On 19 November 2015 the 3rd edition of the IDENTITY DRESS opened its door at the National Museum of Slovenia. A new selection of designers from around the globe, all focused in the same dress pattern, is enriching the atrium of the museum until 13 December 2015. For the third year in a row the exhibition got set up through the show.
The basic idea always remains the same – based on the same dress pattern, each participant, whether a young aspiring talent or a well established designer contributes to the challenge by creating a dress that defines him or her. With a selection of design talents curated by Eric Maj Potočnik and Matjaž Plošinjak, the project discovers and constantly re-explores the possibilities of expression in design when limited by a strictly defined form.
The opening event started in the form of a show, through which the exhibition itself got set up. Dresses were first showcased on models and afterwards got replaced by tailors dummies to close the show. With the opening show IDENTITY DRESS always emphasizes the individuality of each creator, yet respects the uniformity of the concept idea, by downsizing the focus towards the dresses only. The homogeny in the models, illustrated by their make-up and their clean porcelain-looking hairstyle, destined to wash away the identity of the models, substituting the subject as an object. The transposition of the identity from the body onto the object, being the dress, reminded the audience of transhuman beings, all belonging to the same army. An army of authentic designers who came to prove that fashion is not just about consumption, but essentially a means of expression of oneself. The present exhibition reflects that ambition. Orchestrated into an intradimensional showcase inbetween the walls of the museum’s vast atrium, the dresses are displayed all across it’s space around the half-circled center, like a constellation of individual artefacts under the high baroque ceilings ornamented with a levitating neon lights installation supported by ABSOLUT.
This year, the orbit is represented by two continents, from 14 countries in total; using conceptual craftsmanship techniques, such as Baiba Ladiga – Kobayashi (Latvia) with plastic sheets, Derek Lawlor (United Kingdom) by impressive chord-work sculpture, Leandro Cano Luque (Spain) transforming the silhouette into a porcelain-looking garment, and Viviano Sue (Japan) true to his use of unconventional ideas such as long haired shoulders.
Some designers dared to challenge the sheath dress form by creating a three-dimensional effect, especially Ece Ozalp (Turkey) who rendered an illusion of perception, or Loredana Bahorić of Charlie Design (Croatia) true to her abstract volumes creating a new shape onto the body. Even so Timotej Bistan (Slovenia) comparing his designer debuts to a visual creative eruption, similarly to Paula Carmen Rimoli (Italy) who chose to symbolise her blooming second skin, and not to forget, Yojiro Kake (Japan / Italy) creating a new allure through precise origami-like folding of fabric.
On the other hand, a few chose to stay within the form by exploring its surface research, among which Dajana Ljubičić (Slovenia), by tiling black reptile-looking leather stripes, but also Jolka Wiens (Germany / Netherlands) exploring a laser engraving technique, where Matic Veler (Slovenia) chose to incorporate lasercut shapes. Judith van Vliet (Netherlands), mixed different textures and contrasting cuts, Stefán Orschel-Read (United Kingdom / Hong Kong) created a 3D effect through embroidering beadwork onto a custom-made digital print, and finally Yong Kyun Shin (South Korea) weaving silk stripes in a mosaic trompe-l’oeil pattern.
Among all, three designers have oriented their creativity towards wearability, yet insisted on an interesting research on its pattern construction and honored the opportunity to revolutionize by detail, print, and cut. Dóra Mojzes (Hungary), superposed organic layers of safety-pins printed fabric, Eleftheria Arapoglou of Digitaria (Greece), synthesizing the technical likes of a trenchcoat and jumpsuit in a single dress and Nikki Duijst (Netherlands), using her signature barcode print onto a double paneled garment.
Accompanying the IDENTITY DRESS, there is a fashion exhibition titled I feel the Dress. Installed in the hallway surrounding the atrium of the museum and curated by Eric Maj Potočnik, it narrates the story of Slovenian clothing culture and Slovenian identity through eight individual outfits. As a perfect continuation, the exhibited garments visualise the idea behind the Slovene national brand I Feel Slovenia and illustrate the creativity of the nation, integration and interweaving of history, nationality and individual’s identity. Among them, we can recognise the look named I feel Identity, the curator’s very own ‘Metamorphose’ dress, the trigger idea for the well-known dress pattern used at each edition of the IDENTITY DRESS project. Click here to read more about the I feel the Dress exhibition.
Through the expressive sharpness of both exhibitions genuinely completing each other, the visitor is encouraged to understand that garment per sei surpasses its excessive commercial character and becomes an art form. IDENTITY DRESS is thereby affirming its influence on the international fashion scene as an independent platform. Its aim is to prove diversity by putting expressive fashion designers from all around the globe in the foreground, continually showcasing relevant design ideas that contribute to creativity, authenticity and innovation.
IDENTITY DRESS 2015 has been brought to life in collaboration with the following project partners:
Text by Feyrouz Ahsoura & Eric Maj Potočnik
Photos by Jože Svetičič & Tadej Bernik
PRESS material available on identitydress.com/press
Baiba Ladiga - Kobayashi, Charlie Design, Dajana Ljubičič, Derek Lawlor, designers, Digitaria, Dóra Mojzes, Ece Ozalp, Eleftheria Arapoglou, exhibition, fashion, Fashion Design Exhibition, Featured, identity dress, IDENTITY DRESS 2015, interantional, Jolka Wiens, Judith van Vliet, Leandro Cano Luque, ljubljana, Loredana Bahorić, Matic Veler, National Museum of Slovenia, Nikki Duijst, Paula Carmen Rimoli, show, Stefán Orschel-Read, Timotej Bistan, Viviano Sue, Yojiro Kake, Yong Kyun Shin