The title of the exhibition is a reference to the historic breakthrough in fashion that occurred in the 1950s with the emergence of the clothing industry. This led to the democratization of fashion, but also resulted in corporate dominance, exploitation, overproduction, and an imposed beauty canon for women that was strictly tied to market factors. Pret-a-porter deals with clothing as a means of artistic expression. Many artists, including Natalia LL and Maria Anto, have used outfits as a tool for self-creation, a strategy that combines art and the everyday. Ewa Bloom-Kwiatkowska wore her trademark punk coat as a manifesto of her personal and artistic stance. Jolanta Marcolla, meanwhile, used clothing and makeup as a critique of the objectification of women, while Ewa Zarzycka’s high heels mocked the pressure to “raise one’s artistic profile.” Younger artists have also used clothing as a central theme: Małgorzata Markiewicz and Alicja Wysocka, for example, combine fashion and activism, while Weronika Wysocka tackles the problems of the textile industry.
The exhibition is accompanied by public actions and performances, and will be the subject of an event held as part of the upcoming Feminist Seminar.