What can fashion design really do right now? is the intrinsic question that arises in an era of chronic political, environmental, health and social struggles amid lingering fears of impending crisis.
With the exhibition Crafting Fashion for Possible Futures, curated by Camille Boyer and Miriam Kathrein for the Austrian Fashion Association, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of contemporary Austrian fashion design and shows that design has the potential for change and possible and better futures. The exhibition will be on view from June 24 to September 8, 2022. The opening reception with participating curators and designers will take place on June 23, from 7 to 9 p.m.
The exhibition focuses on the working methods of professional fashion design practitioners concerned with their social-political, socio-cultural and socio-economic responsibilities. Their respective fashion design practices explore and investigate areas of identity politics, activism, sustainability, or the interdependence of traditional production processes and new technologies.
The fashion practitioners featured in the exhibition discuss how fashion design can bring about positive, systemic change. Within their design practices, they look for possibilities to create new perspectives essential to societal transition.
Some of the creators on display recreate the cultural using immaterial and material resources; some use animal carcasses left over from overproduction in the textile industry; by the act of doing, others challenge the obsolete power structures in place and denounce an omnipresent neo-colonialism both in our Western societies and in most fashion mega-corporations; some champion community and identity, give visibility to minorities and create platforms for the unrepresented and underrepresented; others dissect masculinity in the literal sense of the word and weave the demand for intersectional feminism into the wearable.
All the designers presented in the exhibition encourage change through their daily practice. Their actions give shape not only to clothing and textile artifacts, but also to a social fabric full of optimism, solidarity and hope.
With: Alessandro Santi, amaaena, Dead White Men’s Clothes, Flora Miranda, House of the Very, Hvala Ilija, Julia Koerner, Kids of the Diaspora, Larissa Falk, Matthias Winkler, Mühlbauer, Published by, rudolf, Susanne Bisovsky.