Tag Archives: Dessein Collectif

Outfits from a New Era at the Biosphere (Part Five)

Howdy!

Part One is here, Part Two is here, Part Three is here, and Part Four is here.

Haute couture 2.0 by Mélissa Turgeon

Haute couture 2.0 by Mélissa Turgeon

Haute couture 2.0 my eye! A) Who uses a mouse with a wire these days anyhows? Haute couture 1.75. B) PS/2 connectors were beginning to be phased out 2001. Haute couture 1.50. C) Compaq hasn’t existed as a company since 2002. Haute couture 1.25. Web 2.0 was coined as a term in 2004. Haute couture 1.00. And I’m certain if I looked closer I could come up with at least four other mistakes with the name.

So how about we call this something more like Long Stringy Dress Made out of Colorful Wires? Or Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing, or something like that? Instead of showing off a blissful ignorance of technology and technological terms.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, we can take a closer look at the Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing.

Detail from Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing by Mélissa Turgeon

Detail from Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing by Mélissa Turgeon

Overall I gotta give Ms. Turgeon some props. Despite not knowing how to name her dresses, the Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing quite possibly best exemplifies the ideas and concepts behind Outfits from a New Era at the Biosphere. In that none of the materials used were new, and that what she uses as textiles truly has been salvaged from the scrap heap.

Personally I would have ditched the actual mice (mouses?) all they’re going to do is bruise someone’s ankles, and the biegeness of them definitely detracts from the extremely colorful nature of the rest of the dress. Maybe, perhaps, possibly they could have been used as ear flaps for the headgear. It wolod have also been nice to see what it looked like if all the wires were grouped together by color.

I’m not certain that it would have been “better.” But I still would like to be able to compare. I have a feeling that the sense of the material (ie making people more aware that it was made out of wires) would have come through slightly stronger. But then again, what do I know about making a Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing?

Headgear for Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing by Mélissa Turgeon

Headgear for Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing by Mélissa Turgeon

Sort of flapper inspired (I’m not entirely certain that it would go with the Charlestea dress by By Maude Lapierre) for the next time she makes one, she should try to spell out some messages in the hat.

Caustic Swimsuit By Jennifer Bergeron

Caustic Swimsuit By Jennifer Bergeron

Now we’re coming into the homestretch. Caustic Swimsuit and a dress called Hit Parade. The Caustic Swimsuit is particularly intriguing, in that I am not entirely certain that there is anyone who could swim while wearing a 240 lb. swimsuit. Heck, even lying around the pool would be a chore! OK, maybe Iris Kyle could wear it without collapsing. But nonetheless, there’s something kinda cool in a bling-bling way about 1,200 batteries glued together.

But who has the sort of twisted mind to make a swimsuit that would drown you if you wore it into the water? Although perhaps Jennifer Bergeron was also trying to make some sort of statement on the state of the water in and around Montreal? You know, in a roundabout sort of way kind of tell you that the water is polluted.

Detail from Caustic Swimsuit By Jennifer Bergeron

Detail from Caustic Swimsuit By Jennifer Bergeron

And while you’re not going to get electrocuted from wearing a swimsuit made out of dead 1.5 volt batteries, putting them in water probably will make them corrode quicker and end up releasing some rather unsavory chemicals (although it should be noted it depends entirely on the type of battery. Alkaline batteries leak potassium hydroxide, while zinc–carbon batteries leak zinc oxide) it also should be noted that while potassium hydroxide is caustic, zinc oxide is not (or at least that’s what I think).

Like the Non-Grass Grass Skirt for Quebecois Hula Dancing, the Caustic Swimsuit is truly made out of post-consumer waste and lives up to the ideals and concepts of Outfits from a New Era. Which is all very nice, but it still is 240 lbs.!

Detail from Caustic Swimsuit By Jennifer Bergeron

Detail from Caustic Swimsuit By Jennifer Bergeron

Hit Parade By Valérie Bédard

Hit Parade By Valérie Bédard

The last of the 16 dresses is Hit Parade By Valérie Bédard. Made from video tape, audio tape, slides and 35 mm film it is another pretty good example of post consumer waste being put to better use than landfill.

Detail of Hit Parade By Valérie Bédard

Detail of Hit Parade By Valérie Bédard

Initially, because I wasn’t looking too closely, when I read that it was called Hit Parade i mistakenly thought that it had been made from LPs that had been melted down. But no siree bob! I was thoroughly and completely wrong. Made me realize that I needed to pay closer attention at all times.

This dress not only works as an effective example of what Outfits from a New Era is trying to prove, but also looks like it would actually work as something that could be worn, and worn comfortably, to the discotheque. Which is probably why Ms. Bédard started up Audiofil, a company to make things using old cassette tapes as the thread for the fabric. If she ever gets to the point where she makes another one, I would strongly suggest copping some pattern from the 1980s, as that was the height of cassette culture, and social self-reference would just make everybody’s head spin. In a good way.

Detail from Hit Parade By Valérie Bédard

Detail from Hit Parade By Valérie Bédard

As you might have expected after reading all five posts, I was quite charmed by Outfits from a New Era. It seemed that this past summer was a summer of fashion. Beyond the Jean-Paul Gautier exhibit, which I very deliberately did not write about, there was the Arlette Vermeiren Zucoli exhibit and the Les Ballets Russes de Diaghilev exhibit all of which added up to more costumes, fashion and fabric than I had seen in a very long time.

I’m going to have to start studying things much closer, because I’m going to be covering (if that is the appropriate verb) a Lundstrom Fashion show which is happening to benefit the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada on November 15, 2011.

But not only did I like most of the dresses in Outfits from a New Era but the rationale for making them was also nice, and then the thing that really made my heart go “pitter patter” over the show was since it was at the Biosphere there was hardly anyone there, which while not that great for the Biosphere was great for me, as I can’t stand crowded exhibits where you have to crane your neck to see things or wait patently in line while everyone else ahead of you takes a gander. Although they could have easily saved some cash by ditching the whole vedette thing. I don’t think getting autographed ephemera aids in any way the pedagogic nature of the show, although if I can remind you, I have been wrong before, and I will be wrong again.

I would suggest heading over during the upcoming holidays, as it will guarantee that you don’t run into any school trips. The exhibit itself is on display until December 2012, so if you miss the Christmas season, there’s spring break, Easter, and next summer, ie plenty of time to catch it. And then I seem to remember someone telling me that it was going to tour the country.

For Tags: Names of all the designers, names of all the dresses, Biosphere, Outfits from a New Era, Objets Non Enfouis all the French translation

Outfits from a New Era at the Biosphere (Part Four)

Howdy!

Part One is here, Part Two is here. Part Three is here.

Plush Empress By Majorie Labrèque-Lepage

Plush Empress By Majorie Labrèque-Lepage

Plush Empress By Majorie Labrèque-Lepage

What would you expect from someone who makes stuffed toys for a living? Cute and lighthearted, I’d really like to kn ow what was used to make the skirt hold its shape. A Hoop skirt? Petticoats? Crinoline? Or something else. The tag says that only 4 sweaters, 7 pairs of jeans and 100 buttons were used to make this dress. But I suspect that there were some other things involved as well.

It actually looks like it could be worn, but I’m not 100% convinced I would be able to survive the constant barrage of cuteness. Maybe if I was partial to dressing up for Halloween, I’d be more open to a dress that had a hood with ears and some sort of bear-like soccer ball protruding from the crotch.

Detail of Plush Empress By Majorie Labrèque-Lepage

Detail of Plush Empress By Majorie Labrèque-Lepage

The Outfits from a New Era exhibition were designed to highlight “cast-offs from our society in a whole new light” and while the vast majority of them were made from waste products, four appeared to be made from new material. Of the four, the two following were notable examples.

WFA - With Fixed Address By Stéphanie Lévesque

WFA - With Fixed Address By Stéphanie Lévesque

Another fantasy dress, another material list that isn’t quite complete. That bodice is not made of plywood (unless that’s the thinnest plywood ever – or perhaps it should be the veneer used to make plywood). Although I kind of like the concept of living in your dress. Once you glom onto the idea behind this dress there isn’t an awful lot of depth to it. But I bet you that it is well insulated (yuck, yuck, yuck!)

Of all the dresses in the exhibit, I would guess that this one is the most structurally sound. But probably the most difficult to modify if you gained a couple of pounds. Although I think Stéphanie Lévesque should try to get someone from Mon Plan Rona to wear it as a publicity stunt.

Grand Design By Isabel Vinuela

Grand Design By Isabel Vinuela

This, I think is the weakest of all 16 dresses. Made out of canvas its “twist” is that the drawing and the stickers are supposed to be part of it as well. More of a coat than a dress, it’s kind of difficult to pick out from the drawing, which while obviously the intention, doesn’t make it any better in my eyes. It’s not like I’m going to be walking around wearing the drawing when I put on the dress (or coat).

Wall tag explaining how to interact with Grand Design By Isabel Vinuela

Wall tag explaining how to interact with Grand Design By Isabel Vinuela

Sorry that my picture is so blurry.

I can’t quite accept that the backdrop for a dress is as important (or even more so) than the actual dress.

Grand Design By Isabel Vinuela

Grand Design By Isabel Vinuela

Still more tomorrow.