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"Cut and Construction: The Foundations of Fashion"
2005-02-04 until 2005-03-26
Pratt Manhattan Gallery
New York, NY,
USA United States of America
“Cut and Construction: The Foundations of Fashion,” an exhibition that will focus on how the craft of dressmaking throughout history has inspired contemporary fashion designers, opened Thursday, February 3 at Pratt Manhattan Gallery. The exhibition is free and open to the public. “All of the designers represented in the exhibition are master craftspeople who use dressmaking as an integral part of their aesthetic,” says guest curator Patricia E. Mears, a fashion historian and former assistant curator of costumes and textiles at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. “Though many fashion-related exhibitions have been mounted in the U.S. and overseas, too few examine in detail the remarkable discipline of dressmaking as the fundamental building block of fashion.”
The exhibition will outline the history of clothing construction from the assemblage of animal skins to the manipulation of woven fabric. It also will detail the evolution of dressmaking since the early 1900s, highlighting Madeleine Vionnet’s revolutionary use of draping and her impact on other great couturiers such as Cristobal Balenciaga and Madame Alix Gres.
The exhibition also will trace the influence of these pioneers on contemporary designers Geoffrey Beene, Isabel Toledo, Yeohlee, Ralph Rucci, Narciso Rodriguez and Tess Giberson. Construction methods such as soft draping, pleating, complex piecing and rigid fabric manipulation will be illustrated in more than 20 garments on display by these designers and others.
“The featured designers are among the greatest of the 20th century and this show will allow viewers a rare look at how the evolution of dressmaking contributed to their individual styles,” says Pratt President Thomas Schutte. “Given the significant history of Pratt’s fashion department
as the oldest of its kind in the U.S., we are very pleased to host this show at Pratt Manhattan.”
The exhibition also will feature a computer-animation created by Liz Van Verth, a student in Pratt’s computer graphics and interactive media department, which will show – on a large screen – the transformation of a flat pattern by Madeleine Vionnet into a three-dimensional finished garment as it might appear on a model.
From Spring 2005 Collection