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Textile Museum to present fabrics of feathers & steel

24
Sep '09
The Textile Museum will present Fabrics of Feathers and Steel: The Innovation of Nuno, October 17, 2009 – April 11, 2010 to complement the couture designs on display in the concurrent exhibition Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection.

Nuno (meaning “functional fabric” in Japanese) integrates traditional techniques and aesthetics with cutting-edge technologies to create some of the world's most innovative and influential fabrics. Made out of materials as varied as steel, bamboo and bird feathers, Nuno textiles provide the starting point for fashion designers and are housed in museum collections around the world.

The Nuno Studio
The international success of Japanese fashion designers owes much to the talented textile designers and manufacturers who enable their creative visions. Japan maintains a particularly rich textile tradition, and in recent decades has emerged as the world's leading producer of technologically advanced fabrics. Founded by Junichi Arai and Reiko Sudo in 1984, Nuno has been under the direction of Sudo since 1987 and has developed from selling traditional Japanese textiles to applying handmade techniques in innovative ways. Following the mantra “Why Knot?,” Nuno experiments with an eclectic array of materials, as well as unorthodox finishing methods, such as burnishing, burning and chemical dissolving to produce their fabrics. Everyday materials such as steel and cotton are transformed by hand and machine into ethereal and compelling textiles that are renowned around the world. Deftly interweaving the traditional and the experimental, hand production and machine-made, Nuno creates beautiful and often conceptually witty fabrics that reassert the rich artistic potential of the textile medium.

About the Exhibition
The exhibition at The Textile Museum will feature 18 examples from the Nuno studio, dating from the time of the company's founding in 1984 to the present day. The fabrics will be hung in galleries adjacent to the showing of Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection, inviting visitors to experience the design process from start to finish – from structure to style. “In contrast to their Western counterparts, Japanese designers usually begin with the fabric, or even the thread, as the starting point in their design process.Innovative textile technolgies such as those pioneered by Nuno have been pivotal in creating the distinctive forms characteristic of Japanese fashion, so these two exhibitions complement each other in an exciting and very meaningful way,” says Lee Talbot, associate curator for Eastern Hemisphere Collections at The Textile Museum.

Maryclaire Ramsey, CEO of The Textile Museum says, “We are excited to be opening these two exhibitions this fall – and feel they are both relevant in a city with a growing high-fashion scene and a strong international presence.” The Textile Museum Fall Symposium, “From Kimono to Couture: The Evolution of Japanese Fashion,” October 16 to 19, 2009, will continue on themes from both shows and will feature lectures by leading scholars in the fashion field from around the country.

The Textile Museum


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