On the 23rd of August I went to the V&A museum to see the Fashioned From Nature Exhibition. I thought this was a very good event and was very relevant for me as my chosen art form is costume and fashion design.
This expedition I highlighted much about both modern-day fashion and sustainability, and fashion of the past. It started off showing outfits from around the 1800's- 1900's, and discussed the resources they used and natural forms that they were inspired by. It also highlighted certain trends of materials, such as cotton being the most important industry in Britain during the 19th Century, and the ethical issues with this. I learnt that the start of making garments out of cotton brought mass production, which was unethical as slaves were brought to America to grow and pick the cotton. Also, with the rise of mass production and factories, environmental pollution increased. The exhibition also highlighted the invention of growing popularity of polyester and neon in the 20th century, and the effect of increasing plastic use on our oceans. For example, I learnt that by the year 2050 it’s estimated that there will be the same amount of plastic in the sea as fish.
The next section of the exhibition was more about modern day fashion and how to make clothing more sustainable by using recycled materials. Also it explored more more ethical options, like trading fur for other things, which I didn’t expect, but was great to see as I am vegan and don’t agree with the fur trade.
The art form involved with this art event was fashion. I found it very interesting to learn about trends of the past and how to make fashion more sustainable, as I want to become a costume designer and really like historical outfits. If I ever do work in this area it would be important to me to make garments as environmentally friendly and ethical as possible.
I’ve been to other art exhibitions before, but I’ve never been to one purely about fashion throughout history. It was similar to other expeditions in that there were many exhibits shown, but also was very different as this one was also about informing people on the issues in the fashion industry, and how we can change things to help the environment, people and animals.
I really liked the outfits shown, as it was fascinating to see the all the clothes inspired or made of natural resources. I also thought the message of this event was important, regarding respecting and protecting the environment through our actions and choices concerning fashion and clothing. As to how it could have been improved, I feel like it could have been made more relevant by the inclusion of normal everyday outfits and how we can make good choices there, as all the outfits shown were high fashion or catwalk outfits. But aside from that I thought the exhibition was really thought provoking and inspiring.
I now feel more interested in sustainable fashion, and feel I will consider how items have been made more fully in the future. I feel like it’s a really big issue; this exhibition was great as it highlighted what we need to change unlike other art exhibitions. I would highly recommend going as it highlights an important message, and is also very interesting seeing how things were made and what the fashions were in the past.