An exhibition by Dutch curator Li Edelkoort at Israel's Design Museum Holon brings together the series of folding clothing by Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, alongside work by designers Patricia Urquiola, Marcel Wanders and the Bouroullec brothers (+ slideshow).
For the Gathering: From Domestic Craft to Contemporary Process exhibition, Li Edelkoort and co-curator Philip Fimmano have brought together recent products made using traditional techniques to highlight a return to craft in design.
"We are an unstitched society suffering from a lasting socio-economic crisis that has made us ferociously protective and egocentric," said Edelkoort, explaining the show's context. "It is time for mending and gathering, thus restoring the fabric of society: picking up the pieces and bringing them together in a patchwork of possibilities; a quilt of substance, able to absorb shock and fear."
The 132 5. Issey Miyake collection by the designer's research studio Reality Lab takes over the museum's lower gallery.
The continually developing range contains garments that expand from two-dimensional geometric shapes into structured shirts, skirts, pants and dresses.
"I've been thinking about the challenges we'll have to deal with in the 21st century," said Miyake, describing the collection. "Most of us feel some kind of uncertainty, with the population increasing and resources decreasing. It's important to make clothes for long-term use now, not just one season. We can't keep throwing things away. We have to face these issues. Many people repeat the past. I'm not interested. I prefer evolution."
Made from recycled PET plastic, the designs are displayed on mannequins in groups of three, with screens showing movies that demonstrate how the clothing unfolds.
The same concept is applied to Miyake's concertinaed IN-EI lamps for Artemide, also on show at the museum.
"Flexible three-dimensional patterns develop enlightenment, adding dimension to the future," said Edelkoort. "The pleating and folding of matter into sharper form brings innovative architecture to life and helps design plan for society."
The second part of the exhibition features work by over 70 contemporary designers from around the world, bringing together furniture and lighting by Tord Boontje, Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec, Arik Levy, Patricia Urquiola, Marcel Wanders and Tokujin Yoshioka.
These pieces have all been created using traditional domestic crafts, ranging from needlework and pleating to quilting and even baking.
"Whether it refers to gathering friends or gathering a garment, the correlation between material transformation and social congregation is fascinating," Edelkoort said. "Indeed, it may well be that gathering will shape our culture for the decades to come – creating flexible forms through restraining processes."
The exhibition opened at Design Museum Holon yesterday and continues until 25 October.
Edelkoort and Fimmano also worked together to curate last year's fetishism-themed MoBA fashion biennale, which took place in the Dutch city of Arnhem.
Photography is by Itay Benit.
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