A pineapple fibre clutch-bag, Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles and a cape of cockerel feathers are amongst the 300 beautiful, intriguing and unsettling objects from the V&A’s next major fashion exhibition.
Fashioned from Nature will trace the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world since 1600. It will show how fashionable dress recurringly draws on the beauty and power of nature for inspiration, with exquisite garments and accessories from Christian Dior, Dries van Noten and Philip Treacy. It will explore how fashion’s processes and constant demand for raw materials damage the environment, featuring campaigners and protest groups that have effectively highlighted this issue such as Fashion Revolution and Vivienne Westwood. It will also look at the role of design in creating a better, more sustainable fashion industry.
The exhibition will showcase contemporary designers of desirable, creative and sustainable popular fashion.
Menswear and womenswear from Stella McCartney, known for a commitment to and success in developing new alternative sustainable materials, will be displayed alongside an upcycled dress by Christopher Raeburn. At the 2016 Met Gala, actor Emma Watson wore a Calvin Klein look made from recycled plastic bottles. With separate parts, it was intended to be re-worn in different ways. The look was created as part of the
‘Green Carpet Challenge’ with Eco-Age, an initiative to pair sustainability with glamour. It will be shown with a floral dress from Erdem’s Green Carpet Challenge collection.
Fashioned from Nature will draw attention to the use of innovative fabrics. Vegea use grape waste from the wine industry to form a leather-substitute and their Grape gown will be on show, as will a Ferragamo ensemble made from ‘Orange Fiber’ derived from waste from the Italian citrus industry and an H&M Conscious dress made from recycled shoreline plastic.
Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) at London College of Fashion, UAL, have acted as special advisors to the exhibition and will present two interactive installations which explore ‘Fashion Now’ and ‘Fashion Future.’
‘Fashion Now’ will take five iconic contemporary fashion pieces and using sensors, visitors will be able to explore the unseen impact on nature of the construction, making, wearing and discarding of each item.
‘Fashion Future’ will immerse viewers into the fashion world of the future, inviting us to question what fashion means and show us a future we are yet to imagine.
Generously supported by the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp – CELC
Fashion, Gallery 40 | 21 April 2018 – 27 Jan 2019
vam.ac.uk/FashionedFromNature | #FashionedFromNature
IMAGE: Outfit made from leather off-cuts and surplus yarn, Katie Jones, 2017 Photograph by Rachel Mann