Friday, August 28, 2009

My first gallery show!

Dear Ms. Priebe
As part of its 2009-10 exhibition season, the Pratt Institute Department of Exhibitions will present “Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion,” an exhibition of fashion and contemporary art that will take place November 20, 2009 - February 20, 2010. Guest curated by Francesca Granata and Sarah Scatturo, the exhibition will take place in the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 144 West 14 Street, New York City. We will celebrate with an opening reception on Thursday, November 19, 6 – 8.

“Ethics + Aesthetics” is the first American exhibition to survey the work of artists and designers (many of whom are New York-based) who explore practical and symbolic solutions to the question of integrating sustainable practices into the fashion system.  The exhibition builds on the already established sustainable practices of using recycled, renewable and organic fibers and the employment of fair labor, while deepening the public’s understanding of what constitutes sustainability within the fashion system. The exhibition is organized around three main themes:
 Reduce, Revalue and Rethink, which are meant to expand on the traditional ecological mantra «Reduce, Reuse, Recycle» by acknowledging the importance of aesthetics within fashion design.

“Ethics + Aesthetics” will include work by Alabama Chanin, Bodkin, Susan Cianciolo, Kelly Cobb, Loomstate, Max Osterweis/SUNO, Zoë Sheehan Saldaña, SANS, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Uluru, and Andrea Zittel and Tiprin Follett/Smockshop

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


There has been something bugging me since I closed up shop sunday night.
I call them "screechers", inspired by the noise hangers make when they are abruptly slapped from side to side. This weekend we had quite a few people abruptly walk in and slap some hangers around like they were at TJ Maxx after a shipment of a "tattoo inspired designer" who will go unnamed (rhymes with red lardy). Not only does this make a lovely noise, it makes quite a mess. That is not even what bugs me really, its the disrespect for the items themselves. I find myself wanting to scream at them, "HEY! I MADE THAT! GENTLE! "

There is a craft movement emerging and many are getting back in touch with the process of making and/or makers, but there is still a larger part of the population who is totally indifferent to how anything gets to the shop floors. A disinterest in the who, what, how, where, of what they are looking at, and i can't necessarily blame them. We've been trained to consume. most goods in the market show up en masse with a very un-glamorous hidden life story (you've heard the stories). goods are trendy, disposable, artificially cheap, you are busy and want instant gratification.

That bums me out. social and environmental implications aside, mass consumption divides producer from consumer and homogenizes us. We have closets full of clothes we don't really like, don't really fit, resemble if not mimic the closets of our peers, don't accurately speak our identity, and mutes our own creative personal expression. Bor-ing.

So, I'll ask you nicely, "Please be nice to my things, there was great care, effort and sacrifice to get that piece to that hanger. I made that to give you and I a choice, a choice to purchase something developed with thought and care, something that could potentially serve you a life time or at the very least multiple seasons."

All seven of us at 5 in 1 have some really great pieces (at great prices) in there, fancy runway samples, handmade up-cycled cord necklaces in rich bright colors, belted halter jumpers made out of vintage fabrics, silk silk and lots delicate silky silk etc.
Even if someone isn't in the mood to buy, they still have someone to who greets them with a smile, a story if they seem interested, pretty shiny things to look at and good tunes in the background.

It was my turn to work at 5 in 1 this past weekend and despite being inside during a sunny summer weekend, I generally look forward to it. I get to play stylist, open the barn-like doors, buy flowers, fill a bowl of candy, meet interesting people, talk to them about the pieces, see them try things on, add a belt, add a scarf, see what people look at but don't try on, give "secrets" of the neighborhood to visitors, make them little itineraries and all the other possible outcomes of such an environment.