How You Make It—
Artists: Anthea van Kopplen Ess. Laboratory FORMALLYKNOWNAS MATERIALBYPRODUCT Paula Dunlop Project S!X Simon Cooper
Some of Australia’s leading conceptual fashion designers open a dialogue between craft and design that places the focus back on how and why objects are made.
Curated by Kate Rhodes, How You Make It is an exhibition that takes the making process itself as a conceptual starting point. Specifically, it looks at the approach of the designer towards garment construction as an idea while investigating the evolution of artisan fashion design practices – revealing how traditional highly-crafted tailoring techniques continue to form contemporary clothing in often radically new ways.
How You Make It features around 25 newly-created and existing works by Anthea van Kopplen, Ess. Laboratory (Hoshika Oshimi and Tatsuyoshi Kawabata), FORMALLYKNOWNAS (Toby Whittington), MATERIALBYPRODUCT (Susan Dimasi and Chantal McDonald), Paula Dunlop, Project (Kara Baker and Shelley Lasica), Simon Cooper, and S!X (Denise Sprynskyj and Peter Boyd).
This exhibition explores eight practices from Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland and marks the first time that all have been brought together. Many of the designers in How You Make It are at the forefront of Australian fashion design, regularly competing on the global market for sales and recognition as well as maintaining an exhibition practice.
Play and experimentation are critical to each practice. Here, design signifies both a product as well as a creative process and a structured plan. How You Make It examines practice-based research where cutting, marking, joining, and sizing – the cornerstones of garment production – are used to create a language from which design philosophies grow. Here we encounter unique materials, tools, techniques and templates for making. In the finished garments we see the tangible results of considered choices about where, when and how to cut fabric. Often existing garments have been deconstructed, reconfigured and reworked using fine tailoring techniques and self-established design schemes. These systems are used to explore and create new garment forms and new ways of wearing clothes.
As Ms Rhodes explains, “These professional and highly-regarded conceptual Australian fashion designers and artists open a dialogue between craft and design that places the focus back on how and why objects are made.”
Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to try on MATERIALBYPRODUCT’s Soft Hard Harder Dress Curtain and interact with Anthea van Kopplen’s The Envelope, a single pattern with multiple functions that generates a top, skirt, dress and coat.
How You Make It is a Craft Victoria and NETS Victoria touring exhibition that will span 13 months and travel almost 9,800 kilometres to be presented in galleries in New South Wales, Western Australia and regional Victoria.
The development of this exhibition was assisted through NETS Victoria’s Exhibition Development Fund (EDF), supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria and the Community Support Fund. How You Make It is presented collaboratively by Craft Victoria and Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design, and is supported by Object’s National Exhibitions Strategy, a program funded by the Australia Council. The Victorian leg of the tour of How You Make It is supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria and the Community Support Fund.
MATERIALBYPRODUCT Soft Hard Harder Dress Curtain 2007
Silk, polyester, plastic, cotton, Creative direction: 3 Deep Design, Photography: Susan Grdnac, Courtesy the artists
Simon Cooper Chromosewn (7 pieces from a series of 20) 2007
Cotton, buttons, zippers, steel pins, installation view, Photography: Slowlight Images, Courtesy the artist and Craft Victoria
Paula Dunlop Chance Blouse 2006
Organic cotton, installation view, Photography: Slowlight Images, Courtesy the artist and Craft Victoria
Ess. Laboratory Dress (Madame Edwarda) 2008
Cotton, silk, Photography: Tatsuyoshi Kawabata, Courtesy the artists
FORMALLYKNOWNAS ta I aw (Cross-over vest – coCreated by Ahmad Abas) 2007
LACE collection, (suiting) polyester viscose, (lining) satin acetate, installation view, Photography: Slowlight Images, Courtesy the artist and Craft Victoria
Project Long summer cagoule 1999
Vintage black Swiss cotton voile, PROJECT 2, installation view, Photography: Slowlight Images, Courtesy the artists and Craft Victoria
S!X The tunnel collection (5 pieces) 2007
100% cotton, 100% wool, poly/cotton, installation view, Photography: Slowlight Images, Courtesy the artists and Craft Victoria
Anthea van Kopplen The Envelope 2008
Tyvek 255 recyled content High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), found fabric (1960s) 100% nylon, found object (clear and blue PVC shower curtain), wool/polyester found fabric
installation view, Photography: Slowlight Images, Courtesy the artist and Craft Victoria