Monday, April 08, 2013

Textile Extra: Spring Time in Toronto 2013

Haute Couture Collection / Spring Summer 2011 - Dior by John Galliano. Image courtesy of Laziz Hamani. Commissioned by the ROM thanks to the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust. BIG TIME: took 500 hours to make; BIG SIZE: 175 metres of cloth; BIG EVENT: Last and most technically challenging collection by John Galliano for Christian Dior.

Fashion Crimes: The BIG Debate
 Moderated by fashion icon Jeanne Beker,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 from 7:00 to 8:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
The Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre,
Level 1B, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s
Park (via President’s Choice School entrance)


Ashlee Froese, a branding and fashion lawyer at Gilbert’s LLP;

Jeremy Laing, one of the most innovative Canadian designers working in the world today;

Robert Ott, Chair of the School of Fashion at Ryerson University;

Nicholas Mellamphy, Vice President and Buying Director, The Room and Personal Shopping at
Hudson’s Bay Company.

to get tickets go to

  “Hitler’s rise to power brought a national natural look for women to embody the health and strength of the Reich. They were to be fresh faced in the party uniform or the dirndl of the newly restored national costume; wholesome bastions of racial purity fulfilling their simple duties in the domestic sphere. The women complied with their duties, breeding and working en masse for the war effort, but despite intense pressures to conform to the proscribed style and to relinquish all cosmetics, permanents and dyes, most simply refused.” ...excerpt from “Nazi Chic:Fashioning Women in the Third Reich” by Irene Guenther published in the September/October 05 issue of Selvedge Magazine

Books that may be of interest

Fashion Under the Occupation by Dominique Veillon
Translated by Miriam Kochan.
New York: Berg, 2002. xi + 205 pp. ISBN 1-85973-543-6
Before the outbreak of WWII, French fashion represented the very pinnacle of style, and French women the epitome of chic. At home and abroad, couturiers’ wealthy clients eagerly awaited the latest collections, and design houses throughout the world looked to Paris for inspiration. Unparalleled for glamour and elegance, all things French were noted and emulated - and especially French fashion.

One morning in September 1939, into this idyllic world of haute couture and Café society came the shattering experience of war, followed by the German Occupation. French women, determined not to give way to the inevitable austerities, sought innovation: hats made from blotting paper or newspapers - the latter signalling political allegiances - and blouses made out of parachute silk, often obtained through dubious means. Not only did life go on, but creativity flourished - culottes, which enabled stylish bicycle journeys, became the vogue, and couturiers capitalized on deprivation with wit - dubbing designs ‘Coal’ and ‘Black Coffee’, or naming an entire collection after Métro stops.

Fashion under the Occupation provides the only in-depth history of these blackest years in French history, long overlooked by fashion history because of the impoverished industry and deprivations that affected design. Widely acknowledged as the authoritative work on fashion during this period, it is available in English for the first time and will be essential reading for anyone interested in fashion, French cultural history, and particularly the German Occupation of France.

read a review by Steven Zdatny in Enterprise & Society, Volume 4, Number 3, September 2003,

Fashion Under Fascism: Beyond the Black Shirt

by Eugenia Paulicelli
 New York: Berg, 2004

 Prada, Gucci, Max Mara: high fashion is synonymous with luxury, glamor, pleasure, and Italy. Yet Italian fashion also has a dark history that has not previously been explored. The Fascism of 1930's Italy dominated more than just politics--it spilled over into modes of dress. Fashion under Fascism is the first book to consider this link in detail. Fashion often functions as a tacit means of making a social statement, but under Mussolini it vividly reflected political tyranny. Paulicelli explores the subtle yet sinister changes to the seemingly innocuous practices of everyday dress and shows why they were such a concern for the state. Importantly, she also demonstrates how these developments impacted on the global dominance of Italian fashion today. This fascinating book includes interviews with major designers, such as Fernanda Gattinoni and Micol Fontana, and sheds new light on the complicated relationship between style and politics.

You can now read my review of "BIG" which was published in Selvedge Issue 50 "Ethnographic" Jan /Feb 2013 as a PDF 
 Up and coming exhibitions 

You can see images from some of these events in the 
May 2013 Textile and Shiny object Sightings facebook Album

Images on invite left to right: work by Matthew Crosby (glass); Juston Chan (furniture); Jola Prochnowski (textiles); and Jessie McEwan (ceramics).


Sheridan Craft & Design Graduate Exhibition

Glass and Textiles
April 18-23, 2013
Opening Reception – April 18, 2013, 7pm-10pm

Ceramics and Furniture
April 26-May 4, 2013
Opening Reception – April 26, 2013, 7pm-10pm

This spring some of Canadaʼs top emerging craft and design students will be showcasing the results of their final year of work in Sheridanʼs Craft and Design program. This Could Work, hosted by the Ontario Crafts Council, highlights the results of many months of experimentation, practice and examination.

The students, active in four studios including Glass, Textiles, Ceramics and Furniture, will be presenting a broad body of work encompassing functional, sculptural, decorative, and conceptual pieces. These well considered objects often hide the many months of toil and uncertainty that have gone into their production. This Could Work represents many new makers, their hopeful spirit of experimentation, and, a fresh perspective.

Recognized as one of Canadaʼs finest Craft and Design programs, Sheridanʼs Craft and Design program produces graduates who have received national and international accolades for their work. The three-year intensive program provides Sheridan students with a strong foundation in craft-based skills and intimate knowledge of materials and technical processes that set them apart from other design students. This Could Work reflects a deep commitment to process, and offers a brief window into the studentʼs exciting future careers.

[fat] Fashion Art Toronto Arts & Fashion Week
April 23-27, 2013

98th annual Graduate Exhibition: The Class of 2013, OCAD University

6:30pm to 11:00pm, Thursday May 2, 2013

OPENING NIGHT: Thursday, May 2, 6:30 to 11 p.m. (all are welcome!)
Friday, May 3, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 5, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The class of 2013, an eclectic mix of more than 550 graduating students working in twelve undergraduate programs, present their final thesis work to an audience of more than 26,000 guests.

OCAD University's students work in a broad spectrum of disciplines, ranging from drawing and painting, printmaking, photography, criticism and curatorial practice, integrated media and sculpture/installation in the Faculty of Art; to advertising, environmental, industrial and graphic design, illustration and material art and design (jewellery, fibre and ceramics) in the Faculty of Design. OCAD U's annual "GradEx" transforms the university’s main building and the acclaimed Sharp Centre for Design into one of Toronto's largest and most anticipated exhibitions of emerging talent.

NEW! for 2013, is a FREE multiplatform app for OCAD University’s Graduate Exhibition. Information on wayfinding, exhibitors, medal winners and a full schedule of events are just a few of the features. Available mid-April 2013 from your app store.

You can see photos of some of the MADD fibre students  work on facebook that have been posted by OCAD University instructor Lynne Heller,  I believe you will have to sign into face to see these images

Ritual & Repetition - 2013, OCAD University student work, Material Arts & Design
Ancestry and Artistry: Maya textiles from Guatemala

Blouse, huipil , Guatemala, mid 20th century. T04.12.28
May 8, 2013 -Oct 14, 2013
Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue (Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway)
Toronto, Ontario
curated by Roxane Shaughnessy

Guatemala is well known for the richness of its indigenous Maya culture, and the Museum has examples of highly elaborate clothing and accessories from a variety of communities throughout the region. They will be displayed alongside material from international museum collections and contemporary artwork by Guatemalan artists.

Maya traje, the distinctive traditional dress of the highland Maya, is the primary visual expression of Maya identity in Guatemala today. Throughout the 20th century and into the present, Maya clothing has gradually changed, and today handmade traditional styles of dress for everyday, festive and ceremonial occasions, exist alongside modern styles made with commercial cloth and machine embroidery. The vibrantly coloured weavings with evocative symbolic designs offer an array of unique insights into the dynamics of tradition and innovation, the local and the global, as they are reflected in everyday lives

Exhibitions current running

Textile Museum

Mar 27, 2013 - Jun 9, 2013
Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue (Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway)
Toronto, Ontario
Curated by Natalia Nekrassova and Sarah Quinton

For centuries, the light and lustre of materials have captivated cultures and societies, artisans and artists, attributing to even simple objects an allure of beauty, luxury and opulence. Throughout the world, reflective metals, mirrors, silver- and gold-wrapped thread, sequins, beads and even insect wings have been skillfully transformed to create some of the most mystifying and coveted cultural and personal expressions.

Shine spans 200 years of extraordinary human ingenuity – handmade objects that are both celebratory and commonplace, excessive and unassuming. The exhibition features an array of exquisite traditional garments and accessories from the Museum’s permanent collections integrated with the work of contemporary artists, creating timely conversations that engage complex and sometimes conflicting ideals of desire, status, wealth and beauty.
detail of Kimono, Japan, 20th century. T96.0120
Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto

Piece of French produced “Chintz” which is a woodblock printed Glazed cotton textile. The floral pattern was designed by Baptiste Japui of Japui & Son of Paris.    It has a BIG repeat design almost 1.5 meter in height. The ROM has 3 meters of this textile so you see the image twice. This piece comes from the Harry Wearne Collection, given to the ROM by his widow in 1934. The collection totals 1,238 pieces and features mainly French printed textiles of the 18th - 19th centuries but also includes important examples of Indian chintz made for the European market, and some European figured silks.
The ROM went "BIG" in the fall of 2012 with fashion and textiles , BIG runs until Fall 2013 in the
Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles and Costume, Level 4

The newest ROM exhibition showcases textiles and costume that, in their own remarkable way, are BIG … BIG in size, BIG in historical importance, BIG news, created by a BIG name, carry a BIG price tag, and so on.

Funky and unique, forty objects – both historical and contemporary – gathered from the ROM’s extensive collections showcase BIG from around the world. They range from Egyptian clothing to 18th- and 19th- century western costumes to 20th-century haute couture. Some have never before been on display.
There will a screening of the Making of the Dior Dress made from 175 metres of cloth as well as a panel looking at  Haute Couture "industry" later in the spring of 2013.

BIG is generously supported by the Burnham Brett Endowment for Textiles and Costume and The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation

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