Telling Stories through Fashion' is a cutting edge art exhibition that - for the first time in the history of the region - will examine UAE's complex cultural heritage and UAE refernces through the medium of fashion. Scheduled to run from 7 October to 26 December at 1971 - Design Space, the exhibition will be curated by the inimitable Khulood Thani.
The designers selected to be showcased as part of the exhibition were challenged with the task of utilising the multi-faceted deconstruction technique to dig deep into the region's cultural heritage and create interesting pieces of fashion to tell UAE's story. The very tapestry of what makes the region different is entwined with every aspect of its makeup, from historical landmarks through to natural terrains, wildlife, architecture and people, and the designers were encouraged to draw inspiration from a multitude of areas.
Featured in the exhibition are a range of highly regarded indigenous craft skills, including: talli, safeefa and sadu as well as references to traditional cultural practices including fishing, sailing, pearling, falconry, and many more. Items on display, as part of the exhibition will include: women and menswear, fashion photography, textile design and installation among many others. The exhibition will also include documentation of the designers’ research.
The choice to select deconstruction as the central technique for the exhibition was driven by the very analytical elements of the process. Deconstruction in fashion challenges traditional ideas of fashion and instead suggests a rethinking of the function and meaning of the item of clothing. A recurring motif of deconstruction fashion is the reversal of the relation between the body and the garment, with the pieces calling attention to the mechanics of their production and thus encouraging analysis.
Adding an extra layer of interest to the innovative exhibition will be the varying levels of experience of the designers selected, with masters of fashion mixed in with young upcoming talents brimming with new ideas. The exhibition will be divided up into three categories: “jewellery and accessories”, “textile”, “Fashion” and “Fashion Photography”
Participating designers for the jewellery and accessories category include: Alia Bin Omair, Amal Haliq, Bahar Al Bahar, Nadine Kanso, Mirjam Hiller and YO_CY KALO. Alia Dawood, Khalid Shafar and Faissal El Malak will be exhibiting as part of the Textile category, while Tahir Sultan, Ahmad Alanzi, oe-o, Ayah Al Bitar, Pose/ Arazzi, Fatema Fardan, Katya Kovtunovich, Tina Luther and Tijana Mladenovic make up the fashion exhibitors. Saeed Khalifa will showcase fashion photos with deconstructed elements.
A series of supporting events for the DE.FASH.STRUCTION exhibition have been confirmed, including talks, presentations and workshops. Two highly anticipated panel discussions have been set up, with the first scheduled for 13 October with The Cartel founder Mae Barbar slated to moderate.
On 16 November, Butheina Kazim will moderate the second panel talk on ‘Fashion and Film: Deconstructing the Relationship’. Set up to explore what the definition of fashion film is, the talk will examine the styles and influences of this relatively new genre – fashion film only really emerged on the world stage in 2009. The panel discussion will include conferences on what place the genre occupies in the film world, how it shapes our understanding of fashion and the culture around it, and how technology has influenced its development.
In the beginning of December there will be a Bidwa presentation from Academia Italiana. The presentation will be followed by a demonstration from master Tali maker Umm Ahmad and the two Italian design students “Andrea Mazzone and Francesca Baldanziare” who worked alongside to help make their collection. The evening will be rounded off with a small private dinner.
Finally, an embroidery workshop inspired by the showcased DE.FASH.STRUCTION collection will be given by Sorour Fine Arts on November 2015.