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Gardner Museum to open designer Carla's fashion exhibition
03
Apr '14
Carla Fernández/ (Graciela Iturbide)
Carla Fernández/ (Graciela Iturbide)
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum announced the opening of a dynamic new fashion exhibition by Mexican artist and fashion designer Carla Fernández. The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community, which will be on view from April 17th, 2014 through September 1, 2014 in the Museum’s Hostetter Gallery, will explore the traditions and techniques of indigenous Mexican artisans and how they can be applied to modern fashion and styles. 
 
“Collaboration is at the root of Carla Fernández’s practice,” said Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. “Her work combines a passion for beautiful clothing with a deep respect for the artisans and communities she works with.
 
"Fernandez has been gaining international recognition for her extraordinary approach which documents and preserves the rich textile heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities by transforming it into beautiful contemporary clothing and proving that tradition is not static.” 
 
This first-ever fashion exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum explores the development of a new visual fashion design language that Fernández has built across two decades. She uses a method dubbed “the Square Root,” which is based on the Mexican tradition of making clothing with squares and rectangles.
 
The process places the emphasis on the forms of fabric and the delicate, thoughtful construction process, which is based on whole fabric, rather than cutting in curves and molding to the body. 
 
Fernández says her work is a metaphor for today’s Mexican fashion revolution. She believes that the future in Mexico is handmade and the ‘roots’ of tradition can be used to create forward thinking design and to call attention to the careful indigenous techniques used to create her garments. 
 
“For me clothing is the first language,” Fernández said. “As soon as I see someone, I can read the code that he or she wants me to translate in the way they dress. I dress in a certain way because I know people will read me as well. That’s why fashion is so powerful. Maybe you will never meet that someone, but you will admire them on the street because of the way they are attired and the care and originality they put into their clothing.” 
 
The Barefoot Designer is multi-faceted exhibition consisting of garments, textiles, drawings, photographs, performance, video, workshops and source materials demonstrating Fernández’s multi-layered design process.
 


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