Thursday, 9 September 2010

Quand l'architecture rencontre le vêtement

Amazing things happening in Canada tonight people! Read the press release I recently received and made me really happy:

Professor Maryla Sobek of Université du Québec à Montréal's (UQAM) École de design and the École supérieure de mode de Montréal (ESMM, UQAM), will present the exhibition Taller: objet-vêtement from 9 September to 2 October 2010 at the Maison de la Culture Maisonneuve in Montréal.

Located at the crossroads of two disciplines,
fashion design and architecture, this exhibition consists of five "objets-vêtements" designed in the manner of an architectural drawing. Inspired by Dogon architecture, these "objets-vêtements" are the result in part of field research carried out by the artist in 2009 in Mali, whose architecture is seen as a perfect example of the rationality of vernacular architecture. This exhibition is being curated by the art historian Serge Allaire, an expert in the history of fashion photography and part-time instructor in the art history department at UQAM.

The exhibition will subsequently be presented in Poland, at the Muzeum Archiytektury, Wroclaw, from October 14 to November 21, and at the Palac Sztukià, Cracow, from November 26 to December 28.

More about these five objets-vêtements:
[they] do not reproduce the shape of the body, but are created to act like envelopes, with all the basic characteristics of an individual dwelling. These "objets-vêtements" have a polymorphous form, meaning that they can be worn in different ways at the individual's initiative. As a result, each "objet-vêtement" calls upon the wearer's participation, or in other words their creativity.

Each "objet-vêtement", made out of two materials of natural origin, is composed of two shells. The first, outer shell, in horse hair, recalls the rigid and granular surface of the outer walls of Dogon architecture. The inner shell is made out of several layers of voile fabric assembled in a manner similar to felt making: their surfaces appear to be "kneaded" like the clay on the inner walls of granaries. Finally, assembling the parts of each piece of clothing and mounting of the two shells one on top of the other is carried out using new generations of materials and experimental methods similar to melting, in which no sewing is required.
The teaser video is an absolute must-watch:

I'm really glad all this also led me to discover professor Maryla Sobek, her work and her amazing career path.

Maryla Sobek studied architecture and fashion and worked as a stylist at Balenciaga and Lanvin in Paris before joining UQAM as a professor at the École du design in 1996. She holds a master's degree in art studies and a Ph.D. in art history from UQAM. Her dissertation examined the convergences, both structural and artistic, between clothing and architectural objects. Her research into Western clothing and architecture in the period 1950-2000 confirmed that clothing design and architecture have strong analogies on both the structural and formal levels.

In 2009, Maryla Sobek undertook field research in the Dogon region of Mali. This study, made possible by a grant from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), enabled her to explore new research and practical paths in the field of clothing design employing a non-Western architectural aesthetic, particularly Dogon architecture. The exhibition Taller: objet-vêtement is the fruit of this research and creation project.

And here's an interesting wiki trivia I came upon while doing research for this post: Université du Québec à Montréal's campus was designed by Greek-Canadian architect Dimitri Dimakopoulos in the 70's. In fact, it won his architectural firm Dimakopoulos & Associés the Prix d'exellence in 1974.

So, if you happen to live in Montréal, lucky you!
The exhibition opens tonight.

As for fashion/architecture junkie me, I know flying over to Quebec is kinda impossible right now (I guess the same is true for most of you, for that matter) but it totally makes Poland seem so much closer in comparison.

Quick trip anyone?


Rossana said...

Love love love this post! Also an architecture/fashion junkie so love love love! I'm going to keep a good eye on the architect. Definitely an informative post! Thanks for that!! :)

kellyroy68 said...

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