Only a bit before it closed this summer, I got to see at the Huntsville Museum of Art the Folk Couture: Fashion and Art Exhibit, which was organized by the American Folk Art Museum in New York. They had it on exhibit in NY during the early part of 2014, and since it left Huntsville, I have been unable to locate if the exhibit has been returned for some period, or will be on loan to another museum in the near future.
From the exhibit’s site:
Fashion has always found inspiration in unpredictable sources: art, life, history—there are no boundaries. In this spirit, the American Folk Art Museum explores the relationship between inspiration and creation. Thirteen established and emerging designers have created original ensembles inspired by artwork in the museum’s collection.
Here, a Bibhu Mohapatra dress, inspired by the rare Tattoo Pattern Book.
Fall 2016 show:
Creatures of the Wind Fall 2016 from Creatures of the Wind on Vimeo.
The outfit at 2:12 is just delicious in such a weird way. And 2:21, yesss.
John Bartlett wallhanding inspired by unidentified artist’s ‘man with green shirt and white suspenders’ that’s believed to be either Canadian or US.
Anniversary Tin: Man’s Top Hat and Eyeglasses, made sometime between 1880-1900 in Gobles, Michigan
Michael Bastian ensemble with Angel Gabriel weathervane circa 1840
Jean Yu dress with David Alvarez porcupine
Seated Jackalope by Alonzo Jiminez
Sam Doyle seated dog
Yeohlee Teng dress — she took snapshots of carved animals (the Sam Doyle dog, Jiminez jackalope) in the museum’s storage area and used these as print tiles on kraft paper
This is a Quaker friendship quilt by Elizabeth Hooten (Cresson) Savery and others made in 1844 Philadelphia
the quilt inspired this threeASFOUR laser-cut flower-print patent leather over Spandex power mesh dress
left to rigth: Chadwick Bell, Fabio Costa, Catherine Malandrino dresses
Gary Graham ensemble, with fabric woven from a loom at RISD
From the NYT review:
“Though fashion may be the lure, the art shines. Even at their most outré, the outfits complement rather than distract from the many gems of the American Folk Art Museum’s collection.”
“Folk Couture” also proves that museums can explore fashion on a budget, without the need for celebrity designers, brand sponsorships and elaborate set pieces. Not every show has to be McQueen at the Met or Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum.