification stages concept in the making of fashion history.

The exhibition shows an eight sections, path that starts with some pieces from the XVIIIth century following some milestones of the Western fashion history, to draw a map of encounters, crossovers, validation or invalidations of patterns, silhouettes, colors, shapes, ornaments.

The well organized distribution, with panels-labels and the audacious display of garments arranged as an outright paragraph to explain the initial concept, is exceeded by the unusual presentation of the eight pieces that draw the backbone of the exhibition.  They are suspended in the air as their own ground and providing with their intense presence the connections between the sections of the exhibit as a nexus of the references and creating the frame for the central space, that of the space of confluence, where the new construction marks the new shape re-invented from the parts of the pasts ones.

The circular lay out of the display of the pieces grouped by sections with explanatory panels, enhances the initial sensation of constraint and confinement produced by the low light in the room and the binding round path and helps reading the display as a circular walk for the concept that is countersigned by the central display on the ground of the pieces of patterns of the garment designed by Comme des Garçons (1983) that is hanging almost dismantled just above the space, becoming the focal point for the exhibit.

The right decision of showing the pieces without a glass protection, permits not only enjoy with  respectful proximity the dresses, but also better understand how they are crafted.  There is a great pleasure in surrounding yourself with clothes and from a little distance feel what it would be wearing them!

There is also another advantage derived from this display, and that is of learning from observing how the body silhouettes were/are created: the specific tailoring with all the inventions in patterns, applied ornaments, and adds to produce shapes, volumes, etc.,

The titles in panels are part of the statement of the exhibition and they work as nexus for the sections:
Dress without artifice.  The body defined. Freedom of movement. Marking distances. Construct, deconstruct, reconstruct. Keep on looking at me. The function and form. Variations on three pieces.
Sections conceived as a conversation about the idea and concept of form, shaping the body with fashion creations.

View of the exhibition.