From Pharrell Williams’ This is Not a Toy to last year’s Christian Louboutin exhibition, Toronto’s Design Exchange (DX) exhibitions never fail to disappoint us Toronto young professionals.
Which is why we’re pumped for Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics to open tomorrow. After all, with the weather getting cooler, we need all the daytime weekend options we can get (that don’t involve an afternoon at the pub).
When a fashion icon like Jeanne Beker is involved, you already know it’s going to be quite the affair – and a must-attend for Toronto’s fashionable set. Guest curated by Beker, along with seasoned DX curator Sara Nickelson, the exhibition will explore how fashion mirrors society by highlighting how clothing has been used as a tool for communicating identity and political expression.
Who says the fashion world is purely about looking good?
Perhaps you never gave too much thought of the relationship between politics and fashion, other than to admire the outfits of Michelle Obama. But for years (as in decades), passionate and opinion-driven designers have used the art of fashion as a tool to express their own ideologies and create wardrobes for like-minded people.
The exhibition sheds light on the ways that fashion has helped spark political awareness throughout the years and how politics have dictated style at the same time. It explores the ever-relevant themes of Ethics/Activism, War/Peace, Consumption/Consumerism, Campaign/Power Dressing, and Gender/Sexuality.
Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics spans from 1960 to present day and contains over 200 works, many of which you’re sure to recognize – or at the very least the faces in them.
This means works like promotional paper campaign dresses filled with the faces of Robert Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Pierre Trudeau; Margaret Trudeau Wedding Dress and White Knee-Length Dress worn to the White House (1977); Jeremy Scott’s leopard print burqa from Jeremy Scott’s Arab Spring SS 2013 Collection; Rad Hourani’s slick Unisex Haute Couture collection and the Anarchy in the UK Sex Pistols Muslin shirt (1975) from Seditionaries.
Other talking (and gawking) points are the Swarovski Flag Dress from Catherine Malandrino Archive 2012 Collection and the Plastic, Glass, and Linen Jacket from Chloe Stella McCartney 2000 Collection.
You’ll also find work from the archives of Hussein Chalayan, Jeremy Scott, Moschino, PETA, Christopher Raeburn and Jean Charles de Castelbajac. They will be on view alongside items loaned by collectors of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney, Mary Quant and Rudi Gernreich.
We suggest you hit the Design Exchange anytime between tomorrow and January 25, 2015 for a look into the visually striking environment co-created by acclaimed designer, Jeremy Laing, and to get your brain thinking about fashion in a whole new way – one that contributes to the social process rather than simply the social appearance.
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