In one corner of the V&A’s epoch-making exhibition, Fashioned from Nature, on till February 2019, two contributions by the Centre of Sustainable Fashion offer muscular, creative commentaries on fashion’s knotty relationship with the world around us.
In Fashion Now, through five key pieces of kit, students examine how we express our connections with nature. In Fashion Future 2030, the future is further explored and deconstructed.
The ideas – blends of man-made environmental disaster and ingenious survival – are terrifying in their potential. Given everything we know now, all seem possible. In one vision, the world is “regionalised and protectionist whilst competing on action towards climate change. Trade alliances connect regions but water scarcity causes tensions globally. Fashion is cared for through a digital vault app.” In another, human beings are ‘high tech and adapting to the widespread consequences of climate change and loss of wildlife. Fashion is bought online from local mega brands.” In yet another, the world is “in retreat from globalisation and communities are focused on becoming self-sufficient.”
Four films in the exhibition brought the ideas to life.
A Story from Living with Less by Carlos Jimenez. Jimenez blends ideas of nostalgia and natural beauty with a female-guided future. The words of poet, playwright, and performer Cecilia Knapp’s underpin scenes of craft and harmony:“I hope this is the beginning of a truly new revolution of how we live ..,” he says.
A Story from Hyper Hype by Crackstevens. In Contactless, Akinola Stevens offers a world in which mega-corporations control everything, from festivals to to fast food chains; in a sinister twist, organs are exchanged for credit. “I subtly exaggerated things I’ve actually experienced ….” Stevens told Dazed Digital.
A Story from Safety Race by Cieron Magat: Environmental challenges are turned into selfie moments, completed with hashtags, in Magat’s damning mini-drama, which juxtaposes documentary footage of water pollution and excess with kids playing around with image. Melting ice-cap and solar glare? No problem #tempgirlz #staycool #waterboyz
A Story from Chaos Embrace by Nadira Amrani. In Amrani’s Export, three characters wearing salvaged Adidas clothing, repurposed by Brighton-based artist Noki, and oxygen masks, the group leave a dirty, derelict London for the countryside where they swap dirty, synthetic garments for natural wool pieces and cast aside their masks. As their breathing becomes less laboured, they approach the sea.
To find out more visit http://sustainable-fashion.com/projects/fashionedfromnature/.