What can fashion design really do right now? is the intrinsic question that arises in a time of chronic political, environmental, health, and social struggles amidst lingering fears of an imminent crisis.
With the exhibition Crafting Fashion for Possible Futures, curated by Camille Boyer and Miriam Kathrein for the Austrian Fashion Association, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of contemporary Austrian fashion design and shows that design holds the potential for change and possible, better futures. The exhibition will be on view June 24-September 8, 2022. The opening reception with curators and participating designers will take place on June 23, 7-9 PM.
The exhibition focuses on the working methods of professional fashion design practitioners who are concerned with their responsibility in the socio-political, socio-cultural, and socio-economic realm. Their respective fashion design practices explore and investigate fields of identity politics, activism, sustainability, or the interdependency of traditional production processes and new technologies.
The fashion practitioners presented in the exhibition deal with how designing fashion can bring about positive and systemic change. Within their design practices, they seek possibilities to create new prospects pivotal for societal transition.
Some of the designers on show recraft the cultural, employing intangible and material resources; some use deadstock that remain as a result of overproduction in the textile industry; through the act of making, others challenge the obsolete power structures in place and denounce a neo-colonialism ubiquitous both in our western societies and most fashion mega-corporations; some champion community and identity, give visibility to minorities, and create platforms for the non- and under-represented; others de-seam—in the literal meaning of the word—masculinity and interlace the demand of intersectional feminism into the wearable.
All the designers presented in the exhibition instigate change through their daily practice. Their acts give form not only to garments and textile artifacts, but also to a social fabric full of optimism, solidarity, and hope.
Courtesy: Jojo Gronostay
Graphic Design: studio VIE is a multiple award-winning Viennese branding and design agency whose striking design solutions are valued by renowned art and cultural institutions as well as fashion labels and commercial customers.
Exhibition Design: Vandasye is a multidisciplinary design office based in Vienna, Austria, whose work ranges from product to exhibition design and enjoys a high international reputation.
Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport
Austrian Fashion Association
Vienna Business Agency
About the Austrian Cultural Forum New York
With its architectural landmark building in Midtown Manhattan, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is dedicated to innovative programming, showcasing Austrian contemporary art, music, literature, performance and academic thought in New York and throughout the United States. In addition to presenting exhibitions in its multi-level gallery space and housing around 13,000 volumes of Austriaca in its library named in honor of the late Vienna-born American writer and intellectual Frederic Morton, it hosts over 100 free events per year in its auditorium and supports at least as many projects at partner institutions across the nation.