'(Re)Fashioning Fiber' Exhibit Merges Art, Fashion, and the Natural Environment (Photos)


'(Re)Fashioning Fiber' exhibit, New York City; Eko-Lab designers Melissa Kirgan, far left, and Xing-Zhen Chung, far right.; Two models in Eko-Lab, center. Credit: Emma Grady

Could simplifying sustainable fashion and art down to a core material evoke a lasting understanding of the connectedness between the environment and everyday life? (Re)Fashioning Fiber: New Horizons in Environmental Art and Fashion certainly suggests so; Fiber plays a leading role in this exhibition curated by environmental textile artist Abigail Doan which opened this past week (on view May 20 through August 13) at Green Spaces' gallery in New York City. As a friend of Green Spaces I helped coordinate the event which features work by environmental artists and fashion designers including Eko-Lab, Study NY, Renata Mann, Ceca Georgeiva, and many more. Click through for photos from the exhibition and opening party.

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'Skyline Skirt' and 'Cobweb Bolero' by Study NY, spring 2010 collection; dress and skirt made with (re)fashioned twill tape and design studio "waste textiles" and necklaces made with zippers. Credit: Emma Grady
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Designer Meiling Chen exhibits 'Clothes Make the Man/Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining' made with a recycled vintage shirt donated by a friend, flea market threads, and a recycled hanger from the laundromat. Credit: Emma Grady
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'Fiber Flotsam Colony' by Abigail Doan; made with recycled household fibers and wood, handspun yarn, vintage threads, laces, vegetation, street flotsam, beeswax, seeds, recycled jewelry parts. Credit: Emma Grady

We spoke with '(Re)Fashioning Fiber' curator Abigail Doan, an eco-fiber artist and writer, on her goals for the group exhibition which, according to the press release, was "to examine new ways of thinking about fiber in relation to the natural environment, patterns of consumption, and contemporary definitions of fashioning self."

In our conversation, Abigail spoke to how her upbringing on a farm and her natural practice of reusing items at home contributes to her goal of bringing fashion and art back to the basics. At home people create their own ecosystems; They choose which materials and which items to reuse and recycle in their everyday lives. By creating art forms with fiber as the core material Abigail hopes to inspire people's curiosity and interest in materials. She says, "We can't avoid fiber, it's in our everyday existence."

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'Fiber Flotsam Colony' installation by Abigail Doan. Credit: Emma Grady
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An attendee reads 'Little Books' made with recycled papers and mementos from travel by Artist Sibyll Kalff. Credit: Eko-Lab/Flickr
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Necklace made with natural linen yarn from Lithuania and stones from a beach in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by Kaori Yamazaki. Credit: Emma Grady

Designers and artists involved in the show came out for the opening fête including Meiling Chen, Kaori Yamazaki, Brece Honeycutt, Renata Mann, Xing-Zhen Chung Hilyard, Tara St. James, as well as green fashion scene regulars like Starre Vartan of Eco-Chick, Jessica Engle of The Uniform Project; Kate McGregor from one of our favorite brick and mortar boutiques Kaight, Johanna Björk of Goodlifer, and other art and fashion lovers.

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Goodlifer's Johanna Björk and Designer Meiling Chen. Credit: Emma Grady

(Re)Fashioning Fiber will be on view at Green Spaces New York, 394 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York from May 20 through August 13, 2010. Visit Abigail Doan's websites, Ecco*Eco and Abigail Doan for updates on the exhibit.

'(Re)Fashioning Fiber' Exhibit Merges Art, Fashion, and the Natural Environment (Photos)
Could simplifying sustainable fashion and art down to a core material evoke a

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