Fashioning Cascadia Exhibit May 9th at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon.
Curated by: Sarah Margolis-Pineo
How does fashion and clothing engage craft, technically, materially, and conceptually in the design, production, circulation, use, and reuse of garments? Here, clothing is defined as the objects produced—the physical garments, whereas fashion is viewed as the cultural zeitgeist that fashion embodies: an ever-changing identity for the current moment. Leveraging craft as a framework, Fashioning Cascadia collapse clothing and fashion, bringing together the tangible utility of clothing with the creativity and cultural import of fashion in the Cascadian region.
This exhibition will ask: What is being made here and why? How does the fashion industry shape the regional identity of the Pacific Northwest? How/why are we known as a locality innovates through research and technology as well as handcraft, finding new models of production and consumption that reframe behavior patterns to be positioned for a more sustainable future?
This exhibition, firstly, unpacks the craft of the designer’s studio through the exhibition of work by regional clothiers including those involved in all aspects of the design and production, as well as those forging new production models based on locally-sourced and produced supply chains. In particular, this portion of the exhibition will honor the Fibershed ideology laid out by Rebecca Burgess that emphasizes regional and slow fiber systems similar to those that have been embraced in the culinary field.
Secondly, this exhibition will explore the craft of use, or the circulation, modification, and social meaning that becomes embedded in garments. This portion of the exhibition will emphasize the use of heirloom narrative and re-skilling as a way to examine individual behavior and breakdown prevailing attitudes towards clothing as a disposable commodity.