Dresses of Recycled Plastic and Bags with Flying Deer

Dresses of Recycled Plastic and Bags with Flying Deer
#Exhibitions

A subtle line that, from the pineapple fibre clutch bag insinuates itself in the dress of Emma Watson created by Calvin Klein with recycled plastic bottles, binds the ancient and complex relationship between fashion and nature. And yet that environment which inspired the universe of clothing, often has suffered for the constant, and often irresponsible, use of primary materials. Fashioned from Nature at the Victoria And Albert Museum illustrates to visitors how popular fashion, decidedly sustainable and respectful of the environment, but unmistakably glamorous, is possible thanks to the use of alternative sustainable materials. Consider the designs of Stella McCartney and those of Christopher Raeburn, but also the vegetable materials of Vegea, which use vinacce - the waste-product fibres left over from wine production - for creating clothing that adheres to the body like a second skin. Along the catwalk, where visitors will watch 400 years of fashion strut by, there are earrings from 1875 created with the heads of Honeycreeper birds and a muslin dress from 1860 decorated with the iridescent shells of hundreds of beetles. Along with a man’s vest from 1780, knowingly embroidered with playful monkeys, the contemporary Gucci bag decorated with a flying deer motif. A woman’s jacket from the early 1600s, enriched with pea and flower patterns, or the works of Jean Paul Gaultier and Busvine, both with leopard patterns, help us see clearly how the natural world has played, over time, an essential role for important brands. The exhibition is also a journey to look at the primary materials used in production, from the key fibres used in the XVII and XVIII Centuries - silk, linen, wool and cotton - to controversial materials such as whale bone and tortoise shell, up to the expansion of international commerce and the importation of precious materials, as well as the introduction of artificial materials. If you want to know more about a dress grown from the roots of plants which feeds on soil and water, just take a trip to the V&A and its surprising installations, curious works of art and, of course, its totally original clothing.

Samantha De Martin - © 2018 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London