By the 20th century, wool suits and coats were indispensable, practical elements of fashionable daywear for women. Double-faced wool, used here by designer Mila Schön for her Blue Coat (1968) is woven almost as two separate textiles, joined by a set of interwoven yarns, creating a thick, structural, spongy fabric.
The textile’s density supports this A-line silhouette, while the wool’s pliability eases the inset of Pop Art circles. The hems were self-finished by opening the layers and stitching the edges to the inside.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Fabric in Fashion, on View Through May 4th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
Grant Wood designed this Lounge Chair and Ottoman in 1938 for his own living room. Henry R. Lubben, a Cedar Rapids furniture maker, manufactured the design in a variety of fabrics, with or without tasseled fringe, and sold it in department stores throughthe Midwest as the Grant Wood Lounge Chair.
In 1939, Riverdale Fabrics commissioned Wood to create a textile for them based on his 1932 painting Spring Plowing (textile design seen framed, top image). Wood died before this design went into production and the fabric was never made.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables, on View Through June 10th, 2018 at The Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District, NYC.
Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara’sA-POC Queen (1997) is a textile generated from a single thread by a computer-programmed industrial knitting machine. The resulting openwork knit tube bears a repeating pattern of woven seams that create a patchwork of shapes whose outlines suggest dresses, shirts, socks, gloves and hats. The customer can cut along the seams without destroying the tubular structure of each individual item, and virtually no material is wasted in the process of creating — without needle or thread — a complete monochromatic outfit from this single swath of cloth.
For Miyake, the A-POC technique is an extension of the technological advances begun during the Industrial Revolution, which ultimately made ready-to-wear clothing possible. While automation has made fashion more accessible in some respects, it has also fostered overconsumption and waste. A-POC, an acronym for “A Piece of Cloth,” is also a play on the word epoch, a call to all to look to the next century with a sense of responsibility. “Will fashion be able to afford to keep the same old methodology?” asks Miyake. “I have endeavored to experiment to make fundamental changes to the system of making clothes.”
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.