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Homo Faber - Fashion Inside & Out - press release Explore craftsmanship’s role in fashion at Homo Faber, 14-30 September

If craftsmanship were a muse for the fashion industry, what would it inspire?

• Clothing and accessories made using traditional artisanal techniques including pleating, knitting, weaving, embossing and carving.
• Pieces that highlight the transformative power of the hand in contemporary fashion.
• Handcrafted mannequins reflecting the same natural materials and artisanal approach as the fashion they display.
• An exhibition that showcases not only the craftsmanship within fashion but within exhibition-making itself.

Some of Europe’s most talented fashion designers, stylists and artisans will be part of a celebration of craftsmanship in the fashion industry in the exhibit Fashion Inside and Out as part of Homo Faber in Venice this September.

Using craftsmanship itself as her muse, renowned exhibition-maker Judith Clark will demonstrate the importance of craftsmanship in contemporary fashion, revealing not only the artisanal skills required to create wonderful clothing and accessories but the craftsmanship involved in exhibition-making itself.

While the fashion industry often focuses on the cult of the star designer, with makers remaining in the shadows, this exhibit will instead celebrate the essential collaboration between designers and artisans, revealing the transformative power of the hand on raw materials.

The exhibit will be staged in the Fondazione Giorgio Cini’s 1960s Gandini swimming pool and garden, a place that evokes summer and nature. Taking inspiration from the setting, Clark has selected contemporary haute couture and avant-garde items made from natural materials that have been visibly transformed by craftsmanship: an embossed leather skirt by Dai Rees, Dolce & Gabbana hessian smocks stamped with ‘fatto a mano’, a Capucci dress adorned with pebbles, the visible seams of Martin Margiela Artisanal, or the wooden beads for a Chanel gown. All these pieces will be displayed in such a way as to pay homage not only to the artisanal skills that created them but to the craftsmanship involved in showcasing them in an exhibition. Specially commissioned mannequins made by Italian firm Bonaveri will reveal the skill of mannequin-making, while the exhibition installations will use the same materials as the fashion on display to showcase the versatility of a single material. Wooden decking on the floor will mirror the wood strips used in a dress; straw will be present not only in hats and dresses but in the wigs and hairpieces that stylist Angelo Seminara will craft for the mannequins.

Fashion Inside and Out is a personal response to the space and to craftsmanship by Judith Clark who aims, through this exhibit, to inspire young fashion designers to new and fruitful collaborations with artisans.

“I hope people will feel how important the conversation between designer and artisan is. The ambition of the designer can be so much expanded through the hand of the craftsman. It is not nostalgic, it is generative.” – Judith Clark

Fashion Inside and Out is one of 16 exhibits that make up Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future, a major new exhibition celebrating European craftsmanship, organised by the Michelangelo Foundation.

Notes for editors

Homo Faber
Crafting a more human future
14-30 September
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Free entry upon registration at homofaberevent.com

Homo Faber is the first major cultural exhibition dedicated to the very best in European craftsmanship. Organised by the Michelangelo Foundation, it aims to put fine craftsmanship on the global map and increase recognition and visibility for master artisans. The exhibition will bring together a vast range of materials and disciplines, from jewellery to bespoke bicycles, from the rarest artisanal techniques to some of the most iconic examples of the finest European workmanship. Created by a hand-picked team of world-class designers, curators and architects, the exhibition stretches over a number of magnificent spaces throughout the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. homofaberevent.com

Michelangelo Foundation
The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, nonprofit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the Foundation seeks to support men and women who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The Foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition that craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries. michelangelofoundation.org

Judith Clark
Judith Clark is a curator and fashion exhibition-maker and currently Professor of Fashion and Museology at University of the Arts London, where she co-directs the Centre for Fashion Curation. Clark opened the first experimental gallery of fashion in London (1997-2002). Since then she has curated 40 exhibitions of dress. Commissioning museums include the V&A in London, ModeMuseum in Antwerp and Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In 2015 she curated and designed the inaugural exhibition at La Galerie Louis Vuitton in Asnières. Clark lectures internationally on issues of dress display. ( judithclarkcostume.com )

Fashion Inside and Out

With contributions from:

Alexander McQueen
Angelo Pennella
Angelo Seminara
Anne Valerie Hash
Dai Rees
Dolce & Gabbana
Gesa Werner
Hussein Chalayan
Louis Vuitton
Maison Margiela
Maison Schiaparelli
Naomi Filmer
Phoebe English
Rosie Taylor-Davies
Stephen Jones